Printer Friendly

Paula Brown Glick: a retrospective.


From time to time, readers and contributors to Oceania inquire whether we have published an obituary of a particular Oceanian scholar. Oceania does not routinely publish obituaries, but these enquiries reveal a desire to be reminded of or to have the chance to acknowledge an intellectual debt to a colleague.

Consequently, short tributes to such scholars will appear as an occasional feature in Oceania. "Paula Brown Glick: a Retrospective' is the first. It was conceived as an appreciation of Paula Brown Glick's life and work and was affectionately put together and introduced by Aletta Biersack, for which task we are much indebted to her. Paula Brown Glick was born in 1925 and died in 2009.


This collection honors the work of Paula Brown Glick, offering short essays on aspects of her research and publications. Contributors include two fellow highland researchers (Aletta Biersack and Shirley Lindenbaum) as well as two of Paula Brown Glick's doctoral students during her time at The State University of New York at Stony Brook (Hal Levine and Karl Rambo). The four short essays that follow discuss her collaboration with the geographer Harold Brookfield, her work on Chimbu/Simbu (2) social organization, her various writings on Chimbu/Simbu leadership as it changed over several decades, and her foray into urban anthropology, conducting (with Brookfield) a census in 1964-1965 of Port Vila, Vanuatu. Shirley Lindenbaum's essay, which is the most comprehensive, is for that reason the lead segment. Her themes are explored further by Aletta Biersack (Paula Brown Glick's work on Chimbu/Simbu social organization) and by Hal Levine (Paula Brown Glick's collaboration with Brookfield). Her work among the Chimbu/Simbu was always meant to be long-term, and Karl Rambo's article tackles her contribution to the study of political change in highland societies, from first contact to missionization to government penetration to independence and the establishment of a unicameral parliamentary system. Taken together these essays may serve as prolegomena to a more comprehensive treatment of Paula Brown Glick's work, one that would include discussions of her work on gender, cannibalism, and Chimbu/Simbu conflict, as well as an examination of the times and milieus in which she wrote.


Paula Brown's arrival in Canberra in 1956 marked a turning point in her academic life. Following completion of a Bachelor's degree (1943) and a Master's degree (1948) from the University of Chicago, she was awarded a scholarship for study abroad, and received a PhD from University College London (1950) for her dissertation on authority in West African societies. Between 1951 and 1956, she was a research associate, and at times an anthropological instructor, in various institutes and universities in the United States. With her appointment as a Research Fellow in the Anthropology and Sociology Department at The Australian National University, she encountered a community of scholars that was unusually well informed about New Guinea. S. F. Nadel, the inaugural chair of the Department, was eager to place scholars in different locations in the New Guinea highlands to further explore the variety of social structures found there. William Stanner encouraged Paula to join the effort, and John Barnes suggested that she should follow one highland community through this important period of rapid social change, a topic she already had in mind. Harold Brookfield, a geographer, also had a PhD and teaching experience at several universities when he came to Canberra in 1957. He and Paula recall their collaboration arising casually, almost by accident. They each had their own reasons for studying the Chimbu, so it seemed they both might benefit from their complementary interests.

Their first joint report on Chimbu land use and landholding patterns appeared in Oceania in 1959, but their monograph Struggle for Land, published in 1963, provides a revealing description of how the areas of common interest expanded and astonished them both. They spoke to different people, and even when standing side by side, they often saw different things. Data analyzed by one would include some information collected by the other, and first drafts prepared by one would be modified extensively by the other. There was no sense of senior or junior authorship. The geographer, Oscar Spate, described the collaboration as 'best illustrated by a stereo pair, taking a successful piece of truly joint work and looking at it from both sides' (1962:1).

Struggle for Land provided a list of the routine research methods they had adopted: observation and survey, and the collection of verbal accounts and interviews concerning traditions, genealogies, and personal histories. Additional information came from published sources, government documents, and from Europeans who had lived in the area. Most inquiries were conducted in Melanesian Pidgin, although Chimbu words and phrases were used for insight into Chimbu views. The detailed record of the times each spent in the field adds to the sense that they felt they were producing something novel. 'Our techniques are neither difficult nor complex: it is only their use in conjunction that is new' (Brookfield and Brown 1963:178).

