Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/46413
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Type: Journal article
Title: The Sense of Sago: Motherhood and Migration in Papua New Guinea and Australia
Author: Dundon, A.
Citation: Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2005; 26(1-2):21-37
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0725-6868
1469-9540
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Alison Dundon
Abstract: This paper explores the migratory experiences of Gogodala women from the Western Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their movements between the village and urban PNG and Australia. Born and raised in Gogodala villages in Western Province, these women were integral to my own experiences as a female fieldworker in rural PNG. Immersed in ato ela gi—'women's work' or 'way of life'—as girls and young women, and embodied through the effort of making sago, fishing, bearing and caring for children, through marriage and opportunity they have travelled and lived far away from the places that resonate with their early experiences of womanhood, as well as their names, and kin and clan relationships. Many of the women have lived in urban centres in PNG, raising children away from the sensory experience and stringent reality of the village, constrained by the necessity to remain 'Gogodala' in the face of life elsewhere, while a few others have married and live outside PNG with little access to Gogodala contacts and family. Transformed from women 'living on sago', the local idiom for an emplaced village life, each has experienced the sensory and physical displacement of migration. Yet each has retained strong 'senses' of being a woman in terms, particularly, of women's work and the gift and consumption of sago, in ways reminiscent of the sweat, smells and sounds of Gogodala places and people.
Keywords: Migration
Motherhood
Senses
Place
PNG
Australia
DOI: 10.1080/07256860500073997
Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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