History

Nemasien: Mbwotegot Cosmology in Transition

This thesis explores the ways in which Oceanic Theology has influenced the Mbwotegot of south central Malekula in their recent adoption of Christianity, to contextualise the cultural knowledge that underpins socio-political regeneration and projection. The Mbwotegot-speaking peoples inhabit the rugged interior of south Malekula in Vanuatu, an area still without infrastructure such as roads, airstrips and permanent settlements. Due to the difficulties of their terrain, the Mbwotegot were largely ignored by administrators, planters and missionaries during the colonial era.

Until Hela Becomes a City: The Western Encounter with Huli Modernity

This thesis is an investigation into materialism as a crucial component of Huli thought. Previous ethnographic research undertaken among Huli since the 1950s has touched upon materialist aspects of Huli in various ways, but the ethnographic fieldwork that I undertook in 2016 convinced me that the existence of a distinct Huli materialist ontology presented a gap in our understandings of Huli culture and history. This thesis examines several different aspects of contemporary Huli life, and links them via a theory of Huli materialism.

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