Understanding the wantok system as a socio-economic and political network in the Western Pacific is critical to understanding Melanesian societies and political behavior in the context of the modern na-tion-state. The complex web of relationships spawned by the wantok system at local, national and sub-regional levels of Melanesia could in-form our understanding of events and development in Melanesian states in the contemporary period. This paper will analyze the concepts and historical roots of wantok and kastom in Melanesia, with particular reference to the Solomon Islands. It will also assess the impact of colo-nialism in the development of new and artificial wantok identities and their (re)construction for political purposes. It concludes with a con-textual analysis of wantok as an important network in the Solomon Islands emphasizing its central role to people's understanding of social and political stability and instability.
The Wantok System as a Socio-Economic and Political Network in Melanesia (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260002701_The_Wantok_System_as_a_Socio-Economic_and_Political_Network_in_Melanesia [accessed Mar 12 2018].