Tik Merauke

An Epidemic Like No Other

John Richens
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Tik Merauke

Subjects

History

Published

1 March 2022

ISBN

9780522878158

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Tik Merauke

An Epidemic Like No Other

John Richens
A study of culture, colonialism, and an epidemic in New Guinea
When the Dutch government moved to stop headhunting by the Marind people of New Guinea in 1902 their actions unleashed new epidemics among a population already suffering from low fertility. Donovanosis (Tik Merauke in Marind), a rare, newly recognised sexually transmitted infection for which no medicine was available, affected huge numbers. This compelling book investigates the causes of this unique epidemic by exploring the fascinating lives and rituals of the Marind along with those of the missionaries, anthropologists, doctors, administrators, film makers and bird hunters swept up in the events. Tik Merauke shows how the discovery of an effective medicine brought relief, but how the coercive resettlement of the Marind into model villages has left a troubled legacy still felt by the surviving people.
When the Dutch government moved to stop headhunting by the Marind people of New Guinea in 1902 their actions unleashed new epidemics among a population already suffering from low fertility. Donovanosis (Tik Merauke in Marind), a rare, newly recognised sexually transmitted infection for which no medicine was available, affected huge numbers. This compelling book investigates the causes of this unique epidemic by exploring the fascinating lives and rituals of the Marind along with those of the missionaries, anthropologists, doctors, administrators, film makers and bird hunters swept up in the events. Tik Merauke shows how the discovery of an effective medicine brought relief, but how the coercive resettlement of the Marind into model villages has left a troubled legacy still felt by the surviving people.

John Richens

John Richens

John Richens is regarded internationally as a leading expert on the sexually transmitted infection donovanosis. He studied classics and medicine at King's College Cambridge and King's College London and then tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His interest in donovanosis was sparked by patients he encountered while working in the highlands of Papua New Guinea from 1984 to 1990. After returning to the UK he became an academic specialist in…

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