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Anthropological Knowledge, Secrecy and Bolivip, Papua New GuineaExchanging Skin$
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Tony Crook

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264003

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264003.001.0001

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Prologue: kim kurukuru taratara

Prologue: kim kurukuru taratara

(p.1) Prologue: kim kurukuru taratara
Anthropological Knowledge, Secrecy and Bolivip, Papua New Guinea

Tony Crook

British Academy

The presented experimental ethnography of an exchange between two knowledge-making practices is the story of a man who tried to see properly. The existence of the ‘Min problem’ may not be widely recognized, but there are thoroughgoing consequences for anthropological knowledge in coming to terms with such a spectacular failure of analysis. Barth's rubric of ‘secrecy’ amongst the Baktaman has enjoyed an extended paradigmatic reign in the Min area, and remains unchallenged. This book specifically provides a solution to the ‘Min problem’. The analysis reveals a novel vantage point on the Min more widely, and uses this to afford a novel vantage point on Anthropology – and sets up an exchange between them. It also discusses the ethnographic field of connections, tensions, and causes constituting Bolivip by first setting the scene through a series of events in late 1994 and, second, by rehearsing an ethnographic moment that is adopted as a model for the methodological exchange. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords:   kim kurukuru taratara, Min problem, experimental ethnography, Bolivip, Barth, Baktaman

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