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Seminar: Fieldwork among the Meakambut, a hunter-gatherer group of East Sepik Province - Darja Hoenigman, 23 Sept

Australian National University, Wellsprings

Date: 19 September 2016

Seminar: ‘The old woman doesn’t eat much’: Fieldwork among the Meakambut, a hunter-gatherer group of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

When: 2pm-3.30pm, Fri 23 Sept

Where: Engma Room (5019), HC Coombs Building, ANU


The Meakambut people of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, are a hunter-gatherer group of 62 individuals who speak their own distinctive language. They constantly move between rock shelters and camps in their mountainous limestone country in fringe Highlands, harvesting mature sago palms, which provide their most desired staple food. Although labelled “the last of the cave people” by National Geographic, they do not live in the past. They are in touch with the outside world through frequent contacts with their neighbours, as well as with traders with guns, drugs and gold, who travel through Meakambut land on their route between the Highlands and the Sepik.

Accompanied with subtitled video segments, this seminar will present my project of documenting Meakambut speech practices. I will draw a basic ethnographic and linguistic picture of the area and talk about the nature of fieldwork with this highly mobile group in constant pursuit of food.

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