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Published on Oct 23, 2012
The Abelam people of Papua New Guinea are known for their elaborate initiation ceremonies. While these are no longer performed, the Abelam nevertheless continue to cultivate, decorate and display massive yam tubers, reaching up to 10 feet in length. Globalisation has deeply transformed local customs, yet this phenomenon, mixing agricultural techniques, rituals and magic, has maintained its relevance. This lecture will outline how non-western representations of society can, surprisingly, take the shape of very long yams.