Material cultures

Trobriand Shields:
Collection of Trobriand war    shields started during the period when early Christian missionaries and European expeditions infiltrated the Massim area.




Primitive Art:
This collection was gathered by S. B. Fellows and his wife, Sarah, between the years 1891 to 1901. The bulk of the material, which is all from the Trobriand Islands, was given to Fellows and his wife as gifts in return for their unselfish devotion and love they gave their parishioners.



Welcome to a portal for all things Trobriand

Academic texts * Narratives * Analyses * Photography



More than 100 years ago in a fortuitous meeting of mind and place,  our understanding of the commonality and diversity in human experience took a great leap forward with Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski’s encounter with the people of the Trobriand Islands.

Malinowski is generally credited to be originator and  primary advocate of  participant observation based fieldwork. His sojourns in the Trobriand Islands, and the texts which ensued, set the bar for generations of anthropologists, creating the definitive method of apprehending the "other."

Hence forth one must live in the community of study, and seek fluency in its language while participating in the imponderbillia of everyday life. Today it is very rare for a serious student of anthropology, anywhere in the world, to complete his/her studies without exposure to Trobriand ethnography.

Next best to being there is digital immersion in the vast corpus of texts stimulated by Malinowski’s adventure.




    Click for larger map

"Imagine yourself suddenly set down ..."        Malinowski, 1922

Trobrian Scholarship

  Newest on this site:
Death and Doba -- 1992 theses
by Luciana J. Lusso
Durham University

DEP principals: Click to contact

Jay B. Crain, Ph.D.
Allan C. Darrah, Ph.D

Linus Silipolakapulapola Digm'Rina, Ph.D.

Contact the webmaster



What else is here?

While our focus centers on
the Trobriands it also reaches out
to the wider cultural area
of the Massim.
You'll find:

*Academic texts

* Transcriptions and translations of Trobriand narratives

*Information about the authors of these texts

* Photographs with Trobriand content

  * Analyses created with the use of our DEPTH database

* Bibliography of Trobriand texts