Papua New Guinea Before Contact History Essay

August 11, 2017 History

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally varied states on Earth, with over 850 autochthonal linguistic communications and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of merely under 7 million. This diverseness consequences in no traditional name for the autochthonal peoples. The state is one of the universes least explored, culturally and biologically, and many undiscovered species of workss and animate beings are believed to brood in the inside of Papua New Guinea.

Worlds have foremost estimated to hold lived in New Guinea as far back as 50,000 old ages ago. New Guinea was one of the first land masss after Africa and Eurasia to be populated by modern worlds, with the first migration at about the same clip as that of Indigenous Australia. Early communities had small contact with each other because of unsmooth and cragged terrain and so maintained their independency, every bit good as their distinguishable linguistic communications and imposts, taking to such diverse cultural life.

First reachings were huntsmans and gatherers, early grounds shows that people managed to use the forest environment to supply nutrient.

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Timeline: Pre-colonisation of New Guinea

50,000 old ages ago ( Pleistocene Epoch )

Worlds first arrive from Southeast Asia, by sea, although during this clip sea degree was lower and a land span connected Australia and New Guinea.

6000-7000 old ages ago

Austronesians ( known today as Malays, Indonesians, Filipinos and Polynesians ) sail from southern China and settle along the seashore of New Guinea and on environing islands. These people live in small towns, works nutrient harvests such as yams, make clay pots and raise hogs and poulets.


First recorded European sighting of New Guinea is made by two Lusitanian adventurers who are sailing by the island but do non set down.

Jorge de Meneses, foremost Lusitanian governor of the Moluccas, names the island “ Ilhas Department of State Papuas ” from the Malay phrase “ Orang papuwah ” which means “ crisp hairy adult male. ”


Ynigo Ortiz de Reyes, Spanish captain sailing from Mexico, claims New Guinea for the King of Spain. It is debated whether he chose the name “ Nueva Guinea ” for the resemblance of the people or coastline of Guinea in Africa

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During Contact

Papua New Guinea had two non-indigenous states colonise it, Germany and Britain. The Germans wanted to colonize Papua New Guinea because of Europe ‘s turning desire for coconut oil whereas Britain claimed it chiefly for land and geographic expedition intents.

Britain foremost arrived in the south-eastern state of New Guinea in 1883 after a formal determination to annex the island by Sir Thomas McIlwraith, the Premier of Queensland at the clip. It took until 1884 before fiscal support was delivered and the settlement officially became a British associated state known as the ‘Territory of Papua ‘ in 1905. In 1906 Britain transferred entire duty for the district to Australia.

The Germans arrived in the north-eastern islands of New Guinea around the same clip as the British. This annexed country was known as ‘German New Guinea ‘ . As the terrain was so cragged and separated contact between the two states was slightly uncommon and normally peaceable. DuringA World War 1, Australian forces seized German New Guinea, which in 1920 became theA Territory of New Guinea. Both districts were merged into the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1949.

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New Guinea from 1884-1919.A The Netherlands controlled the western half of New Guinea, GermanyA the north-eastern portion, andA BritainA the south-eastern portion.

Nature of reaching

Both the Germans and the British met the indigens in a instead peaceable mode. The colonization occurred after Australia ‘s and the British approached the new state more carefully and in a friendly manner to avoid an rebellion from the indigens of New Guinea akin to that of the Australian Natives

The indigens were taught basic accomplishments that helped both themselves and the British, such as agriculture, domestication of animate beings such as poultry and linguistic communication accomplishments that helped them pass on with the British.

The British besides helped set up a bartering and economic system for the officially mobile people. They made stables and stores where the locals could merchandise and sell adult goods and points that they were rapidly accustomed to, such as soap and covers.

A group of people gather in forepart of a shop in Mount Hagen.

A group of people gather in forepart of a

shop in Mount Hagen.

