Journal article

"We Are Fire Clan': Groups, Names and Identity in Papua New Guinea

Peter D Dwyer, Monica Minnegal

Oceania | Wiley | Published : 2018


This paper draws on two case studies concerning Kubo and Febi people of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, to reveal, first, ways in which people present themselves to the state as groups that qualify as legitimate beneficiaries of financial benefits expected to flow from extraction of natural gas on or near their land and, second, simultaneously present themselves to their immediate neighbours in ways intended to either lay claim to particular areas of land or offset possible challenges to their asserted rights to land. To achieve these ends, people strategically employ names to variously connote or denote particular assemblages of people.


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the many Kubo and Febi people who have cared for us and taught us in the years since 1986. Special thanks to Henick Taprin for permission to reproduce the map from The Origin of Kesomo. Thanks to Willie Samobia and Anais Gerard for assistance and advice, the University of Melbourne for granting periods of leave, and the Australian Research Council for award of a Discovery Grant (DP120102162).