This wide-ranging volume captures the diverse range of societies and experiences that form what has come to be known as Melanesia. It covers prehistoric, historic and contemporary issues, and includes work by art historians, political scientists, geographers and anthropologists. The chapters range from studies of subsistence, ritual and ceremonial exchange to accounts of state violence, new media and climate change. The ‘Melanesian world’ assembled here raises questions that cut to the heart of debates in the human sciences today, with profound implications for the ways in which scholars across disciplines can describe and understand human difference. This impressive collection of essays represents a valuable resource for scholars and students alike.

chapter Chapter One|40 pages


The challenge of Melanesia
ByEric Hirsch, Will Rollason

part I|2 pages

Historical Context

chapter Chapter Two|20 pages

The archaeology of Melanesia

ByGlenn Summerhayes

chapter Chapter Three|14 pages


A region and a history
ByMax Quanchi

chapter Chapter Four|15 pages

Missionaries in the Melanesian World

ByJohn Barker

part II|2 pages

Geo-Political, Linguistic and Regional Overviews

chapter Chapter Five|15 pages

Geo-Political Overview of Melanesia

ByStewart Firth

chapter Chapter Six|16 pages

Melanesia as a Zone of Language Diversity

ByAlan Rumsey

chapter Chapter Seven|14 pages

Regional Overview

From diversity to multiple singularities
ByJaap Timmer

part III|2 pages

Economy and Livelihood

chapter Chapter Eight|21 pages

Subsistence Food Production in Melanesia

ByR.M. Bourke

chapter Chapter Nine|16 pages

Class, Labour and Consumption in Urban Melanesia

ByLorena Gibson

chapter Chapter Ten|14 pages

Money Schemes in Contemporary Melanesia

ByJohn Cox

chapter Chapter Eleven|29 pages

Cash Crops and Markets

ByTimothy L.M. Sharp, Mark Busse

chapter Chapter Twelve|14 pages

Searching for Melanesian Urbanity

ByMichael Goddard

part IV|2 pages

Government, Politics and Public Institutions

chapter Chapter Thirteen|16 pages

Sovereignty, Civil Conflict and Ethnicity

ByMatthew G. Allen

chapter Chapter Fourteen|14 pages

Local Government and Politics

Forms and aspects of authority
BySteffen Dalsgaard

chapter Chapter Fifteen|16 pages

Security Governance in Melanesia

Police, prisons and crime
BySinclair Dinnen

chapter Chapter Sixteen|15 pages

Gender Relations and Human Rights in Melanesia

ByMartha Macintyre

chapter Chapter Seventeen|15 pages

Health, Institutions and Governance in Melanesia

ByAlice Street

chapter Chapter Eighteen|15 pages

Owning the Law in Melanesia

ByMelissa Demian, Benedicta Rousseau

part V|2 pages

Religion, Church, Ritual and Exchange Practices

chapter Chapter Nineteen|12 pages

‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Sorcery’ in Melanesia

ByKnut Rio

chapter Chapter Twenty|14 pages

Charismatic Churches, Revivalism and New Religious Movements

ByAnnelin Eriksen, Michelle MacCarthy

chapter Chapter Twenty-One|16 pages

Cargo Cult Post Mortem

ByLamont Lindstrom

chapter Chapter Twenty-Two|14 pages

Big Men, Ceremonial Exchange and Life-Cycle Events

ByKeir Martin

chapter Chapter Twenty-Three|14 pages

Interpreting Initiation in Melanesia

Past and present
ByPascale Bonnemère

part VI|2 pages

Art, Material Culture and Cultural Heritage

chapter Chapter Twenty-Four|14 pages

Museums and Cultural Centres in Melanesia

A series of experiments
ByLissant Bolton

chapter Chapter Twenty-Five|15 pages

Creation and Destruction in Melanesian Material Culture

ByAnna-Karina Hermkens

chapter Chapter Twenty-Six|21 pages

Contemporary Art in Melanesia

From grassroots to national identity?
ByEva Ch. Raabe

chapter Chapter Twenty-Seven|16 pages

Melanesian Worlds of Music and Dance

ByMichael Webb

chapter Chapter Twenty-Eight|14 pages

The Melanesian World of Paradise Tourism

Reflections on time, travel and cultural performance
ByJohn P. Taylor

part VII|2 pages

Development and Resources

chapter Chapter Twenty-Nine|14 pages

Places and Paths in Melanesian Landscapes

ByBorut Telban

chapter Chapter Thirty|16 pages

Extractive Industries in Melanesia

ByGlenn Banks

chapter Chapter Thirty-One|15 pages

Climate Change in the Islands and the Highlands

Melanesian manifestations, experiences and actions
ByEdvard Hviding, Camilla Borrevik

chapter Chapter Thirty-Two|14 pages

Western Conservation in Melanesia

Biodiversity conservation for whom, by whom, and according to whom?
ByBridget M. Henning

chapter Chapter Thirty-Three|15 pages

New Media, New Melanesia?

ByGeoffrey Hobbis

chapter Chapter Thirty-Four|6 pages


ByMarilyn Strathern