Volume 85 1976 > volume 85, No. 1 > Political education in the rural sector: a comparison of two Papua New Guinea island communities, by Stuart Berde, p 86-98
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POLITICAL EDUCATION IN THE RURAL SECTOR: A COMPARISON OF TWO PAPUA NEW GUINEA ISLAND COMMUNITIES
Introduction

In 1970 and 1971, Papua New Guinea was at an exciting point in its transition to self-government because programmes and policies were being presented for their first public test. From my perspective, living on Panaeati Island in the Louisiade Archipelago, Milne Bay District, there was a steady stream of new issues for local people to discuss. What should the country be called? What should the flag look like? In what language should the government conduct its business? Also, the people were preparing for national elections the following year.

One of the major challenges before the Administration was to make these developments meaningful to the people in the rural sector. Accordingly, the Administration intensified its political education programme. Select committees from the House of Assembly went into the rural areas to inform people of national developments. Local patrol officers and specially trained Administration personnel held meetings with villagers to explain self-government. These officials concentrated on national matters such as the House of Assembly's responsibilities, the national elections, and Papua New Guinea's future relationship with Australia.

I remember one such session where a political education officer met with members of the Louisiade Local Government Council. The councillors were confused about the levels of government, especially the relationship between village ward committeemen, the local council, and the House of Assembly. They found it hard to relate national affairs to the council's and the village's problems. While councillors were usually the most informed members of their local communities, very few people in the Louisiade Archipelago had travelled outside the Milne Bay District. So if the councillors were confused about these broad issues, then their constituents would have even greater difficulties. I wondered how the councillors were going to explain self-government to their neighbours when their understanding of it was imperfect.

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This was an ironic dilemma for the Panaeati people (with whom I was most familiar) because they were already actively taking part in Western-style local politics in a manner that suited the standards for self-government that the Administration was encouraging. The Panaeati councillors and ward committeemen met with their constituents often and jointly planned community activities. They made group-oriented decisions and avoided pettiness. They did not take part in these activities simply because of a patrol officer's directive. Rather, over the years they found meeting together and co-ordinating community activities to be an efficient way of managing their affairs.

It was unfortunate that the political education officers did not stress the connection between local politics and national moves towards self-government. If people were reminded that the villages and the nation were both working towards the same goals, they might have better appreciated why self-government was also important to them. Understanding this connection is an important step towards building a sense of national unity. And promoting a sense of national unity or identification is one of the major goals of political education in emerging self-governing countries such as Papua New Guinea.

There are two methods to attain this goal, methods that reinforce each other:

1. Encourage people to be aware of their national institutions and remind them of their rights to participate in electing representatives to these bodies.

2. Encourage local village political participation by electing community leaders, deciding public issues, planning public activities, and maintaining public facilities. Because formal self-government and the House of Assembly elections were upcoming, it was natural that the Administration concentrated its efforts on the first dimension in 1970 and 1971. By supporting local government councils for many years, the Administration had already acknowledged the critical role that local political participation plays in political education. It is clear that the keystone of political education for some time will be in promoting local politics. Anthropologists, because of their familiarity with village life, can make an important contribution here by illuminating how the form of political participation encouraged by the Government fits local village circumstances.

In this paper I describe the activities of the Panaeati Island councillors and committee people. 1 These individuals, especially the committeemen, are extremely active in local affairs. Over the past 15 years, Panaeatians have developed a pattern of meeting together often and scheduling community-wide and individual personal projects into a scheduled work week. In this region at least, public meetings and scheduling projects are the only kind of political education activity in which the Administration has ever encouraged villagers to participate. Panaeatians have found such - 89 activities to be a particularly rewarding way of solving a range of problems, government-based and indigenous. And, as a result, they have been gaining experience in political education that is valuable for the challenge of self-government.

