Ancestral Lines Review Sample Essay.
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Chapter Review (Ancestral Lines)
Ancestral lines chapter Six review: Community
The focus on the development of a community provides a broader perspective of understanding how different social aspects work making it easier to interact and exchanges knowledge. The escapades of John Barker highlight a significant contribution in the field of Anthropology and more so extensive understanding of the Maisin of Papua Guinea. Barker comprehensively explored the life of the Maisin society including their tradition, habitat, culture, lifestyle, religion, politics and organization among other aspects. Considerably, the elements of the social identity involved lengthy research and also incorporates a lot of details. The focus of this essay is a critical chapter five review of the community aspect of barker’s report.
Critical Chapter Review (Word Count 650 Words)
The journey to unveiling the identity of the community necessitated the use of inside help assuming the role of a research assistant to help Barker compile authentic information about the community. The contribution of the research assistant includes a collection of literary works such as short plays vividly describing the childhood days. The fundamental notion of the Maisin community was founded on the aspect of village setting and interactions, religion and ethnography. Since the colonization period, radical changes are evident in the manner in which the society grouped in villages and the community composition (Barker, 2008; 161). The organization of the Maisin after independence hugely reflects on the imprints of the colonial period. The political administration involved a massive translation from the colonial system into a more advanced local-focused approach. An inquisition on the past and present utilization of the tapa constituted among the vital aspect of identifying the community. Evidently, the Maisin have gradually evolved from using the tapa as the principal clothing from the 1920s as it turns to being used for ceremonial purposes. In addition, the other purpose of the Tapa was to make a large sheet blanket or the tough stripes to wrap a bundle of sticks (Hermkens, 2015). The tapa also had also some notable designs among different clans whereby reach design had considerable importance to the clans’ identification.
The Maisin community identifies as a shared project whereby the people are united as a village, engage in the Christian religion and bound as citizens of one nation. Considerably, the political alignment of the community is also an exciting piece of their identity which relies on the village and community setting after the independence period (Barker, 2008:164). According to Barker (2008), the Maisin community also traded the tapa with outsiders until the colonial period where an artifacts market was established. Despite the establishment of the tapa market following economic development, the Maisin had to suffer a substantial cost they did not influence the market (Hermkens, 2013). The Maisin also adopts a legal system approach which is integrated to western and indigenous approach. A crisis is either resolved locally or extended to outside authority if they supersede the capacity of the locals. The Maisin demonstrated highly integrated system incorporating economic, social and political aspect whereby a perfect balance is provided for the community (Barker, 2008). The Maisin identifies not only as villagers but also citizens of the vast state of Papua Guinea and part of the Christian congregation in the world. In all dimensions, the Maisin attach high moral value in the choosing of their leaders either for political, social, religious or economic purposes.
It is inevitable to focus on community identification without factoring in the question on the influence of colonization on the community establishment. The collapse of the colonial administration is a significant observation in the study of the community (McIlwraith, p.11). The organization and grouping of the political system are crucial to identifying a community. Barker takes into account the political system and organization of the Maisin before and after the colonial period to reveal the impact of colonialization on the establishment of the communities. The focus on colonial period offers limelight on the transformation and development of communities into their present set up. The colonies of the Portuguese, French, Spanish, and British ended up adopting a lot of changes as influenced by the colonizers including the political system, languages, religion, and clothing and to some extent cultural practices (Barker, 2008). The other concerns regarding the study on communities involve the concentration of powers and politics organization. As is the case for the Maisin, the identification of particular political ideologies are either adopted from a foreign origin or integrated approach. According to McIlwraith, p.141, the understanding on the swings of power and politics of communities is crucial in understanding how institution work and their importance to the specific community.
In summary, the study of the society involves extensive research work and eventually a period of living within the setting of the community. Barker studies the Maisin community of Papua Guinea whereby his research incorporates interviews as well as close observation to gather all the information about the Maisin. Considerably, the identity of the Maisin community can be summed up using different perspectives of anthropology one of which is community establishment. In addition, community establishment concentrates on the operation of the political, social and economic system within the society.
Barker, J. (2008). Ancestral lines: The Maisin of Papua New Guinea and the fate of the rainforest. University of Toronto Press.
Hermkens, A. K. (2013). Engendering Objects: Dynamics of Barkcloth and Gender Among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea. Sidestone Press.
Hermkens, A. K. (2015). Mediations of Cloth: Tapa and Personhood among the Maisin in PNG. Oceania, 85(1), 10-23.
McIlwraith, T. Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology.