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Type: Journal article
Title: Tea and tinned fish: Christianity, consumption and the nation in Papua New Guinea
Author: Dundon, A.
Citation: Oceania, 2004; 75(2):73-88
Publisher: Oceania Publications
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0029-8077
Statement of
Alison Dundon
Abstract: This paper explores the intersection of consumption, Christianity and the nation in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. It examines the significance of the adoption of European-introduced clothing and the consumption of trade store foods like tea, tinned fish, rice, sugar and tinned milk for Gogodala communities of PNG. Although initially disgusted by the idea of consuming substances that seemed reminiscent of mother's milk, Gogodala now embrace trade store foods with enthusiasm. The paper traces the transformation of Gogodala attitudes to such products in terms of the development of a 'national culture' as well as a more globalising Christianity. It suggests that, for the Gogodala, consumption is an arena for what Foster has termed 'everyday nation making'. Yet, in this case, 'the nation' is understood and realised through a metaphoric association with Christian others, particularly Europeans. The basis of national subjectivity for the Gogodala, then, is an enduring relationship between Gogodala and expatriate Europeans.
Keywords: Christianity
Papua New Guinea: Culture
DOI: 10.1002/j.1834-4461.2004.tb02870.x
Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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