The extent of Panaeatians' scheduling and meeting is unusual in this island region. In the following sections, I discuss some factors — including their historical experience as the headquarters for the Methodist Mission, their fortunate self-sufficient subsistence economy, and their demography — that have contributed to Panaeatians' contemporary political activism. I compare their contemporary situation with that of their Brooker Island neighbours, and I show why Panaeatians' particular style of local politics is inappropriate for Brookerites. Comparing these two island communities suggests a problem in political education: If local political participation is vital training for all people in an emerging, self-governing nation, and if the commonly encouraged form of political participation is inappropriate for certain rural peoples, then what form of local politics should these people be engaging in so that they can participate in this programme and, hopefully, share a national experience?

The Louisiade Archipelago

Panaeati Island is built on a fringing table reef. It is five miles from end to end and about three miles across at its widest point. In 1971, there were about 1000 people living in contiguous hamlets along the main path, on the leeward side of the island facing Duboyne Lagoon. The most outstanding physical characteristic of this island is its densely wooded forest stretching from one end of the island to the other surrounding a 725-foot hill. The forest supplies timber for Panaeatians' canoe building and trading enterprises. Because they have a monopoly on the finest canoe building timber in the Louisiade Archipelago (a variety of Calophyllum inophyllum), canoe building represents an important trade item. In fact, canoe building and trading are the focus of Panaeatians' cultural identity in the region. Yams, the favoured crop, grow well in Panaeati's coral-filled soils. Besides yams, people also grow a variety of fast-maturing crops such as taro, sweet potatoes, and squash.

According to Panaeati informants, there are three main types of island in the Louisiade Archipelago. Panua “land” or “place” are high volcanic islands such as Misima, Motorina, and Sudest. Here, rainfall and fresh water are abundant and gardens are rich. These islanders, however, do not have easy access to reefs for fishing and eat less fish than peoples living on either of the other two island types, which are this discussion's focus. Brooker Island and Grass Island are examples of the second island type, taval hot “real” or “true island”. There are about 350 Brookerites who live in several scattered hamlets on this small island. Brooker is a low coral island where fishing is excellent and gardening is poor because of infrequent rainfall. In order to compensate for poor gardens, Brookerites vigorously import garden food from larger islands. Finally, Panaeati is a taval “island”, bridging the other categories because of its good balance of gardening and fishing. This resource balance has allowed Panaeatians to be - 90 more self-sufficient—to import less food—than their Brooker neighbours. 2 And this self-sufficiency is a major contributing factor in explaining Panaeatians' active political participation. However, before this point can be fully appreciated, the historical background of inter-island trading in this region must be clarified.

The Mission Era and Inter-Island Trading

Inter-island travelling and trading has been an important aspect of this region's economy since the beginning of regular European contact, which dates from the landing of the Methodist missionaries on Panaeati in 1891. 3 In precontact times, however, the situation was different. Informants throughout the region told me that precontact trading was severely restricted because people were afraid of surprise raids. The Methodist missionaries' presence pacified these islanders allowing regular and peaceful visiting and trading. People today associate the benefits from open inter-island trading with the missionaries. 4 Each island population responded to the new trading opportunities differently. People such as Brookerites, who lived on “true islands”, improved their diet by regularly importing foods from larger islands. Brooker people, who in the previous era were the most feared raiders in the region, became the most active traders, sailing night and day in order to import foods and other items.

Panaeati Islanders were in an especially fortunate position when open trading began because:

  • 1. Their yam harvests usually were adequate for their population and even allowed limited exporting.
  • 2. They could export fish to people living on larger islands.
  • 3. They also manufactured clay cooking pots. Other than Brooker people, no one in the region made these important trade items. Pots and fish were usually exported in return for foods, sago, and betel ingredients.
  • 4. Finally, and importantly, everyone in the region wanted Panaeati's superior quality sailing canoes, because canoes were the most valuable convertible item that a Louisiade Archipelago person could own. Thus, Panaeatians' trading position in the developing inter-island market would be a secure and prosperous one.
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When Panaeatians discuss their past, they refer to years from the landing of the missionaries to World War II as free and uncomplicated times in comparison to today. According to the traditional division of labour (which continues today), men were sea oriented and women were in charge of gardening. During the mission era, men built canoes at home and traded them to other islanders or to Panaeatians. In exchange, they received pigs, shell valuables, 5 foods, and cash. Unlike their Brooker neighbours, Panaeati traders were primarily interested in developing canoe-based transactions as their food needs were not pressing. The returns from these canoe transactions supported Panaeatians' ceremonial requirements. Because their cargo was not needed for subsistence back home, Panaeati traders during this era often stayed away visiting other islands for a month at a time.

The Methodist Mission 6 station was based on Panaeati from 1891 until the early 1950s. People today contend that their close proximity to the missionaries provided them with a head start in Western-style politics. The missionaries established a school on Panaeati and people today are proud of the fact that they read and write their language as well as Dobuan, the lingua franca for Bible translation. They also are proud of their historical position in the region as the original hosts of the mission and as the first people to experience foreign ways. One such new custom was a loose weekly schedule that included a complete rest day on Sunday, fishing on Saturday in order to feed people the following day, and two days during the week when people helped the missionaries garden and maintain the mission station. Along with these activities, the mission station became an island-wide community centre where people from different hamlets met and discussed mission as well as other activities.

Panaeatians' contact with the Administration was irregular until after World War II. The government's representative on Panaeati during these early years was a local Panaeatian whom the government appointed as a “policeman”. During the war, Panaeati's policeman was an outstanding leader who was so well respected that he was able to deflate rumours and fears about the war activities. 7

The Council

After the war, the government stepped up its political education programme and began to encourage local government councils. The Louisiade Local Government Council of the Misima-Sub-District formally began - 92 in 1958. It is not surprising that its first president came from Panaeati Island. This man was the son of a Polynesian missionary and a Panaeati woman. (Later his two brothers would also play prominent parts in government activities, one as a councillor and another as a member of the House of Assembly.)

Today, the council's 27 members come from Misima Island, Duboyne Lagoon, the Calvados Chain, Sudest Island, and Rossel Island. All councillors are locally elected. The meetings are held in Bwagaoia, Misima every six to eight weeks. The council's trawler, the Lilivaso, picks up and returns the councillors to their homes after the meetings. The meeting's business is conducted in the Misiman language, which all of the councillors speak even though it is not everyone's first language. Like other councils, the Louisiade Council's major task is to manage the Sub-District's budget. Most meetings last three or four days. While they stay in Misima, the councillors receive an allowance that they use to buy food from local villagers and from the trade stores.

Local people feel that their councillors should be well informed in Western ways so that they can understand the council's business and report back to the villagers. Thus, a knowlege of English is an important criterion for choosing councillors. During my stay, one of Panaeati's two councillors was elected because of his knowledge of English and experience with Europeans — in spite of the fact that he was not a resident of Panaeati at the time of the election. (His matrilineal kinsmen lived on Panaeati, giving him full residence rights. After his election, he moved to Panaeati.) While the second councillor did not speak English, he was an especially respected member of the community. This man told me that he had reservations about his abilities to serve well because of his lack of English. He took over from an English-speaking Panaeatian one of the council presidents' brothers) who was too old for the job.

The Committee System and Scheduling

Panaeati's 14 named hamlets stretch contiguously in a line on the leeward side of the island. These hamlets are divided into four census wards. Each ward has an elected committee man and woman. During my stay on Panaeati, these people (especially the committeemen) were extremely active in ordering people's activities.

Knowledge of English is not an important criterion for electing committeemen. Rather, people elect men and women who are “mature” and “responsible” (henapu). For example, in the hamlet where I lived, one man had been the committeeman for 12 years. He was quiet with a huge physique, the kind of person whose presence holds people's attention. Committeemen are sometimes asked to settle family arguments over such matters as land rights, adultery accusations, theft, and tardiness in community work. In their capacity as peacemakers, committeemen are more like the previous era's policemen than are the councillors.

