Analysis Of The Poem ' Ancestral Lines ' By John Barker
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“Ancestral lines” by John Barker is a book about the anthropologist’s experience in the Uiaku village located in Papua New Guinea. In the first chapter, Barker tells his readers briefly about him and his education, his and his wife’s experience with the Maisin community, and talks in great detail about the Maisin and their culture in the Uiaku village.
Barker writes the first chapter in first person, he briefly talks about his and his wife, Anne Marie’s, education and research goals. Barker studied his B.A in anthropology at the University of Western Ontario, and received a scholarship to the University of Wellington in New Zealand for graduate studies under the anthropologist, Anne Chowning. In contrast to Barker’s studies, Anne Marie had trained as a developmental psychologist at Cornell University. Barker soon became interested in Papua New Guinea and the Melanesian area when he wrote a social history of missions that took place there. Barker became intrigued in further studying Papua New Guinea when he realized how overlooked their religious views were. “90% considered themselves Christians. Yet, you would never know this from anthropological works, which focused almost entirely upon Indigenous religious practices and ideas” (Barker 2008: 11). Barker decided to pursue this topic and study a community where their church and religion were a part of their everyday lives. Anne Marie decided that along with Barker, she too would study a community and study the development