Comparing ethnographic and agricultural data collected from two neighboring Biangai villages (Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea), one engaged in a small-scale conservation effort and the other stakeholders in a large industrial gold mine, this paper analyzes the linkages between alternative development regimes, agricultural transformation and human-environmental relations. Working the land is not simply about production, but also about knowing the landscape and its products as nodes in human social relations. Mining regimes disentangle the multi-species networks experienced in the garden, and reassemble them into other spaces. Thus, in the mining inspired transformations of agricultural practices, Biangai are also transforming how they experience their own multi-species community – its past, present and future.
Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series.