Panaeati's two councillors and the four ward committeemen usually meet one evening each week to plan the coming week's activities. Other important people also attend the meetings. There also are committee - 93 people who represent the community's role in maintaining Panaeati's public facilities such as the primary school, the medical aid post, and the local co-operative store. There is an agriculture committeeman who passes on information that he receives from the Administration agriculture officer. The committeewomen from each ward are active in special women's projects such as making craft items for special events.

These weekly meetings usually are held at a committeeman's or a councillor's home. As is the case whenever people assemble, the host provides his guests with betel ingredients, tobacco, and, if possible, food. People sit on the floor in a circle. While women sit to the side of the group, they actively participate in the meetings. (All meetings and assemblies, regardless of their purpose, open with a prayer) The following illustration comes from my notes of a meeting on March 5, 1971. The meeting on this day was chaired by the councillor, David.

David (the councillor) opened the meeting with a prayer. He said that the two weeks given for the agriculture work had not proved to be sufficient to get the job done. The Council had voted that all the people had to fence in their pigs. This was not well received on Panaeati. They did not feel they could fence the pigs in an area where they could be well watered. Some people had done their fencing and some people were lagging behind. There was also a project to clear bush areas for coconut planting. The agriculture officer was coming to Panaeati soon to examine the clearing job. People were not maintaining their coconuts properly. The officer was going to checkup on them. The committeeman from Miteli and Nulia hamlets said his area was behind because most of the men were making copra on the small island of Tinolan. He asked what could be done about people who went out working for cash. The councillor did not say they could really do anything about this fact. Some people had been away for two months on small islands. A hand vote was called. People decided to add another week to concentrate on agricultural affairs.

David next mentioned that the critical “new business” 8 was to discuss how Panaeati could host the semi-annual Sub-District agricultural meeting taking place in June. Panaeati would have to repair its clubhouse for the meeting. They decided that it was better to build a new clubhouse for the meeting. The old one would never look good enough for this major affair. They noted that one full week's work could finish the job. They would have to work all five work days, however, on this single project. They noted that when they built a teacher's house, this schedule worked out well.

David then turned to the committeewomen who were at the meeting. He said that the men's part of the preparations for the agricultural meeting was finished. He said that this meeting would show off the women. They should get all of their craft items (baskets, pots, mats) ready ahead of time. They would be able to sell those items at the meetings.

There was next a time for general discussion. Someone complained about the medical orderly at Panaeati. He said this man was not giving enough shots (a common complaint in the area). Another man noted that he had - 94 talked to the medical officer at Bwagaoia, and the officer told him that this man was capable. The matter was dropped. Someone then suggested that one of the two medical committeemen was not doing his job. The man was neglecting his part of the island. He was supposed to make occasional visits noting sick people who were not receiving attention and then notify the medical orderly. It was decided that this man was a little too old for the job. That was why he did not make the long walks. A younger person should be found to take this man's place.

Each ward committeeman presents the weekly planning sessions' work schedule to his ward neighbours at early morning meetings on Mondays through Fridays. I mentioned earlier that Saturdays and Sundays and two other days each week have been “assigned days” on Panaeati since the missionaries' arrival. Thus, the new council responsibilities can make some weeks extremely busy. Mondays are usually free for people to do independent work. On Tuesdays, people work for their co-operative society store gathering and finishing copra. Wednesdays are mission days where work includes maintaining the missionaries' gardens, coconut plantations, and buildings (i.e., school, two homes, and two churches). Thursdays are free unless the previous day's or Friday's work is pressing. And Fridays are often extremely busy because they are government days when people maintain the public facilities such as the school and its grounds, three teachers' homes, the medical aid post, and the main leeward path that stretches from one end of the island to the other.