During their first joint venture they had discovered the complexity of Chimbu group territories and land use. Within the tribe, the territories of clans and clan segments were such that each subclan had access to lands rich in limestone and various clays, as well as some dry, thin patches. All groups, therefore, had land for gardens and grazing, and most had some ground for tree crops and forest. Each landholder had inherited personal claims to several garden plots on which cultivation and fallow periods varied according to the quality of the soil. Land could be obtained through migration, conquest, encroachment, or pioneering into unoccupied areas. Some gifts served to redistribute the land of a subclan and clan among the members: land without heirs, and surplus land, could be given to needy members without modifying the group territory. Transfers to members of other clans could be in the form of a loan or a permanent gift, accompanied by a change in group allegiance by the recipient. Members of groups with more than average amounts of land were commonly land donors; members of groups short of land sought grants from kin in other groups (Brown 1962a: 10-11). This evidence not only disputed Meggitt's assertion, based on Enga data and supported by Bulmer, that people had rules of marriage, descent, group membership, and land ownership, and actually lived by them, but was also an early rejection of the applicability of African models to Melanesia (Brookheld and Brown 1963:177 and see Biersack, below).

In 1964 and 1965, Brown and Brookfield conducted a census of Port Vila, New Hebrides (see Levine, below), and in 1966 they began to review their New Guinea data. In the absence of adequate published material from elsewhere in the highlands, which could lead to some general, comparative statements, they chose to examine their own historical data. The accumulated data from eight visits by one or both of them showed changes in residence and settlement over time that revealed some stabilities, cycles, and trends in settlement pattern. By tracing individual cases, however, they discovered a multitude of personal factors that could not be subsumed under cycles and trends. Reasons for deciding to reside in a particular place might include the desire to be near coffee gardens, an invitation from relatives, preference for particular localities, as well as quarrels over pigs, accusations of adultery, and fear of sorcery and sickness. Their modest and interesting conclusion was that agricultural cycles and trends in times of social and economic change do not fully account for Chimbu choice of residence. Each house had a history of individual, family, or group need, construction and use. Any generalizations should be viewed as approximations of the norms around which Chimbu were free to make a wide range of personal choices. They also wondered if similar statements made about residence and settlement among other Melanesian societies should be interpreted in the same way (Brookfield and Brown 1967:148-151).

Following a return to the New Guinea highlands in 1984, their corpus of land and family survey data was analyzed with the assistance of Robin Grau, using digital cartography (Brown, Brookfield, and Grau 1990). This confirmed that land tenure, ownership, and use allowed for considerable individual movement, as well as temporary and long-term land gifts to kin and friends. The Chimbu agnatic ideology was maintained, even as local group history and individual actions produced strong evidence of opportunism and accommodation. They recalled that the ethnohistorical data they had collected in 1963 had suggested similar fluidity.

Brown and Brookfield now suggested that there was no such thing as pre-colonial equilibrium. Changes in Chimbu were occurring well before the arrival of the sweet potato in the C17th, and agricultural systems had changed radically since then. Conclusions about land tenure systems based on correlates with contemporary land use and politics were thus suspect. This observation was an important contribution to the general literature and to discussions of public policy on land tenure.

Their final co-authored publication (Brown and Brookfield 2005) provided an integrated vision of the economic, political, demographic, and ceremonial changes that resulted from the adoption of the sweet potato, cash, and coffee, with the different demands of these on the labor of women and men to care for pigs and cash crops. Changes in residence had resulted in large village clusters and family houses. Individual enterprise in coffee production and political ambitions seemed to be contributing to the development of stratification and hereditary status (ibid.: 131-136).

When their collaborative work with the Chimbu ended, Brown and Brookfield continued to do research and to publish separately, their work reflecting shifts in theory and method in the human sciences. Harold had begun work as a historical geographer but, following his collaboration with Paula, he described himself as a cultural and political ecologist (2004:40). Paula shifted her focus to historical change and comparison (see Rambo, below), as the Chimbu became more involved in the world beyond their borders, and adopted a narrative style that provided a collage of her own observations of events, as well as the impressions and memories of the Simbu and their neighbors (Brown 1995).

