Crawford House Publishing
Amoko - In the Beginning Myths and Legends of the Asmat and Mimika Papuans

Father Gerard A. Zegwaard, MSC, spent a large part of his life in Netherlands New Guinea and Indonesia. On 6 June 1996, then retired and living in Rotterdam, he handed Gertrudis Offenberg a folder stuffed full of myths and legends of the Asmat and Mimika Papuans, asking whether they might be worked up into a book. Gerard Zegwaard died unexpectedly on 15 June 1996. Amoko - In the Beginning is the remarkable book of his stories.

The book only covers those myths collected prior to the Indonesian takeover of Netherlands New Guinea in 1962. The commentaries and descriptions of others also cover the period prior to that year, ensuring a homogeneous context.

This anthology is published in honour of Father Zegwaard and the people it eulogises, and is the first step in a much-needed cross-cultural comparison of themes arising from the myths and legends of various peoples on the island of New Guinea. The book highlights the often spectacular world-views and live-ways of two adjacent and very similar yet different cultures on the south-west coast of the former Netherlands New Guinea, cultures that have changed dramatically since 1962.


(edited by) Gertrudis A.M. Offenberg & Jan Pouwe


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c. 200 black-and-whitephotographs, 3 maps


Portrait; softcover; xviii + 300 pages (approx.)


234 x 153 mm



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