Gebusi Analysis

Topics: Africa, Papua New Guinea, Culture Pages: 2 (693 words) Published: December 10, 2012
The Gebusi, written by Knauft, was written with the intention of sharing the author’s discoveries during his stay with and study of the Gebusi people in Papua New Guinea. Starting in the early 1980’s, he traveled to Papua New Guinea and lived with the Gebusi people. At that time, they were still in their traditional tribal way of life, which fascinated him and resulted in the writing of the first edition of the Gebusi. The second time he visited was the late 1990’s when Christianity had civilized the people and the government had sent workers to improve the quality of life for the Gebusi. Then we have the final visit in 2008 where Knauft discovered the government had abandoned the people and they had somewhat returned to their own ways.

I personally thought that he did an excellent job blending into the Gebusi culture and studying them not only as an anthropologist, but as a human being, partaking in their everyday rituals such as their witch hunts and festivities. He was able to successfully record and take note of Gebusi life in three crucial eras of their civilization’s evolution. He took the time to examine and analyze the effects of each era and the catalysts which caused such drastic changes each time. He was not only able to be accepted by the Gebusi culture, but make friends which would stay in contact with him as well as watch grow up and observe their changes in Gebusi culture such as social status or attire.

For the most part, Knauft hit the nail on the head with his observations and recordings of the Gebusi people. Originally it started as an observation of the culture. Then it evolved into the Westernization of the Gebusi people. Then he left off with how the Gebusi people were left post-aid. In a sense, the Gebusi people, in 20 years, were exposed to the colonization that Africa experienced over the course of a century or two; The 1980’s representing pre-colonial Africa, the 1990’s representing colonial Africa, and the late 200’s...
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