With a voluminous cache of data from thirteen field trips, Paula wrote with endearing directness on topics of the day that engaged anthropologists, geographers, and historians. The Brown and Brookfield collaboration created an area of knowledge that was greater than the sum of its parts, (3) and stands out as a daring experiment in interdisciplinary collaboration. Few such ventures have been undertaken with similar commitment to equal partnership, integrated research, and joint publication. (4)

Shirley Lindenbaum


Paula Brown, whose 1950 dissertation concerned authority in African societies (see Brown 1951), arrived in Canberra in 1956, just in time to attend a conference at The Australian National University (ANU) devoted to issues of social structure (Brown 1995:xi). Of the conference Brown would write that participants 'believed they knew the main outlines of highlands social structure. 1 could characterize them thusly: "We have met the highlander, and he is patrilineal'" (ibid.:259, n. 2). In retrospect this 'confident assumption' (ibid.) seemed to demonstrate 'the authoritative voice of 1950s ethnography' (ibid.).

Begun in 1958 as a Research Fellow in anthropology at ANU, Brown's research among the Chimbu, undertaken initially in collaboration with Harold Brookfield (see Lindenbaum, above), would prove to be crucial to the development of the authoritative voice of 1960s and 1970s ethnography. S. F. Nadel, an Africanist like Brown, had become the Foundation Professor of Anthropology at ANU. Nadel was keen to open up the highlands as 'the new ethnographic frontier' (Harrison n.d.), his Department of Anthropology and Sociology's mission being to generate ethnographies of highland groups for comparative purposes (Reay 1992:138, Strathern 1992:253). Nadel died in 1956, and in 1958, John Barnes, also a newcomer to ANU and an Africanist, took over the department professorship that had been awarded him the year before. In consultation with Barnes, Brown planned her research among the Chimbu primarily as a study of social change (Brown 1995:xiii), a topic she would address in two monographs. The Chimbu (1972) and Beyond a Mountain Valley ( 1995), as well as in several papers on leadership (see Rambo, below). But her most important findings concerned highland social organization. Joining with the human geographer Harold Brookfield, an ANU colleague, in an innovative collaboration (see Lindenbaum, above, and Levine, below), Brown and Brookfield wasted no time in reporting their findings on Chimbu social organization and land tenure (Brown and Brookfield 1959, Brookfield and Brown 1963; Brown 1960, 1961, 1962b, 1964). They did not deny the existence and effects of Chimbu agnatic ideology. Norms were patrilineal. Yet 'on the ground' arrangements bespoke a flexibility that defied the rigidity of those norms. Not all actors conformed to the rules; affinities could be and were elective.

Within a basically unilineal segmentary framework, Chimbu society has a high degree of lluidity with individual mobility at all ages. It is possible to transfer from one group to another and to transfer land from one group to another.... There is wide freedom of choice in residence, though the majority choice remains residence with the natal |paternal] subclan. (Brown and Brookfield 1959:74)

Brown would summarize her findings on Chimbu social organization in her article 'Non-agnates among the Patrilineal Chimbu' (1962b). By 'non-agnates' she meant persons within 'a large field of recognized kin and affines outside the patrilineal exogamous clan' (ibid.:58). Non-agnates joined groups other than their natal groups, in time becoming indistinguishable from agnatic recruits because genealogical knowledge was shallow and incomplete and also because the commitment to 'mutual aid between kin and affines' (ibid.:59) motivated the absorption of outsiders. Brown based her article on her 1958 and 1959-1960 field trips to the Chimbu as well as on already published articles (Brown and Brookfield 1959 and Brown 1960 and 1961) and on the research for Struggle for Land, which she was writing with Brookfield and which would be published in 1963. Taken together with John Barnes's 1962 article 'African Models in the New Guinea Highlands' and The Kuma (1959), Marie Reay's revised ANU dissertation, which she published as a Research Fellow in Barnes's department in 1959 (Harrison n.d.), Brown's writings on the Chimbu, including her co-authored writings with Brookfield, would inspire a raft of texts in the 1960s and 1970s addressing the 'problem of "nonagnates'" (Strathern 1992:253) and the related 'problem of individuality and choice in Highlands societies' (ibid.:251). These texts often compared the flexible practices of the Chimbu with the inflexibility of the Engas, who lived west of the Chimbu and who appeared in Meggitt's The Lineage System of the MaeEnga (1965) to abide by patrilineal rules. Rooted to a degree in the Chimbu case, which authors routinely cited, this literature would inspire a sea change within Anglophonic social anthropology from a focus on African to New Guinea highland societies, with the ANU Department of Anthropology and Sociology leading the way. Brown's approach to the problem of non-agnates was distinctive in two ways.

First, she recognized the importance of the non-descent dimensions of highland social organization, the implication being that there were principles or values other than agnation that accounted in part for actual behavior.

