Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Trobriand Islands are a small archipelago off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea. The population is approximately 12,000, most of it concentrated on the main island of Kiriwina and its main settlement, Losuia .
The Trobriand Islands' matrilineal society, resistance to Western influences and elaborate myths, festivals and gift-giving rituals (including participation in the Melanesian kula ring) have provided a rich source of material for anthropological research, spurred by the 1915 publication of Bronislaw Malinowski's Trobriand Islands. Less scientific interest followed after Malinowski's later The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia (1929) which, somewhat incorrectly, painted the islands as a sexual utopia where teenagers are free to experiment with sex, women rarely know the father of their children, and during the yearly Yam Festival groups of women rape men.
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