News & AnalysisAnthropology

Turning From War to Peace in Papua New Guinea

Science  28 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6102, pp. 1593-1594
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6102.1593

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Summary

Papua New Guinea has a fearsome reputation for violent conflict. Between 1991 and 2010, about 500 clan wars killed about 1% of the Enga, the nation's largest linguistic group. But on page 1651 of this week's issue of Science, researchers document an astonishing turn toward peace among the Enga. Starting around 2005, the people began to rely on compensation in village courts to resolve offenses that once might have triggered war, and by 2011, few Enga waged war.