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The White Man Will Eat You by William Edward Wormsley

            In the book "The White Man Will Eat You", an American anthropologist by the name of William E. Wormsley travels to New Guinea. He arrives on May 5 1975 to begin his two year anthropological study. Papua new Guinea, a place where most people think of as dirty, hot, humid, insect ridden, disease infested and populated by unpleasant people (Wormsley, 2002:2). But all those things did not stop William E. Wormsley from continuing his field work. After he landed in Papua New Guinea, Wormsley had to travel to the Southern Highlands, where he would conduct his field work. The anthropologist builds his house in Tona with the help of the Imbonggu. Wormsley observed the Imbonggu in order to get his information but he also had to communicate with them. The Imbonggu were not willing to share information with the white man unless he shared information with them, the white man had to tell them stories about America, in return the Imbonggu would give him information about their culture and tradition. The anthropologist quickly realizes that the life in Papua New Guinea is better than the life America, even without all the luxury.
             In Papua new Guinea, the Imbonggu have developed a social structure. There is inequality between the Imbonggu men and the Imbonggu women. The men marry as many women as they want but they have to pay an amount of money for each wife at the end of the year. Men tend to say that women cannot think like men (Wormsley, 2002:67). The women live on the outside, surrounding the core of men, they also don't speak the same languages as the men. The Imbonggu population mostly survive from eating sweet potatoes. The men clear out the garden area in order for the women to plant sweet potatoes. If a woman fails to bring enough sweet potatoes, she and her daughters will have to suffer from the shortage (Wormsley, 2002:71). At the top of the social structure is the "Big Man".

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