Ties with non-agnatic cognates and with affines permeate nearly all activities and are of dominant interest to the people.... the changes in [descent and residential] group composition that occur are a result of some types of mutual aid between kin and affines. (Brown 1962b:59; see also Brown 1961, 1964, 1969, 1972:35-40)

Brown speculated that this was true of many Melanesian societies, which 'have enduring quasi-unilineal groups and set great store by kin and affines outside the group, for mutual aid and exchange' (1962b:68; see also Brown 1978a: 148-150).

Second, she rejected reductive analysis. Meggitt argued in The Lineage System of the Mae-Enga (1965) that patrilineal rules functioned to restrict access to scarce land and could be explained ipso facto. Others argued, on the contrary, that weak patrilineal norms afforded actors the flexibility they needed to adapt to changing circumstances and could be explained in those terms. Brown resisted such functionalist explanations and promoted instead a 'contemporary ecological/anthropological approach' (1978b:263) that considered the 'total social-ecological system of a people' (ibid.) without reduction, as she sought a 'middle stance on some current debates in ecological and cultural anthropology' (ibid.:264). Writing in the heyday of the debate between idealists and materialists (see Sahlins 1976), Brown nonetheless insisted that, although the 'availability, allocation, and use of land is a most important factor in social relations' (1978b:264), 'it is not the only one' (ibid.). In fact, 'We cannot understand all New Guinea peoples' principles and practice of organization by reference to a single causal factor' (ibid.:279). 'We must agree with Fortes "that the comparative evidence is against assumptions of one-way ecological or technological or even economic determinism in the structure of kinship and descent systems'" (ibid., quoting Fortes [1969:289]).

Both these positions, taken almost 40 years ago, make Paula Brown's research among the Chimbu relevant to the analysis of New Guinea highland societies today.

Aletta Biersack


Although a small part of her oeuvre, the work Paula did on Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, illustrates an aspect of her approach to anthropology and teaching that I commented upon previously.

... Paula's knowledge and interests never seemed parochial or unduly dominated by Chimbu fieldwork. In fact, my first experience of anthropological research was analysing material she collected with the geographer Harold Brookfield on urbanization in Vila.... With her continuing encouragement and help I went to Papua New Guinea from 1972 to 1975 to do my own work on urban ethnicity. (Levine 1996:199)

Brookfield clearly saw that urbanization was a leading cause of social change in Melanesia (1971:384), but as a geographer he devoted much of his writing about towns there to topics such as residential patterns, population statistics, land use, connections between town and hinterland, town planning, etc. Paula was more interested in the organization of social relations, which were decidedly colonial. The project she undertook with Brookfield in Port Vila, New Hebrides, in 1964-1965 (Brown 1970:96) was a census of the town (Brookfield and Brown Glick 1969, Brown Glick 1970) and study of its market (Brookfield, Brown Glick, and Hart 1969). She published little about the place subsequently.

Paula found the concept of plural society (Furnivall 1939) useful in accounting for the organization of the Port Vila she saw while doing the census. A plural society is one in which 'a medley of peoples' (Brown Glick 1970:95) mix but do not merge. Each group retains its distinctiveness. Residential and social segregation are marked, and people from different groups mix only in the marketplace. The Port Vila of the 1960s was a typical colonial Pacific town. Europeans lived in large houses in one area, skilled natives in government-provided houses or barracks, squatters built dwellings where they could, and urban villagers lived on their own land. Multiculturalism, biculturalism, assimilation, acculturation, indenization, and globalization, all aspects of the analysis of today's mixed social spaces, seemed absent in these colonial towns.

Established by the French on garden land owned by the inhabitants of Fifa, an island near the main island of Efate, Port Vila started as a center of the coconut trade and became the capital of the Anglo-French Condominium when joint rule was established in 1906. The Catholic Church set up a mission there and other buildings (a hospital, school and shops, as well as offices, private homes, bakeries, a butcher shop) would follow. When Vietnamese workers, imported to work in the plantations in the 1920s and 1930s, finished their contracts, those who did not return home moved into the town, where they opened shops, did market gardening, drove taxis, and engaged in some skilled work. They were joined by Chinese shop owners in the 1920s. As some of these migrants repatriated, people from other Pacific islands took their place. This second wave of migrants 'can be distinguished as Polynesian (Tahiti. Wallis and Futuna, Tonga), Melanesian (Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia) or Micronesian' (Brown Glick 1970:97). But, Paula said, the more important distinction was whether they were associated with the British or French. Another new category of people were those of mixed race (Metis).

In 'Melanesian Mosaic' (1970), Paula asked whether the town had 'the same meaning and focus' (1970:98) for all its people, and concluded that it did not since everyone looked outward, toward their different homelands, with their various traditions. Since somewhere else was home, migrants from the hinterland as well as expatriates planned to leave when their various contracts were up. The 1970 paper presents specifics of these mosaic-like residential, occupational, and educational patterns, which were taken from the (data only) 1965 census of the town (Brookfield and Brown Glick 1969). The only time in the mid-1960s that an ethnically representative crowd of people gathered in Vila was on ceremonial occasions. Those crowds, however, always seemed to contain the same 200 individuals, who were important business, government, and professional people. Racial mixing occurred at sports activities (1970:113) and associated dances and receptions as well as at cultural events, but even here natives rarely mixed with Europeans.

The theme of a 'plural' society is pursued as well in Paula's study of Vila's weekly outdoor market (Brookfield, Brown Glick, and Hart 1969), a 'melange' of buyers and sellers. Along with Brookfield and Hart, Paula surveyed vendors ('village women' and New Hebridean and expatriate male 'specialists') and their sales to Port Vila residents, local and expatriate, over the four Fridays of July 1965, only one or two Fridays of which were sufficiently dry to attract a number of participants. 'Melanesian Melange' provides a remarkably detailed quantitative study of Vila's market given the limited research on which it was based. It stipulates vendors and buyers, what was sold by whom to whom and at what price, the fluctuating availability of foodstuffs over the course of a year, and the disparities between village women, who sold mostly to non-European town dwellers, and the specialists, whose clients were primarily Vila-based Europeans. The market itself was marginal economically, and I suspect it was Paula who emphasized that the village women used their participation to justify a visit to town, for shopping, visiting and seeing the sights.

Later anthropological accounts of urban Melanesia have focused on the growing indigenization of urban cultures in a postcolonial era of globalization. When the New Hebrides became the independent nation of Vanuatu in 1980, alienated land was returned to local groups, and the country tried to attract investment by becoming a tax haven. Mitchell (2004:374) discussed how youth in the settlements of Vila were 'deeply engaged in producing new meanings and practices that confront, resist and accommodate ... their lives in a postcolonial town', and Rawlings (1999) noted the sociocultural changes produced in nearby Pango village by the growth of the town. Although it is likely that Paula would have observed how the town was developing a local character had she been in Vila longer or if the census and market analysis had been a less demanding task, her observations (1970:115) still hold for Melanesian towns in general (e.g., Connell and Lea 2002:198): 'No section of the population is entirely focused upon Vila as its cultural centre and source of knowledge, relationships and values', and 'however much they may mingle in the town, all look to larger societies elsewhere'.

Hal Levine


Over the course of more than thirty-five years, Paula Brown wrote often about political organization and particularly the manner in which individuals obtained and used authority and power in Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea. Her early articles on Simbu leadership reflect a structural-functional framework, with an emphasis on the role of colonial state organizations in the creation and transformation of leadership positions. By the 1970s, Brown had begun to emphasize not the structure of those organizations (and the role of the big men within that structure) but the role of Simbu leaders as agents of social change, especially beyond the local level. Her later work continued to emphasize the interplay between social change and the role of leaders in Simbu Province, but with an increased emphasis on the manner in which Simbu people viewed individual important men and women as focal points of what others may view as larger social changes. This later work, from the mid 1980s onward, was innovative in the collaborative methods she used in collecting people's thoughts and memories about leaders.

Brown's choice of a fieldwork site was in part based on it being the home of a prominent big man, Kondom Aguando. Following fieldwork among the Simbu from 1958 through 1960, her publications described the framework of political organization and the shifting nature of alliances and territorial holdings (Brown I960, 1962b, 1963, 1964, 1966; Brookfield and Brown 1963). Much of what she had to say about early 1960s Simbu was colored by the life history of Kondom. It is not unusual for anthropologists to encounter interesting and dynamic people in the course of doing fieldwork, but the impact of Kondom on the work of Paula Brown is particularly evident in her writing on leadership in the New Guinea Highlands.

