In Maisin culture, men tend to do task

In John Barker’s “Ancestral Lines: The Maisin of Papua New
Guinea and the Fate of the Rainforest,” Barker explains how the Maisin
people live and his experiences living in their culture. In the second chapter
Barker discusses how the Maisin people cooperate with one another to get their
basic needs, such as acquiring food, manual labour inside and outside the house
(Barker 2016:45). Gender organizes the work for the Maisin culture, as woman
work on tasks that require sustained effort such as work around the household,
and taking care of children (Barker 2008:45). Men must take on jobs that
require heavy work, such as hunting, and providing food for their families and the
community (Barker 2008:45). The majority of food is obtained from their
gardens. These gardens serve more than food for the community, as well as a spiritual
connection with their ancestors. Barker continues to explain how a family’s
garden represents their social roles and economic status (Barker 2008:46). The
crops produced by the families can be traded for other necessities if needed (Barker


            In “Ancestral Lines”
and “Perspectives: An Open Invitation to
Cultural Anthropology,” both talk about the concepts of gender roles and
horticulture within the Maisin and Maasai people. Horticulture plays a huge
role for both the Maisin and Maasai as it provides food for the people, and a
source of economic and political status. Horticulture is their way of life, and
without it families from Maisin and Maasai communities would have limited number
of crops and also limited cattle (Maasai). Horticulture affects a family’s
social status, and wealth so it’s crucial that it is kept up for an example, “Massai
measure wealth and social status according to the number of animals a person
owns” (Shearn 2017:100). Secondly, gender roles play a large role within the
Maisin and Maasai culture. In the Massai culture “Men care about cattle while
woman care about children,” this shows that woman have an absence of economic
and political power, compared to what men have within the Massai culture
(Shearn 2017: 101). Compared to the Maisin culture, men tend to do task with
heavy lifting, and higher concentrated work, compared to woman task which needs
sustained effort, and a great deal of patience. Both of these jobs are equally
as important, but men and woman have difference in strengths (Barker 2016:40).

            During John Barker’s “Ancestral Lines: The Maisin of Papua New
Guinea and the Fate of the Rainforest,” I questioned why the Maisin people
slowly used modern technology for their advantage, has it clearly shows more
product with less work, but they go back and forth with both ancestral and modern
technology/tools? Barker discussed how the Maisin people started to modernize
their technology and their way of life, making it easier for them to have easy access
to food, or having better hunting tools to get food for them . Easy access to
shotguns, steel axes, and equipment makes it easier for them to garden and
hunt, which is how the Maisin people live through horticulture’s way of living.

Barker also discussed how the Maisin people are becoming more dependent on
store bought goods, but also rely on the land and water for basic needs. Even though
the Maisin people have easy access to goods, majority of their days are going
out hunting for food, gardening, and gathering. It’s easier for the Maisin
culture to completely switch to modern technology, because it allows them for an
easier life, but I believe they should stay with their practice of
horticulture. Individuals within the Maisin tribe, practice horticulture for
100’s of years, as they worship their ancestors. They are successful in
providing for their families, and they are keeping the tradition going from
where their ancestors started from. This shows the history of the Maisin
culture, and how they live is important to their community itself.