Agency, affect and archaeologists: transforming place with rock art in Auwim, upper Karawariarafundi region, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea

Tsang, Roxanne, Brady, Liam M., Katuk, Sebastien, Tacon, Paul S.C., Ricaut, François-Xavier, and Leavesley, Matthew G. (2021) Agency, affect and archaeologists: transforming place with rock art in Auwim, upper Karawariarafundi region, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Rock Art Research, 38 (2). pp. 183-194.

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Abstract

Contemporary narratives and interpretations surrounding rock art production in present-day settings provide important insights into rock art practices in the past and present. These traditions can still be seen today in places such as Africa, South America, Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). In PNG's East Sepik region, rock art stencils are still produced by the Auwim people of the Upper Karawari-Arafundi region. This paper presents a case study from Apuranga rock art site in Auwim village, East Sepik, where Auwim artists created stencils during a period of archaeological research in June 2018. Interviews with the Auwim artists revealed the stencils were made to transform a once-feared rockshelter into a place that the community could use again without fear or trepidation. This paper explores the implications of these events, the mechanisms for the rock art creation, the impact of researcher's presence, and their broader relevance to studies of rock art in contemporary settings. We argue that contemporary rock art creation in Auwim is embedded in a network of relationships that involve oral traditions, place-making strategies and emotional responses such as overcoming fear.

Item ID: 69891
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0813-0426
Keywords: rock art; ethnography; affect; relatedness; agency; Papua New Guinea
Funders: National Geographic Society
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2021 02:34
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130799 Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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