Bruce M. Knauft


The Gebusi: Lives Transformed in a Rainforest World

by Bruce Knauft

Gebusi cover

3rd Edition
Published 2013


Back Cover

Table of contents and description of key features and changes in The Gebusi, 3rd edition

The Gebusi, 3rd ed. Notes

The Gebusi, 3rd ed. References

The Gebusi, 3rd ed. Study Questions

Mc-Graw-Hill website for 3rd ed of The Gebusi

The Gebusi - narrated flash presentation
(68 minutes)

Front cover image:
Children from Gasumi Corners welcome the author upon his re-arrival in the community.

What is it like for an indigenous people of the deep rainforest to confront the modern world?  When first studied by Bruce Knauft, the Gebusi of Papua New Guinea conducted ritual dances and spirit séances, practiced alternative sexual customs, and endured a high rate of violence.  By the late 1990s, Gebusi had seemed to give up many of these practices, had converted to Christianity, and actively pursued market activity, schooling, government programs, sports leagues, and disco music. More recently, however, problems of economic hardship have caused the withdrawal or closing of government services, and Gebusi have rediscovered or reinvented their culture more on their own terms. Now indigenous customs and Catholicism are both flourishing. This book vividly portrays Gebusi society over more than three decades of cultural change—across a broad spectrum of indigenous practices in relation to modern developments and challenges.  Written specifically for students, the text presents poignant stories and examples to connect developments among Gebusi to topics widely discussed in anthropology courses, including comparative aspects of subsistence, kinship, politics, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, and applied anthropology.