The committeemen are asked by their ward neighbours to recruit helpers for other projects besides the public ones noted above. For example, when a family has enough food to give people in exchange for garden work or canoe building, they ask their committeeman to announce this at one of the morning sessions. Such announcements in my hamlet usually were in this form: “One of our friends has some work. Those of you who wish to go, go ahead.” These work occasions are never a surprise to people as gossip spreads the news ahead of the public announcement. Because host families supply garden and trade store foods (i.e., rice, tea, and sugar), volunteers especially enjoy these labour projects.

The committeemen's direction in non-council affairs was dramatically illustrated by Panaeatians' 1971 gardening cycle. During that year, people cleared their new garden plots in late August and early September and left them to dry according to the usual bush-fallow routine. During the waiting period, before burning, many people went to Brooker Island for a celebration. Scattered rains fell and extended the drying period beyond the usual three or four weeks. The rains continued for an unusually long period and new growth appeared requiring more clearing, thus further delaying burning. The entire population was caught two months behind their normal planting time. The councillors and the committeemen organised a concentrated work effort in December in order to plant the new yam crop. Each morning, the committeemen announced whose garden would be worked on that day. Starting at one end of the island and working towards the other, people worked in their distant neighbours' as well as in their - 95 families' gardens. They worked six days a week for the entire month of December until they finished.

Besides being an efficient way to organise Panaeatians' public and private work projects, these morning sessions also offer neutral ground to publicly air sensitive issues as the following illustration from a meeting held on February 24, 1971 shows. The committeeman in this example is the physically impressive individual from my hamlet noted earlier.

The committeeman, Kala, stood by his house and began to speak when he saw that all the people had assembled. People sat in groups. Some were facing Kala and some were facing each other. Men sat apart from women. Some people sat far away from Kala. The lucky ones could sit inside their own doorways.
Kala said that today's work involved clearing the Mission's coconut plantation. The councillor made an appearance then and said: “One of our friends is ill from sorcery.” He went on to say that people should not do this any more. It was wrong to be always afraid. “We stopped this kind of thing a long time ago. People should be happy now.”
Kala stood up and repeated the councillor's remarks to the people. He said that when “you see a man and a woman talking on the road, don't assume the worst right away. It is wrong to gossip about things that you don't know about. Olal (sorcery) is something bad and it is finished. We closed it a long time ago.” Kala went on to say that people should not just try out their sorcery. It was a dangerous thing to do. He said: “If one of you did this to our sick friend, then it is best that you make him better and close this sorcery off. This is not Jesus' way. We should all live happy lives.” He concluded in a softer voice and said: “You had better be sure of what you are doing. Don't just try sorcery out.”

In spite of these illustrations, some Panaeatians contend that the public works' requirements along with gardening and canoe building make their life too scheduled today. In this regard, they note that the work week system has restricted the rate of their inter-island travelling over the years. Instead of the relaxed situation when mission activities represented the only external community requirements and Panaeati traders stayed away from their homes for one or two months at a time visiting other islanders, today's traders do not stay away for more than one week per trip. People inform their committeemen before they leave the island and, unless they are working towards a special ceremonial project, they wait for a month or two before travelling again. This change in inter-island travelling has affected Panaeati's post-pacification trading in that Panaeati women are making fewer pots for trading than they were in the previous generation. Thus, the exchange of pots for sago and betel ingredients between Panaeatians and Misimans has decreased today.

Why have Panaeatians, who one generation ago enjoyed an unrestricted inter-island travelling routine, conformed to a system that now restricts their participation in these activities? I have already mentioned two benefits from the work week system — deflating gossip in the community - 96 and the scheduling systems' utility in co-ordinating important labour activities affecting everyone. These benefits do not explain the causes of the Panaeatians' actions, rather they are the results of those actions since, as we will see in the following section, the Panaeatians would not have been able to develop such a well-fitting structure if they had not had a secure trading position.

