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Title: Who Is the “Original Affluent Society”? Ipili “Predatory Expansion” and the Porgera Gold Mine, Papua New Guinea 
Author: Golub, Alex
Date: 2006
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Golub, A. 2006. Who Is the “Original Affluent Society”? Ipili “Predatory Expansion” and the Porgera Gold Mine, Papua New Guinea. Special issue, The Contemporary Pacific 18 (2): 265-92.
Abstract: The idea of the “ecologically noble savage” once linked environmental activists and indigenous people. Today the concept is increasingly seen as problematic. In the Porgera district of Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, Ipili people confront massive social change brought about by the presence of a large gold mine. This paper explores how Ipili people find some aspects of global consumer culture to offer utopian possibilities for change, while others present dystopic inversions of their own culture. In doing so, it compares Western attempts to understand Ipili as noble or ignoble savages with Ipili attempts to make sense of the material culture and mores of outsiders. It concludes that both Ipili and westerners have unsettling insights into each other’s culture.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Keywords: Porgera, Enga, Papua New Guinea, mining, affluent society, consumerism, utopia
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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