Graun Em Pulap Long Pipia: Rubbish, Sorcery, and Spiritual Healing, Papua New Guinea




spiritual healing, visual anthropology, Papua New Guinea, materiality, new materialism


Bapra Simi, an Ambonwari spiritual healer living in the border town of Vanimo in Papua New Guinea comments that the “Earth is full of rubbish” and associates this material overflow with the possible causes and consequences of sorcery. This short explanatory paper accompanies the video entitled Bapra Simi, Glasmeri, Spiritual Healer, Papua New Guinea (Vávrová, 2020), which follows Bapra Simi through her material and spiritual healing practices, and her articulation of how these practices are situated in the material and spiritual world.

Author Biography

Daniela Vávrová, James Cook University, Australia

Dr Daniela Vávrová was born in Bratislava, in the former Czechoslovakia. Before completing her PhD in Australia, she studied Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna in Austria. She is currently Adjunct Research Fellow and a founder of The AV Lab Productions and ALTAR research group at The Cairns Institute and College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University. Along with her interest in different cultures, she explores the relationship between anthropology and visual communication, between written accounts, photography and ethnographic filmmaking. Since 2005 her field site is situated in the East and West Sepik Provinces of Papua New Guinea. Her PhD thesis and film, 'Skin Has Eyes and Ears': an audio-visual ethnography in a Sepik society (2014), explores how people shape and are shaped by their social and cultural environment through their sensory experiences.  


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How to Cite

Vávrová, D. (2022). Graun Em Pulap Long Pipia: Rubbish, Sorcery, and Spiritual Healing, Papua New Guinea. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 21(2), 65–76.