An Economic Edge

Panaeati islanders' active participation in local community politics has not required them to sacrifice their material standard of living. When we compare Panaeatians' post-pacification trading economy with their Brooker neighbours, we note that Brookerites could not have similarly decreased their trading. Recall how, unlike Brookerites, Panaeatians' dietary desires were never a primary motivation for trading. The keystone of Panaeati trading has always been canoe-based transactions. In the early post-pacification years, cooking pots were important instrumentally; they were hospitality items that promoted the more important canoe transactions. Over the years canoe trading has become more streamlined because of a steady canoe demand and the widening inter-island communication (i.e., motorised craft, letter writing, inherited trade friendships, inter-marriages, and the council meetings). Panaeati canoe builders find new buyers easily. Builders set the terms for the transactions and inform the buyers ahead of time when they wish to come and collect the canoes' down payments. In this way they try to make each sailing trip count. Builders return to Panaeati with pigs, cash, and shell valuables that they use to finance ceremonial requirements. When Panaeatians do need sago, garden foods, or betel ingredients (for special large group ceremonials and during the pre-harvest lean period), they visit high-island friends, relatives or in-laws and usually receive these subsistence items free.

Brooker people, however, have different economic requirements and their trading pattern reflects these differences. Unlike Panaeatians, Brooker people need garden food, betel ingredients, and sago regularly. Because of this, Brooker traders must reciprocate with their trade partners (who include relatives) by exporting pots. It is not surprising that they have become the major pottery exporters in this region. Brooker men sail night and day delivering pots and returning with needed food and betel ingredients. Thus, Brooker islanders cannot restrict their trading activities in order to try out introduced projects in order to find a level of political participation that suits their needs.

Brookerites schedule committee activities as much as they can given their economic situation, yet they are faced with a development dilemma. Outsiders such as Administration personnel contend that they are lagging behind in their community work because they are spending “too much time sailing”. They are criticised for not promptly paying their taxes and for not supporting their councillor. Brookerites question why their tax money finances projects that are built on other islands. They feel out of touch with the Government's rewards.

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In summary, Panaeatians' more active political participation can be explained by the following factors:

1. They have a self-sufficient subsistence economy and their canoe building monopoly still is rewarding. These material factors have allowed them to curtail the inter-island trading that they became used to during the mission era without negatively affecting their diet or their prestige system.

2. Their mission experiences have been rewarding. Co-operating with the missionaries provided people with important training in certain secular activities such as meetings and rudimentary scheduling. Thus, when the Administration encouraged these activities, Panaeatians were able to make the transition smoothly. Moreover, Panaeatians associate their mission experience with trading prosperity. Because of this positive experience they are optimistic about subsequent outside programmes.

3. Finally, Panaeati Island's demography is well suited to their particular style of local politics. One thousand people whose houses are all contiguous have an easy time promoting shared community interests. People can more easily meet together and pool labour for a variety of projects. The size of the Panaeati population might be optimum for balancing independence with community responsibilities. The population is large enough to be regularly active and, thus, the scheduling and meeting systems' utility is kept in focus. However, the population is small enough for everyone to take an active part in the various projects. Brooker's population is very small and, thus, the island is less busy than Panaeati. Brooker has fewer public facilities for committeemen to maintain.

Local Needs and Political Education

As politics in Papua New Guinea become more complicated, people living in the rural sector will be increasingly called upon to make informed decisions about national and local issues. In order to properly make such decisions, they should have the experience of taking part in local politics as well as an understanding of the wide issues themselves. Voting for council and House of Assembly delegates, while a vital aspect of political education, does not give people the necessary immediacy to identify with the national self-government programmes. If self-government is going to become a part of village life, then a more regular form of participation is necessary.

