Papua New Guinean tales present a vision of woman as a gifted, versatile being endowed with creative power and thought, much above her status in real life. The representations offered by the street painters in Port Moresby corroborate the fact that women, shedding light on their immediate environment, play an active part in the overall emancipation of the nation. Both in tales and in contemporary pictorial representations, women are associated with magic. Even though stories and paintings may be anchored in a traditional context, their interpretation at the allegorical and symbolic level shows that the leading role played by the magic woman is key to promoting modern, humanistic values in a rapidly changing world. For some academics in university circles though, the loss of bride price explains the difficulties most modern couples are currently experiencing.
Axe de recherche : Sociétés insulaires d’Océanie : héritages, mutations et recompositions