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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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Encounters with the Huli: Fieldwork at Tari in the 1950s

Encounters with the Huli: Fieldwork at Tari in the 1950s

(p.232) Eight Encounters with the Huli: Fieldwork at Tari in the 1950s
Ethnographic Presents

Terence E. Hays

University of California Press

Men liked to conceive of themselves as birds: free, sovereign, and flighty, ready to defend their own territories and also to soar skyward to the realm of Ni, the sun deity and progenitor of all the Huli. If there is a Huli personality, the male version seems to be marked by volatility and volubility. This chapter discusses the Huli and the theoretical “climate” of the period; experiences and problems in fieldwork; relations with informants; and the way the author chose to formulate data on descent and corporate group structure the way that they did. It discusses Aidan Southall's recent resolution of Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard's well-known paradox, which has raised problems of interpreting Highlands data for too many years. The prospect of undertaking long-term fieldwork among the Huli of Tari Subdistrict, a population believed to number more than fifty thousand souls, was both attractive and challenging.

Keywords:   Huli, male, fieldwork, Aidan Southall, Evans-Pritchard, Highlands, Tari

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