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28 August 2017


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Philip Kai Morre

There is a big history gap and not much have been written about our cultures.

Early anthropologists and ethnographers in the Simbu province and other provinces in the highlands are missionaries since 1933.

The likes of Alphonse Shafer, Henry Aufenager, John Nillies, Jim Knight, Anio Montevane and others have done enormous research on cultural and religious anthropology as well as linguistics. Most of their work is written in German because they are Germans except Fr Jim Knight, an Australian.

We can also source information from Anthropos and Melanesian Institute. Professor Paula Brown and Bill Standish have done so much work for the Simbu Province.

I helped Paula Brown when I was a student and some of our work is at New York State University where she was teaching. Her latest book Beyond the Mountain Valley contains much information.

My question now is why foreigners wrote so much of Simbu and we cannot. University students are not doing any research work preserving their cultural heritage. Even now none of us is interested to study anthropology or archaeological research or linguistics .

We cannot trust oral history because information is not accurate and most of our cultural heritage has been lost in antiquity.

The famous Magrawai story, said to have come before the missionaries, has no scientific prove about whether this man really existed even though stories are going around. It's like a folklore and no verification of prove.

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