Paperback / Hardback / eBook


Shared Wealth
and Symbol

Food, Culture, and Society in Oceania and Southeast Asia

Edited by

Lenore Manderson

part of MSH: International Commission
on the Anthropology of Food


This 1987 volume brought together for the first time a range of essays on the anthropology of food in Oceania and Southeast Asia. The essays reflect research in the field, primarily that undertaken by Australian scholars. The volume focuses on four main concerns: factors that influence the production of food and dietary behaviour; the way in which people think and speak about diet and nutrition, including concepts of hunger and the classification of foods; infant feeding practice, including the promotion of bottle feeding; and the roles of government agencies and multinational corporations. The regional focus of the volume also allows for discussion of common trends, especially those that have arisen as a result of societies in the region having been incorporated into the world economy. Applicable elsewhere in the world, the volume offers a basis for a comparative analysis of food in culture and society.


Lenore Manderson, David Hyndman, Janice Reid, Thomas K. Fitzgerald, Nancy Pollock, Michael W. Young, Julie Waddy, Marianne Spiegel, Barry Shaw, Kathy Robinson, Valerie J. Hull, Christine S. Wilson, Graham H. Pyke


Introduction: the anthropology of food in Oceania and Southeast Asia Lenore Manderson
Part I. The Context of Diet:
1. Men, women, work, and group nutrition in a New guinea Mountain Ok society David Hyndman
1. ‘Land of milk and honey’: the changing meaning of food to an Australian Aboriginal community Janice Reid
3. Dietary change among Cook Islanders in New Zealand Thomas K. Fitzgerald
4. Taro and timber: competing or complimentary ways to a food supply Nancy Pollock
Part II. Cultural Meaning and Perception:
5. ‘The worst disease’: the cultural definition of hunger in Kalauna Michael W. Young
6. Food classification and restriction in Peninsular Malaysia: nature, culture, hot and cold? Lenore Manderson
7. Classification of food from a Groote Eylandt Aboriginal point of view Julie Waddy
Part III. Infant Feeding Practice:
8. Infant feeding practice in Malaysia: the variables of choice Marianne Spiegel
9. The children of Jyaka Enga: culture, diet, environment, and health in a Papua New Guinea Highland society, 1950–1960 Barry Shaw
10. ‘Australia’s got the milk, we’ve got the problems’: The Australian Dairy Corporation in Southeast Asia Kathy Robinson
Part IV. Research Method and Direction:
11. Dietary taboos in Java: myths, mysteries, and methodology Valerie J. Hull
12. Social and nutritional context of ‘ethnic foods’: Malay examples Christine S. Wilson
13. Human diets: a biological perspective Graham H. Pyke