A luluai (government-selected headman) from the 1940s, Kondom distinguished himself as a particularly active promoter of the programs being emphasized by the Australian colonial government--peace, roads and schools, and business. He was key in the establishment of the local government council in Simbu and in 1961 was the sole highlands representative in the Legislative Council in the capital, Port Moresby (Brown 1972:110-120). Following an electoral loss in 1964, Kondom continued his leadership in the establishment of a regional coffee purchasing and processing cooperative. With his death in an automobile accident in 1966. Kondom became 'a symbol of the unity and progress in the New Guinea highlands' (Brown 1972:119).

This opportunity to see Kondom build political support shaped Brown's view of the changes that were occurring in Simbu Province. Some of the exceptional qualities of Kondom likely led her to overestimate the scale of the changes in power and authority that had occurred with the imposition of the Australian colonial government. In the 1963 article, 'From Anarchy to Satrapy', she argued that the rise of 1960s administration-supported big men constituted a radical shift from an anarchic egalitarian pre-contact past throughout the New Guinea highlands and was a portent of strong autocratic rulers in the future. This opened a debate about the nature of highlands leadership before and after contact, with Richard Salisbury (1964) arguing that indigenous despots existed, with lesser leaders below them (despite an ideology of egalitarianism), and Andrew Strathern (1966) suggesting that indigenous leaders were charismatic leaders who did not wield excessive power or authority over their followers.

In her 1974 article, "Mediators in Social change: New Roles for Big-men." Brown portrayed leaders less as charismatic local organizers and more as mediators between local communities, the market economy, and regional and national institutions. This reflected an approach most identified with the entrepreneurs discussed by Fredrik Barth in Norway (1963) and applied previously in PNG by Finney (1969, 1973) and Strathern (1972), both of whom considered the innovations introduced by leaders in pursuit of profit in the new cash economy. (6) Brown saw the model of big men as business entrepreneurs as incomplete because it did not capture the variety of activities aspiring leaders pursued, nor did it emphasize the role that big men of that era played in mediating between their local communities and the wider world.
   The interests and opportunities of each big-man, his role in local
   affairs and with outside administrators, missionaries, visitors,
   traders, etc., is in every case distinctive ... one leader will
   promote religious conversion, another law and order, another
   work-business, another a ceremonial revival. (1974:230)

Return visits to Simbu beginning in 1984 resulted in a reassessment of the routes to power for leaders and an assessment of the position of leaders in the stratification of Simbu society. In a study based on interviews of 343 Simbu leaders, Brown looked closely at factors such as age, education, work experience, and father's status to assess differentiation and stratification and to determine the qualities most associated with prominent individuals. She found an elite with greater education and personal connections to people beyond their tribes and districts, a system in which elective politics 'is the only game' (1987:102) and one where the most successful leaders are participants in social and business networks that take them far beyond the local scene. 'The establishment of these positions of authority has created a new political and power level beyond the traditional big man hierarchy' (ibid.), one associated, moreover, with urban rather than rural areas. Nevertheless, leaders maintained their ties with village-based kin, upon whom they depended for the votes that enabled them to achieve provincial and national positions and gain and maintain elite status (ibid.: 103-104).

Paula Brown's last writings on leadership are two articles on big men in Melanesia (1990a, 1990b) and her book on ethnohistory and Simbu people's understanding of the past. Beyond a Mountain Valley (1995; see also Brown 1992). In these later works there is an emphasis on the way history is seen by Simbu people as being focused on the actions of prominent men of the past. In these accounts Kondom and a handful of other leaders feature prominently in the stories of those interviewed; in people's memories Kondom had become the person who brought coffee and elective politics to Simbu. '... momentous developments are personified and viewed by Simbu as having been created by their heroes' (1995:256). An interesting technique she used was to collaborate with almost twenty (mostly young) Simbu researchers in the gathering of historical accounts and other stories from people throughout the northern part of the province (ibid.:xv-xix), allowing her to speak more broadly about Simbu people, rather than basing her conclusions mostly on interviews with the Naregu tribal members at her primary long-term field research site (ibid.: xvii). These final works reflected an intellectual arc Paula Brown had traveled, from thinking about leadership as part of a structure imposed by an outside colonial power to thinking about the significance and meaning of leaders as reflected in the remembrances of Simbu people.

Karl Rambo

DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5147


(1.) Paula Brown married Ira Glick in 1966. Although some of her writings have appeared under the authorship of Paula Brown Glick, many more (including her books Struggle for Land [co-authored with Harold Brookfield], The Chimbu, Highland Peoples of New Guinea, and Beyond a Mountain Valley) were published under the pen name Paula Brown. In this collection, authors refer to her according to the name that is on the works they most address and/or by the name they called her.

