Le Fijien fou avec le singe et autres histoires d’une petite île près de Port Moresby (Papuasie Nouvelle-Guinée)

The crazy Fijian with the monkey and other stories about a small island near Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the early years of colonial rule the British, and later the Australians, adhered to a policy that they would not take land from Papua New Guineans against their will. For example, in the area where the capital city, Port Moresby, now stands, they negotiated with the local landholders, the Motu-Koita, to buy land, and also
ascertained that some land was "waste and vacant" and could therefore be appropriated without payment. Included in the latter category was Daugo Island, a coral outcrop outside Port Moresby’s harbour, which the British acquired in 1889. In the 1960s, after a Land Titles Commission was established, a number of local groups made competing claims to customary ownership of the formerly "waste and vacant" Daugo Island. After a long legal battle, the people of Tatana, a small island in the harbour, were judged the owners. The tactics of the
claimants and the assessment criteria applied by the courts afford insights into changing legitimations of land claims under the rubric of custom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalJournal de la Société des Océanistes
Volume125
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • land rights
  • mythopoeia
  • "custom"
  • law
  • ownership

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