Crawford House Publishing
Irian Jaya Under the Gun Indonesian Economic Development versus West PapuanNationalism

Irian Jaya is the Indonesian name for the western half of the island of New Guinea. The majority of the indigenous people of that area, however, consider themselves West Papuans living in the land of West Papua, a country incorporated into the Indonesian state without their consent or approval. West Papua has, as Irian Jaya, been a province of Indonesia since 1963, yet the majority of the population is still made up of Melanesian peoples, as in neighbouring Papua New Guinea. The western part of New Guinea is one of the least developed places on earth, with the largest expanses of untouched, and, in some cases, still unexplored, rainforest and wilderness outside the Amazon.

Made up of many different ethnic groups, the local people are being squeezed as outsiders flock to West Papua to take advantage of the vast resources the country possesses. The logging, mining and fishing industries are booming, as are the cities, towns and transmigration settlements. Irian Jaya under the Gun illustrates the rapid changes that are taking place.

This book shows what happens when the 20th century, with its insatiable hunger for resources, comes into contact with indigenous people using those resources to sustain their subsistence lifestyle.


Jim Elmslie


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Portrait; softcover; approx. 350 pages


204 x 135 mm



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