Response of the indigens

When both states arrived, they met the indigens with slightly peaceable purposes. With over a 1000 linguistic communication groups all spread out along the state, most folks were about 100 big and were thinly spaced along the land significance that opposition was non every bit great as in Australia.

Shortly after colonization, the indigens were combined into big towns and were given instruction, wellness attention and nutrient which would ‘ve been a eldritch experience as before colonization there were no towns or big populations, merely little, spread colonies.

About all of the indigens took to these alterations quickly and easy, with the lone exclusion of spiritual beliefs. Some New Guineans resisted the alterations Christian missionaries represented, while others accepted chances for new signifiers of wealth, power, and age and gender dealingss.

With following to no recounts of major violent opposition, the colonization of Papua New Guinea was one of the more peaceable and successful 1s.

Comparison to Australia

The colonization of New Guinea was really different to that of Australia and one of the major grounds why was because it occurred after Australia had been colonised, intending that the British did n’t desire a repetition of the force and decease that had happened at that place.

Bondage was still present in Papua New Guinea, nevertheless slaves and retainers had a batch more freedom and rights so the Aboriginals did and most were considered merely ‘workers ‘ as opposed to retainers.

Due to the sum of infinite between native colonies there are still plenty of colonies that were ne’er colonised or approached, even today there are still native groups that have ne’er been met by non-indigenous populations.

There was besides a batch less bias about the locals of New Guinea than there was with Aboriginals, as the locals of New Guinea were given more rights and infinite than Aborigines. New Guinean ‘s civilization and beliefs wrapped around the colonization and those who kept their traditional ways were n’t forced to alter or conform.

Consequences of colonization for both the autochthonal and non-indigenous people

The consequences of colonization for both the autochthonal and non-indigenous people were chiefly positive with both the German and British associated states handling the locals reasonably. The local ‘s quality of life improved dramatically when they were colonised as health care and instruction were rapidly introduced to the newfound small towns and towns.

Before colonisation, an person ‘s individuality was based on their family group and seldom extended beyond the blood-related groups of close relations. After colonisation, Papua New Guineans experient political, societal, and economic integrating that helped them accommodate to their new manner of life.

The British and Germans both used the locals for things like edifice houses and labors but most of the constructions that were built besides benefited the indigens every bit good, such as houses and huts that they lived in and stores that helped give the autochthonal people a sense of economic sciences and easy to entree goods.

With colonisation, dispersed colonies were combined into larger small towns for easier disposal and the proviso of instruction and wellness attention. The first towns grew up around mission and administrative Centres, near flight strips, or on hillsides overlooking good seaports. Towns were little, and places and non-residential constructions were simple one-story edifices. The first Papua New Guineans to populate in towns were work forces. Many workers were chosen from nearby small towns to which they were expected to return at dark, but some lived in retainers ‘ quarters ( boi haus ) or company barracks.

The New Guineans about ever lived separate from the European colonies and seldom interfered with each other. This was a positive measure in the Europeans ‘ heads as it allowed the locals to incorporate and acquire used to their new manner of life without obstructor from the British.

The New Guineans were treated more as persons instead than ‘natives ‘ . This freedom was something that helped the locals and gave them leeway to populate their lives how they were before colonization.

In 1975 the people of New Guinea were granted independency and are now officially a autonomous state.

Comparison of colonization

Overall the autochthonal people of New Guinea had a much better consequence of colonization than that of Aboriginal people. Quality of life was better during and after the British and Germans arrived, because of the independency that the Europeans gave them along with basic goods and tools that they rapidly learned to utilize.

There is besides less of a cultural barrier as a whole between towns and small towns, the Europeans allow them populate their lives whereas in colonial Australia, Aboriginals were treated as inferior and were frequently enslaved.

During colonization and even in some parts of Australia today, Aborigines have a lower criterion of life along with less instruction and higher mortality rates. In Papua New Guinea there were and are still jobs impacting immature kids, but as a whole, the population have a higher criterion of life than Aboriginal Australians.


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