Journal article

Sago games: Cooperation and change among sago producers of Papua New Guinea

PD Dwyer, M Minnegal

Evolution and Human Behavior | Elsevier | Published : 1997


In 1986-1987 at a small community in lowland Papua New Guinea, residents with greater rights to local land (owners) produced more sago flour than residents with fewer rights to that land (guests) and shared their produce with the latter. This behavior was interpreted as a case of reciprocal altruism on the understanding that customary patterns of settlement relocation would have the outcome that individuals would often change status as owners or guests and, hence, as donors and recipients. Recent influences resulting in greater stability of community composition and location have reduced the likelihood that individuals could expect to change status vis à vis others. Thus, the central conditi..

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