New Guinea is the island. Papua New Guinea is the country taking up the eastern half of the island, plus a bunch of tiny islands surrounding it. West Papua is part of Indonesia, and has previously been known as Irian Jaya among other names.
Before this year, I had read three books set in New Guinea. One was the result of having a mother who was the missions chairperson for the church I grew up in (and we had a whole shelf of missionary narratives from people she had met over the years), two were from my research as an undergraduate in my world music class, and one was from my short-lived one-year stint in a PhD program for Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana, where we read a book on one group of islanders in my Readings in Ethnography class.
- Peace Child by Don Richardson
- Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics, and Song in Kaluli Expression by Steven Feld
- To Sing with Pigs is Human: The Concept of Person in Papua New Guinea
- Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski
- Four Corners by Kira Salak
- From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea by Paige West
- Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman
- Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age by Robert Gardner
- Michael Rockefeller: New Guinea Photographs, 1961 by Kevin Brubriski
- The Asmat of New Guinea: the journal of Michael Clark Rockefeller, with his ethnographic notes and photos made among the Asmat people during two expeditions in 1961 by Michael C. Rockefeller
- Euphoria by Lily King
- Secret Places: My Life in New York and New Guinea by Tobias Schneebaum
- Where the Spirits Dwell: An Odyssey in the Jungle of New Guinea by Tobias Schneebaum
- Growing Up in New Guinea by Margaret Mead
- The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond
- Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
What I never found - books about New Guinea written by New Guineans. Perhaps that will happen one day.
I also tried a few recipes that came from New Guinea, or attempted replicas thereof. I believe in immersive reading! Adding the smells, the tastes, the sounds to a reading experience. This is harder to do with New Guinea since so many of the people there have diets composed of what they can grow and harvest. For West Papuans this is sago, harvested from trees and made into balls, supplemented by seafood or grubs depending on the location of the particular people group. For Papua New Guineans, the diet is largely sweet potato and banana, with protein added whenever possible, usually pork (a rare luxury.) The recipes I considered live on a Pinterest board, and some of those are still to come, from other regions of Oceania.
Here is a list of what I actually made:
- Banana pancakes (recipe; read more on JennyBakes)
- Baroida Coffee from Counter Culture (single origin beans from PNG)
- Saksak (tapioca banana dumplings, similar to a sweet sago ball) - recipe
- Autumnal Veggies in Spiced Coconut Milk (recipe)