Growing up on the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea

Childhood and educational ideologies in Tauwema

| Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen & University of Cologne
ISBN 9789027200693 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
e-Book Open Access
ISBN 9789027264107
This volume deals with the children’s socialization on the Trobriands. After a survey of ethnographic studies on childhood, the book zooms in on indigenous ideas of conception and birth-giving, the children’s early development, their integration into playgroups, their games and their education within their `own little community’ until they reach the age of seven years. During this time children enjoy much autonomy and independence. Attempts of parental education are confined to a minimum. However, parents use subtle means to raise their children. Educational ideologies are manifest in narratives and in speeches addressed to children. They provide guidelines for their integration into the Trobrianders’ “balanced society” which is characterized by cooperation and competition. It does not allow individual accumulation of wealth – surplus property gained has to be redistributed – but it values the fame acquired by individuals in competitive rituals. Fame is not regarded as threatening the balance of their society.
[Culture and Language Use, 21]  2018.  xxv, 248 pp.
Publishing status: Available

For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at

Table of Contents
List of maps, figures, tables and photographs
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Childhood in Tauwema
Chapter 3. Educational ideologies
Chapter 4. Max Weber on the Trobriands? – Or rather A. S. Neill? – Or neither of them? The concept of the balanced society
Appendix I


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Subjects & Metadata


BIC Subject: CF/2P – Linguistics/Oceanic & Austronesian languages
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2018003754 | Marc record