(2.) With independence in 1975 and the creation of a Papua New Guinea provincial system, 'Chimbu' became 'Simbu'. It would not be until the 1980s, and then not systematically, that Paula Brown Glick would use the term Simbu in lieu of Chimbu (Levine and Ploeg 1996:343-355). In the 1990s, she seemed to embrace the postcolonial 'Simbu'. Thus. Beyond a Mountain Valley, published in 1995, contains the word Simbu in its subtitle and is dedicated to the Simbu people. The contributors to this retrospective have opted to use the word Chimbu or Simbu depending upon Paula Brown Glick's usage in the texts they review.

(3.) This statement comes from an email sent by Bryant Allen on 28th June 2016, following his meeting with Harold Brookfield, when they discussed the topic.

(4.) This essay is also the product of interdisciplinary collaboration. Bryant Allen, David Boyd, and Robin Hide provided key thoughts, historical memories, bibliographical references, and hard to locate publications.

(5.) Robin Hide has fielded some questions I have asked about Paula Brown's time at ANU, and I thank him for that. Shirley Lindenbaum and I have been in constant communication as we wrote our respective pieces, and I thank her for her assistance.

(6.) It should be noted that Strathern was dubious about the applicability of the entrepreneurial model of social change in the Hagen area, noting that the pursuit of profit was not the sole motivation of these business entrepreneurs.


BARTH, F. 1963. The Rale of the Entrepreneur in Social Change in Northern Norway. Bergen: Norwegian Universities Press.

BROOKFIELD, H. C. 2004. American Geography and One Non-American Geographer. GeoJournal 59(1):39-41.

BROOKFIELD, H. C. and P. BROWN. 1963. Struggle for Land: Agriculture and Group Territories among the Chimbu of the New Guinea Highlands. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

--. 1967. Chimbu Settlement and Residence: A Study of Patterns. Trends and Idiosyncrasy. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 8(2): 119-151.

--. 1969. The People of Vila: Report on a Census of a Pacific Island Town. Department of Human Geography. Research School of Pacific Studies, publication HG/I. Canberra: Australian National University.

BROOKFIELD. H. C., P. BROWN GLICK and D. HART. 1969. Melanesian Melange: The Market at Vila, New Hebrides. In H. C. Brookfield (ed). Pacific Market-places: A Collection of Essays, pp. 115-141. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

BROWN, P. 1951. Patterns of Authority in West Africa. Africa 2l(4): 26l-278.

--.1960. Chimbu Tribes: Political Organization in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 16(1): 22-35.

--. 1961. Chimbu Death Payments. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 91(1): 77-96.

--. 1962a. Anthropology and Geography. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 3(2): 7-11.

--. 1962b. Non-agnates among the Patrilineal Chimbu. The Journal of the Polynesian Society 71(1): 57-69.

--. 1963. From Anarchy to Satrapy. American Anthropologist NS 65(1): 1-15.

--. 1964. Enemies and Affines. Ethnology 3(4): 335-356.

--. 1966. Kondom, Journal of the Papua and New Guinea Society 1(2): 26-34.

--. 1969. Marriage in Chimbu. In R.M. Glasse and M.J. Meggitt (eds), Pigs, Pearlshells, and Women: Marriage in the New Guinea Highlands, pp. 77-95. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.

--. 1972. The Chimbu: A Study of Change in the New Guinea Highlands. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.

--. 1974. Mediators in Social Change: New Roles for Big-men. Mankind 9(3): 224-230.

--. 1978a. Highland Peoples of New Guinea. London and New York: Cambridge University Press.

--. 1978b. New Guinea: Ecology. Society, and Culture. Annual Review of Anthropology 7: 263-291.

--. 1987. New Men and Big Men: Emerging Social Stratification in the Third World, a Case Study from the New Guinea Highlands. Ethnology 26(2): 87-106.

--. 1990a. Big Man, Past and Present: Model. Person, Hero. Legend. Ethnology 29(2): 97-115.

--. 1990b. Big Men: Afterthoughts. Ethnology 29(4): 275-278.

--. 1992. Chimbu and Stranger: Many Histories in Intercultural Relations. Ethnology 31(1): 27-43.

--. 1995. Beyond a Mountain Valley: The Simbu of Papua New Guinea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press

--. 2005. Of Harold and Chimbu Revisited. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46(2): 135-142.

