It is hard to decide when the research for this book really began. I
have been thinking about coffee production in the Eastern High-
lands Province of Papua New Guinea since I first arrived in
Maimafu village as a graduate student in 1997. I initially went to
Maimafu to study environmental conservation projects as a form
of economic development, but it became quickly apparent that
coffee production was the only economic development in Mai-
mafu. In late 1998, I asked my friends Lucas Malewa and Philip
Ine what I should study as a post-PhD project. They both said
that it might be interesting to think about how coffee production,
Christianity, and gold prospecting had changed socio-ecological
life in their village. When I returned to Maimafu in April 2001,
although my ultimate goal was to finish collecting data for my
first book project, I began to collect some of the data presented in
this book. Initially I wanted to write about coffee, gold, and souls
as three commodities that have transformed social, economic,
and ecological life in Maimafu. In the end that was too much, so I
decided to focus on coffee.
I have returned to Maimafu specifically to conduct research
on coffee production several times since that trip: in 2002, 2003,
and 2005 during the North American academic breaks, during
the fall term of 2004, and during the spring term of 2007. I’ve
also conducted research for this book in Goroka, Lae, and Port
Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Cairns, Brisbane, and Sydney
Previous Page Next Page