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Land tenure and transfer in Chimbu, Papua New Guinea: 1958-1984: a study in continuity and change, accommodation and opportunism



Land tenure and transfer in Chimbu, Papua New Guinea: 1958-1984: a study in continuity and change, accommodation and opportunism



Human ecology 18(1): 21-49



A long-term study of land tenure, land transfer, and succession in one subclan of the Chimbu in the Papua New Guinea highlands takes up the relations between the agricultural cycle, family, and population growth in a period of rapid commercialization and cash cropping. Over a generation, land was held and allocated within families, among families within the sub-clan, and to kin in neighbouring groups. The land tenure, ownership, and use system allows for a very great deal of individual movement and land gifts, temporary or long-term, by land owner to kin and friends. Despite an agnatic ideology, individuals and local groups opportunistically accommodate to land needs. As cultivation becomes more intensive and semi-permanent, there appears to be a progression from fluidity of land rights in the clan or subclan to anchoring of rights and boundaries to individuals and families. This characterizes Chimbu land tenure; it is not a post-colonial phenomenon.

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Accession: 016246603

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DOI: 10.2307/4602951


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