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Ethnographic PresentsPioneering Anthropologists in the Papua New Guinea Highlands$
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Terence Hays

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520077454

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520077454.001.0001

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Meeting the Mendi

Meeting the Mendi

(p.199) Seven Meeting the Mendi
Ethnographic Presents

Terence E. Hays

University of California Press

This chapter discusses A. P. Elkin's interest in a settlement of aborigines on the outskirts of a New South Wales country town. It appeared he had sent a female student to a place called Mendi, in the Southern Highlands of New Guinea. The Highlands, unadministered and virtually unexplored until after the war, were at last being opened up. The Australian National University, under S. F. Nadel, was placing students there, and so obviously Sydney had to do the same, and this young woman was sent there in 1952. Mendi had been “discovered,” en passant, by Karius and Champion in a 1936 patrol; there was another brief contact with a survey expedition in 1938, and then nothing until the first administration post was established there in 1950, with the Methodists setting up a mission a few months later.

Keywords:   A. P. Elkin, aborigines, New South Wales, Mendi, Highlands, New Guinea, Australian National University, S. F. Nadel, Methodists

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