Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - Apr 19th, 4:00 PM


Dani Subsistence and Environmental Adaptations

Faculty Mentor

Dr. John P. Ziker


The spread of western civilization and industrial societies in the last century have lead to the disruption of many cultural systems of tribal peoples who only recently have been contacted. Such outside influence has lead to the alteration and/ or destruction of many environments across the globe. One society which has managed to resist outside influences are the Dani, a people living in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. These intriguing peoples have developed and maintained, through religious beliefs, subsistence strategies , and political and economic systems, a relationship with their environment which has lead to optimization of tropical rainforest resource use with no seasonality and low levels of diversity. Their resistance to outside influences by Christian missionaries beginning in the 1960’s has allowed the Dani to maintain their traditional life ways and as a result their environment and ecosystems have remained relatively unchanged.