The council and the committee system remains the best training ground for political education. In my experience, meeting together often and co-ordinating community work were the only aspects of the local government system that were being encouraged in villages. Panaeatians have shown a considerable appetite for local politics and with more experience they should be remarkably well prepared to participate actively in self-government. But what about people such as Brookerites whose economic requirements are inconsistent with frequent community meetings and scheduling? Are they receiving the training in political participation that is so important for all Papua New Guineans? Probably not. In comparison with their Panaeati neighbours, they are lagging behind. But - 98 I would not suggest that Brookerites lower their standard of living in order to experiment with local politics.

The challenge, then, to Papua New Guinea's political planners is to find a form of political participation that suits the requirements of each community's local economy and experience. Brookerites already co-ordinate their trading activities as a community. Meeting together more often to plan community projects might not be beneficial for there is not a need for intensive scheduling as there is on Panaeati. Perhaps, government personnel and Brookerites could work together to formalise another aspect of the committeemen's work that might be rewarding. Here, as has been suggested elsewhere, I feel that the adjudication area represents an untapped resource. 9 Brooker committeemen could formally decide local problems (i.e., family quarrels, land disputes, and adultery) that now go to the government officers.

For some time, discussions about self-government in Papua New Guinea have centred on economic and educational preparedness on the national level. Now that self-government is formally here, we should pass from such general discussions to specific ones and more closely examine political participation in the rural sector. When we do, I feel many problems in political education can be solved.

REFERENCES
  • BROMILOW, W. E., 1929. Twenty Years Among Primitive Papuans, London, Epworth.
  • MURRAY, J. H. P., 1912. Papua or British New Guinea. London, Fisher Unwin.
  • STRATHERN, A., 1970. “Kiap, Councilor, and Big Man: Role-Contrasts in Mount Hagen,” in Marion Ward (ed.), Politics of Melanesia. Fourth Waigani Seminar, Canberra, Australian National University.
  • WAWN, WILLIAM T., 1973. The South Sea Islanders and the Queensland Labour Trade. Ed. by Peter Corris. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press.
1   The paper is based on 18 months' field work on Panaeati and neighbouring islands in the Louisiade Archipelago in 1970 and 1971. The research was sponsored by a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant and by the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
2   Panaeatians were (and are sometimes today) troubled by between yam season lean periods when food is short. Sago is an important item here because it is filling and storable. During the precontact era, Panaeatians who did not grow their own sago faced difficulties because inter-island trading was unreliable. Today people sail for sago when they need food. A second point that made Panaeatians' precontact subsistence situation difficult was the limited use of their gardening potential resulting from poor labour co-operation and an extremely parochial attitude towards outsiders, even other Panaeatians. With a relaxed and more open social climate, people were able to work more garden plots and take better advantage of Panaeati's range of soil types, soils that react differently to the erratic annual rainfall. By gardening in several soil types, each household could now better ensure an over-all reliable harvest.
3   Bromilow 1929.
4   While it is possible that contemporary mission enthusiasm has coloured people's interpretation of their past and exaggerated the missionaries' role in promoting inter-island trading and peaceful travelling, I feel there is substantiation for these people's contention. This can be found through examining the limited, but telling, documents of the early contact era (cf. Bromilow, 1929; Wawn, 1973; Murray, 1912).
5   Panaeatians value red spondylus shell necklaces (bagi), especially those from Rossel Island. They also value greenstone axeblades (giam) manufactured on Woodlark Island. While they passed necklaces eastward to the Engineer Group and armshells north to Woodlark visitors, Panaeatians were never direct participants in kula exchanges.
6   The Methodist Mission today is part of the United Church of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
7   During the war, a cargo cult originating on Misima spread to the Calvados Chain and resulted in an unfortunate incident on Motorina Island where an Administration Patrol was attacked and the Administration Officer was killed. Panaeatians today contend that they did not take part in these cargo cult sessions. Such statements, however, are difficult to substantiate. The Japanese forces occupied Nivani Island directly across the Duboyne Lagoon from Panaeati.
8   New and old business are called bisnis vaveluna and bisnis howhowena, respectively.
9   Strathern 1970:566.