BROWN. P. and H. C. BROOKFIELD. 1959. Chimbu Land and Society. Oceania 30(1): 1-75.

--. 2005. Sweet Potato. Pigs and the Chimbu of the Papua New Guinea Highlands. In C. Ballard. P. Brown. R. Michael Bourke, and T. Harwood (eds). The Sweet Potato in Oceania: A Reappraisal. Oceania Monographs 56:131-136.

BROWN, P., H. C. BROOKFIELD and R. GRAU. 1990. Land Tenure and Transfer in Chimbu, Papua New Guinea, 1958-1984: A Study in Continuity and Change, Accommodation and Opportunism. Human Ecology 18(1): 2l-49.

BROWN GLICK. P. 1970. Melanesian Mosaic: The Plural Community of Vila. In L. Plotnicov and A. Tuden (eds), Essays in Comparative Social Stratification, pp. 95-117. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

CONNELL, J., and J. LEA. 2002. Urbanisation in the Island Pacific: Towards Sustainable Development. London: Routledge.

FINNEY, B. 1969. New Guinea Entrepreneurs: Indigenous Cash Cropping, Capital Formation and Investment in the New Guinea Highlands. New Guinea Research Bulletin 27. Canberra: Australian National University.

--. 1973. Big-Men and Business: Entrepreneurs/tip and Economic Growth in the New Guinea Highlands. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

FORTES, M. 1969. Kinship and the Social Order: The Legacy of Lewis Henry Morgan. Chicago: Aldine.

FURNIVALL, J. S. 1939. Netherlands India: A Study of Plural Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

HARRISON. S. N.d. Reay, Marie Olive (1922-2004). In The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth Century Australia. Online: (accessed 28 August 2016).

LEVINE, H. 1996. Ethnogenesis among Urban New Guinea Highlanders. In H. Levine and A. Ploeg (eds). Work in Progress: Essays in New Guinea Highlands Ethnography in Honour of Paula Brown Glick. pp. 199-211. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

LEVINE, HAL. and A. PLOEG (eds). 1996. Work in Progress: Essays in New Guinea Highlands Ethnography in Honour of Paula Brown Glick. Frankfurt am Maim: Peter Lang.

MEGGITT, M. 1965. The Lineage System of the Mae-Enga. New York: Barnes & Noble.

MITCHELL, J. 2004. Killing Time in a Postcolonial Town: Young People and Settlements in Port Vila, Vanuatu. In V. Lockwood (ed). Globalization and Culture Change in the Pacific Islands, pp. 358-376. Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

RAWLINGS, G. E. 1999. Foundations of Urbanisation: Port Vila Town and Pango Village, Vanuatu. Oceania 70(1): 72-86.

REAY, M. 1959. The Kuma: Freedom and Conformity in the New Guinea Highlands. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

--. 1992. 'An Innocent in the Garden of Eden'. In Terence E. Hays (ed). Ethnographic Presents: Pioneering Anthropologists in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, pp. 137-166. Berkeley: University of California Press.

SAHLINS, M. 1976. Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

SALISBURY, R. F. 1964. Despotism and Australian Administration in the New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist 66(4. pt 2): 225-239.

SPATE, O. H. K. 1962. Introduction to Pacific Collaboration: Three Papers on Mutual Aid between Anthropologists and Geographers. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 3(2): 1-6.

STRATHERN, A. 1966. Despots and Directors in the New Guinea Highlands. Man NS 1(3): 356-367.

--. 1972. The Entrepreneurial Model of Social Change: From Norway to New Guinea. Ethnology 11(4): 368-379.

--. 1992. 'Looking Backward and Forward'. In Terence E. Hays (ed), Ethnographic Presents: Pioneering Anthropologists in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, pp. 21-33. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Aletta Biersack

University of Oregon

Hal Levine

Victoria University of Wellington

Shirley Lindenbaum

City University of New York

Karl Rambo

University of Oklahoma
COPYRIGHT 2017 Blackwell Publishing Limited, a company of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Biersack, Aletta; Levine, Hal; Lindenbaum, Shirley; Rambo, Karl
Article Type:In memoriam
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Mar 1, 2017
Previous Article:The stalk that supports the flower: Orang Rimba Kinship, marriage and gender in Jambi Sumatra.
Next Article:The Voice and Its Doubles: Media and Music in Northern Australia.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters