Talk:New Britain

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Is it correct to say:

It was discovered on February 27, 1700.

...Were there already people living there? If so, then it wasn't "discovered", but "first explored by Europeans" in 1700. - Eric 3 July 2005 10:45 (UTC) little about such a large island....this needs some research....yum

Large quotes[edit]

The whole of 'Melanesian people and culture' looks like it's a quote. While there is a footnote to the effect that the article '...incorporates text from the public domain Catholic Encyclopedia.' I don't think it's good practise to have an entire section be merely a quote. What should be done, remove it entirely, prune it, retain it but with clearer quote marks,...? Dougg 04:10, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

  • The size of a public domain encyclopaedia article (from an encyclopaedia for the general public, just like we are) quoted and sourced as such is not a problem, though certain aspects are likely to get outdated in nearly 100 years; however we must always try to improve on content, which I suspect must be possible in this case, but lack expertise- this is a first entry, meant to be elaborated, better then nothing till the ball gets rolling. Perhaps you're game to have a go, I've just come across a site that looks promising in this field, so I'll add it to sources and references Fastifex 09:13, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, some changes: I've removed the introductory line

native name Birara,

Because there are numerous languages, and the name for New Britain is different in each language. I've made a bunch of other changes too. The problem with slowly modifying a large quote is that it results in a very strange 'tone', with the parts I've written, it seems to me, contrasting strongly with the quotes, which have a very old-world character. Dougg 23:52, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

People and culture[edit]

I removed a few paragraphs from this section which seemed to have come straight from the 1911 Encylopedia Britannica complete with Victorian Imperialst opinions - they seemed a bit offensive and non NPOV for a modern Encylopedia. It still needs a lot of work, though; among other things I imagine a lot's changed in 100 years. Plus it's self-contradictory about whether the tribes have chiefs or not. I'm sorry if I caused any offense with my edits! Tasiel 12:51, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

No offence taken- I've knowingly included old stuff, and in principle quite approve of updating and more objective attitudes, strangely enough a bit of 'provocation' often harvests more progress then none to get the ball rolling. Still I think some parts can be saved after downtuning. Fastifex 15:52, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

The "people and culture" material as it stands definitely shows it age - and colonial origins - it's quite shockingly racist, and frankly ignorant of the real cultures of New Britain. I'd like to rewrite this using more recent, better-informed (and less Eurocentric) sources. I'm quite shocked how wrong the EB 1911 was, apart from its appalling lack of NPOV. Wantok 00:39, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

  • If you have better sources, please do so and include them! Still it may be worthwhile to keep i mind that even outdated/wrong perceptions on the westeen side can be relevant to understand the colonial & missionary periods Fastifex 14:03, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The sentence that begins "this 'spirit'" is confusing. Am I missing a referent that is in front of my face, or was something left out in copying from Britannica? I'd prefer this sentence be either clearer about what it is referring to or excised. --Capnpitz 23:32, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


Why is dewarra redirected to this page? I'll change this and create a new page for dewarra if there are no objections. Although, I'm not sure if dewarra is the most appropriate title for it - possibly Tolai shell money, although I think that it is used on the Duke of Yorks too (which I think is where the name dewarra/diwara comes from) so that's probably not appropriate. In Kuanua (at least the dialects I'm familiar with) it is referred to as tabu - but this also has a lot of other meaning. Any thoughts?--Sheena V 05:34, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, I've never heard dewarra outside Duke of Yorks. It might be used elsewhere but seems not the best general term for ENB shell money. This is probably (yet another) misunderstanding on the part of the Catholic Encyclopaedia and/or Encyclopaedia Britannica from a hundred years ago. Perhaps an article titled something like 'Shell money of the Gazelle Peninsula' or 'Shell money of East New Britain'? Or even a 'Traditional money in Papua New Guinea' article with sections on the types used in different regions. -- Wantok 06:24, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup tag[edit]

I added the cleanup tag so that hopefully this article will get some attention. It still reads too much like the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and Catholic Encyclopedia in some places ("the natives"?!?). Paxsimius 23:43, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Arawe and cranial modification practices[edit]

I came in search of information regarding the Arawe of New Britain and their practice of circular (annular) cranial modification. According to an article I read this group practiced cranial modification in the 1950s. I was interested in learning if this process is still practiced.

Blackwood, Beatrice, P. M. Danby. 1955. A Study of Artificial Cranial Deformation in New Britain. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 85, No. 1/2, pp. 173-191.

kcelw 23:31, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Major surgery[edit]

I have just done some fairly major revision of the article. Changes I've made:

  • rename Description to Geography and create new Administrative divisions section;
  • rewrite geography section to update 100-year old writing style and add more detail;
  • remove long para in People and culture section which appears largely derived from 100-year old sources. Published knowledge of New Britain cultures has come a long, long way since then, and this section was highly unrepresentative of the current state of knowledge, not to mention being flat-out wrong in several respects. In my view that material is not worth including - better to start from modern sources with a clean slate, as such.
  • remove Ecclesiastical history section entirely. I just don't believe this level of detail of a short span of time of (specifically) Catholic missionary activity is justified in this article.
  • move Postage stamps section to new article Postage stamps of New Britain.

It now needs further expansion in almost all sections - especially Geography, History and People and culture. Wantok (toktok) 06:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

VERY Interesting[edit]

This is a very interesting, notable story from MSNBC about the Island from WWII to now, and how one revered American changed the entire island's educational system through fundraising. Definitely needs to be added. Any volunteers? (talk) 03:35, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

‘Mastah Preddi’ fell from the sky, into hearts - Islanders heal, hail WW2 pilot; man changes lives, returns to build school (MSNBC)

... so named ...[edit]

The article says "New Britain and New Ireland are so named because their outlines on a map roughly correspond to those of the British Isles". But looking at the map this isn't at all obvious. Also, on the New Ireland page it says "The island ... is often described as having the shape of a musket." which is obvious, but no-one would say Ireland is the shape of a musket. So is this just nonsense? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Clearly a false statement - removed Grunners (talk) 10:14, 27 December 2010 (UTC)