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Athabasca University

Francis Williams

F. E. Williams was Government Anthropologist in the colony of Papua under the administration of Sir Hubert Murray from 1928 until his death in 1943. As part of his work for the Murray administration, Williams travelled extensively throughout the colony documenting the way of life of many Papuan tribes. Several of the reports he wrote have been published. Some of his work has been digitized and included on this website:

As a means of developing native education and later, as a sort of field laboratory for his theory of cultural blending, Williams established a periodical, The Papuan Villager in 1929. This monthly paper, which Williams edited until 1941, represented the first time that Papuans had been urged to write. Williams mentored and encouraged Papuans in setting down traditional stories and current events for publication. The journal formed the inspiration for several post-war iterations, including The Papua and New Guinea Villager, New Guinea Writing and Papua New Guinea Writing.

For more information, see Reports & Historical Documents.

Updated October 13 2016 by Library Services