les tambours de l’oubli (the drums of oblivion)
la vie ordinaire et cérémonielle d’un peuple forestier de Papouasie (the everyday and ceremonial life of a forest people in Papua New Guinea)
This book describes contemporary life for the Ankave of the Suowi, a Papuan people occupying a high valley in the interior of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. First glimpsed by oil explorers in 1938, contacted by the Australian settlers in 1953 and considered “pacified” in the late 1960s, the Ankave still have no roads, no runway (which is under construction), no health clinic and they’ve never heard of schools. Without crops or even bush shops, they are also outside the market economy. The people of the Suowi however, were no more in the Stone Age when “explorers” once “surprised” them, than they are now entangled in the nets of “globalisation”.
This bilingual book (French–English) 213 pages is illustrated with 126 photographs with captions, taken by the authors between 1982 and today, and covers many aspects of the life of the Ankave: daily life (semi-nomadic, gardening, visiting friends, daily meals, matrimonial proceedings, etc.) and the less ordinary (mourning ceremonies, male initiations, introduction to the church or reading). The Ankave see it, as we do, as the memory of a time that soon will be no more. They are nonetheless one of those “living cultures” that the Papuan authorities (and the ethics of ethnologists) want to protect from disclosures that may undermine the symbolic and mythical structure on which they are based.
In November 2006, Ankave political leaders publicly gave their approval for the writing of this book, which was presented to them in January 2008.
bound with dust jacket - Retail price: €39
EAN: 978 2 915654 31 8
co-published by musée du quai Branly and Au vent des îles (Tahiti)
Pascale Pierre and Lemonnier Bonnemere are researchers at the CNRS (Centre for Research and Documentation on Oceania CREDO, Marseille). They usually do their research as a team, accompanied by their two daughters.