Daily Archives: September 25, 2014


In March 1914 the bespec­ta­cled schol­ar Bronislaw Malinowski was put down by a greasy tug boat on the sands of Mailu Island in Papua New Guinea. Standing awk­ward­ly for a while on the too-hot earth, he described him­self as feel­ing – for a moment – a sense of deep dis­com­fort and revul­sion. Straightening his tie, the cot­ton of his shirt stick­ing in patch­es to his skin, Malinowski made his way from the rolling break­ers to a group of women stand­ing at the edge of a for­est clear­ing. He was there to live among them, a “par­tic­i­pant observ­er” whose role – as an anthro­pol­o­gist – was to […]

Malinowski’s Beach: Notes on Play as Anthropology