The end of the beginning? Mining, sacred geographies, memory and performance in Lihir

Bainton, Nicholas A., Ballard, Chris and Gillespie, Kirsty (2012) The end of the beginning? Mining, sacred geographies, memory and performance in Lihir. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 23 1: 22-49. doi:10.1111/j.1757-6547.2012.00169.x

Author Bainton, Nicholas A.
Ballard, Chris
Gillespie, Kirsty
Title The end of the beginning? Mining, sacred geographies, memory and performance in Lihir
Language of Title eng
Journal name The Australian Journal of Anthropology   Check publisher's open access policy
Language of Journal Name eng
ISSN 1035-8811
Publication date 2012-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1757-6547.2012.00169.x
Volume 23
Issue 1
Start page 22
End page 49
Total pages 28
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract This article explores the critical ways in which the relationship between landscape and memory is mediated by performance—through song, dance, ritual and the movements of the living and the dead. In the Lihir group of islands, in Papua New Guinea, these acts of memorialisation are rehearsed on a remarkable stage, an involuted cosmography or sacred geography in which the cosmological point of origin, the sacred rock of Ailaya, is also the ultimate destination for all human and spirit forms. Spirit beings are held to have emerged from the Ailaya, spreading across the island group, their tracks charting the links amongst distant clan members and the networks of alliance between trading partners. It is to the Ailaya that the spirits of deceased Lihirians must return, following preparatory mortuary rites and sung along a route that recalls the spirit connections. This teleological process is mapped through an account of the performance of relationships between people and land, to which an additional layer of complexity is added by the presence of a giant gold mine, in which the Ailaya is again the central feature.
Keyword Papua New Guinea
Island Bridge Affair
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 12 Mar 2012, 15:42:17 EST by Kirsty Gillespie on behalf of Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining