Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
Culture Change and Ex-Change: Syncretism and Anti-Syncretism in Bena, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

View Table of Contents

Volume 6

Person, Space and Memory in the Contemporary Pacific

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Culture Change and Ex-Change

Syncretism and Anti-Syncretism in Bena, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Regina Knapp

313 pages, 18 illus., 2 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-384-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-385-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This book is a rich ethnography of Bena people in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea and their cultural focus on exchange relationships.” · Sabine C. Hess, Australia National University


How is cultural change perceived and performed by members of the Bena Bena language group, who live in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea? In her analysis, Knapp draws upon existing bodies of work on ‘culture change’, ‘exchange’ and ‘person’ in Melanesia but brings them together in a new way by conjoining traditional models with theoretical approaches of the new Melanesian ethnography and with collaborative, reflexive and reverse anthropology.

Regina Knapp acquired her PhD degree in 2011 at the Australian National University, Canberra. Since her early studies she conducted various research projects in Papua New Guinea.

Subject: Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General) Anthropology of Religion
Area: Asia-Pacific


Maps and Photographs
Abbreviations &and Note on Foreign Terms

Introduction: Culture Change and Exchange

Chapter 1. Bena Stories, Histories and Sociality
Chapter 2. Unexpected Actions and strategic Exchanges: Leadership, Warfare, and Economy
Chapter 3. In Exchange with the World: The Concept of Person in Bena
Chapter 4. Changing Exchanges: Head Payments and Life-Cycle Rituals
Chapter 5. Magical Practices and their Transformations in Modern Bena
Chapter 6. Sanguma: The ‘Essence-Suckers’
Chapter 7. In Exchange with God: Christianity in modern Bena
Chapter 8. Expect the Unexpected: Scientology in Napamogona



Back to Top