Aboutness Statement Vincent Rojas

Aboutness statement:  This patrol volume focuses on economic development such as roads (Tealands road), bridges, schools, cattle and poultry projects, farming, and gardening with test plots of various crops. Kiaps in this volume were to survey land for development while settling small village disputes. Along with daily tasks listed above, Kiaps politically educated villagers in self-government and independence.


Patrol reports 1-9 from volume nine during the time periods of 1969-1970 in the Southern Highlands District of Pangia Papa New Guinea was focused on the collection of taxes from local village wards for economic development.  Initial patrols of all wards in the Pangia district state that the sole objective was collecting taxes, with large sums of money collected.  The bulk of the money collected from the council taxes was allocated towards the development of the Pangia Tealands road.  The sole focus of the Kiaps in this area was to survey lands for development, and to supervise new construction projects of roads, bridges, and schools that allowed the Southern Highlands region to develop economically, while carrying out these daily tasks the Kiaps solved small village disputes as well.  The construction of roads was important in this region as many villages were cut off from each other preventing social, political, and educational development in the surrounding areas.  Large cattle and poultry projects were implemented in order to solve the food shortage due to an increase in population in the area.  This along with garden test plots, cash crops such as coffee and tea, were used to further increase the economic development in the area.  Missions, education, and schools were also a part of this economic development, with many built during this time, and many planned for the future.  One aspect just as important as the collection of taxes for economic development found in this patrol volume was politically educating the villagers in self-government and independence, with which every Kiap was to adhere to.  The villagers were seen as people who needed the support from the council and Kiaps in order to develop both economically and politically, in order to compete with Coastal people, who the Southern Highlands villagers saw as a threat to their livelihood.


The way I analyzed my patrol reports was reading through each of them and recording my findings on a spreadsheet that summarized the patrols.  After I had summarized the patrol reports on my spreadsheet I then went through the patrols again making a list of key terms that stood out to me.  Many of these key terms included the objectives of the report, the names of rivers and towns, what a particular patrol officer noted in a personal diary, and conclusions of patrols (if listed), many of these terms were repeated.  Initially as I was reading through the reports and typing my summaries down in my spreadsheet I started to pick up on the topics and subject matter of the patrols, this understanding increased as I progressed further into the reports.  I kept these topics in my mind but did not write them down as I did not want to form any biases in my aboutness statement.  While writing my report summaries and key terms via my spreadsheet I started to notice a general theme in the repetition of words and or objectives of the reports.

As I finished analyzing all report I went back and read through my summaries and key terms and confirmed that the topics and subjects I had kept in mind (as I was reading the patrols) were similar to what my summaries produced based on the actual material contained in the patrol reports.  I then found the overall topics and themes of each report not only in my summaries but in my key terms, certain aspects of each report was repeated and certain words and or terms were repeated as well, I just had to put these pieces together to find out the aboutness of the whole volume, this came quite easy as I did my homework, reading the patrols and creating summaries of these patrol reports.  The most difficult task to me was just simply finding the time to read through all the reports and try to find the necessary key terms.  Writing the summaries of the reports and listing key terms helped out the most, as themes started to be repeated, certain words listed in my key terms list was repeated in every patrol report making it easier to identify the topic of the volume.

I also thought that using an online digital catalog as a way to view the report made the process way easier.  For instance on the digital version If I needed to get to a certain page I simply typed in the page number, hit enter, and it took me right to the page I needed, with microfilm I don’t think this is possible.  The way I described my report is unique, only because I used a system that I created as I read through the reports.  I don’t necessarily know if the system I used to analyze the report has been used before (probably so), but there are small subtleties that my personal life experiences may have influenced how I constructed my aboutness statement, however, I tried really hard to form my aboutness statement based solely on the content of the patrols, and by not putting in my own personal take on what occurred in the reports I read.  The only implications I see is that many will be critical of my aboutness statement, why didn’t you do this? Why did you do this? Etc.  But this is to be expected, and welcomed.

Patrol Report: Southern Highlands District, Pangia, 1969 – 1970

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Vincent! I enjoyed the concise nature of your summary, for it used controlled language and structure to teach me a lot about your district’s reports from this time period from a quick read. I, too, struggled to tell how my own personal biases could show in my work, but consciously tried (and continue to try) to look at the research and writing I do with as little personal influence as possible. Studying these patrol reports is an interesting yet unique process, I wish you luck as you continue!

  2. Rachel Hicks says:

    Hi Vincent, you developed a very comprehensive analysis of the blog and summarized a lot of important information. In addition to this, can you write 2-4 sentences that highlight what this is about so a researcher can see at a glance if they want to read more? The way you analyzed your reports was very comprehensive and it shows in the details you were able to include. Great work in thinking through all the information!

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