Orokaiva - History and Cultural Relations

In response to Australian pressure, the British government annexed Papua in 1888. Gold was discovered shortly thereafter, resulting in a major movement of prospectors and miners to what was then the Northern District. Relations with the Papuans were bad from the start, and there were numerous killings on both sides. The Protectorate of British New Guinea became Australian territory by the passing of the Papua Act of 1905 by the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The new administration adopted a policy of Peaceful penetration, and many measures of social and economic national development were introduced. Local control was in the hands of village constables, paid servants of the Crown. Chosen by European officers, they were intermediaries Between the government and the people. In 1951 an eruption occurred on Mount Lamington, completely devastating a large part of the area occupied by the Orokaiva. Survivors were provided with food, medicine, and other relief by the government and were maintained in evacuation camps. Large-scale, expertly planned social, economic, and political development began in Papua around 1960 with the introduction of cash crops, agricultural extension work, landtitle improvement, road improvement, and educational development.

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