Bronislaw Malinowski is one of the founding fathers of modern social anthropology and the innovator of the technique of prolonged and intensive fieldwork. His writings about the Trobriand Islands of Papua were in their time the most formative influence on the work of British social anthropologists and are of perennial interest and importance. They produced a revolution in the aims and field techniques of social anthropologists, and the method he created is that now normally used by anthropologists in the field.

Malinowski’s field material remains compulsory reading for students. First published in 1979, this book draws from the major monographs of Malinowski to compile a selection of his writings on the Trobriand Islanders. In presenting a concise Trobriand ethnography in one volume, the author gives balanced coverage of economic life, kinship, marriage and land tenure, and to the system of ceremonial exchange known as the Kula. He also provides, in an introductory essay, a critical assessment of Malinowski the ethnographer, and gives a brief account of the Trobriands in a modern perspective.

chapter |20 pages


part One|52 pages

Habitat and economy

chapter |2 pages

Editor's note to part one

chapter 1|28 pages

An outline of Trobriand economics

chapter 2|20 pages


part Two|86 pages

Kinship, marriage and land

chapter |1 pages

Editor's note to part two

chapter 3|19 pages

Exogamy and incest

chapter 4|16 pages

Dogmas of procreation and paternity

chapter 5|30 pages


chapter 6|17 pages

Principles of land tenure

part Three|84 pages

The Kula

chapter |2 pages

Editor's note to part three

chapter 7|16 pages

Essentials of the Kula

chapter 8|25 pages

Technicalities of the Kula

chapter 9|39 pages

Perils, magic and myths