Reseach Project on

Cultural Learning, Cognition and Cooperation

Joe Henrich Home



Village of Teci, Yasawa Island

Study foci

Cultural Transmission

Ethno marine ecology

Social norms and cooperation

Folksociology and kinship

Thinking about chiefs




Currently working on Yasawa Island in villages of Teci, Dalomo, and Bukama

also in Totoya in the Moala Group

Ethnograhy and Experiments

The project seeks to combine in-depth qualitative and quantitative ethnography with experiments, formal tasks, and biometric measurements.

Behavioral experiments measure people's social preferences

Formal Tasks

Pile sorts help us figure out how people categorize the marine ecology and understand relationships

All of our work integrate observation of daily life, collecting litoral food sources, with cognitive measures.

Rob Boyd measures a moray eel (dabea)

We use time allocation and variety of interview to track how people spend their time, and who they hang out with

Research to done by Fijians, hire and trained in research techniques to assist with the project

Here we see Joape Kuruyawa, currently the assistant project director, working with Yame Tuidama

Each year we take physical and health measures of everyone.

Here Tanya, a graduate student in developmental psychology, is measuring blood pressure in Teci.

Project is interdiscplinary.

We are interested in the transmission of cultural knowledge and are using network methods to map the pathways of cultural transmission

A Cultural Learning Network for Knowledge about Growing Yams. The arrow indicates who a person would go to with a question about Yam growing.

Proposals that have funded this work

Construction of the Laboratory for Culture and Cognition in Teci Village
The laboratory, which can run 3 computers, is powered by solar panels
Samisoni Nanovu
is the current project director. Here he is interviewing Kelea outside of the school in Teci


2003 Project Team

Joan Silk, Ruby Boyd, Josefa Ravuso, Joe Henrich, Rob Boyd, Mili Vukunisiga, Vilisi, Natalie Henrich

(Nabukeru village)

2004 Project Team

Joape Kuruyawa, Lusi Motoya, Joe Henrich

2005 Project Team

Vaseva Kuru, uu, Joan Silk, Rob Boyd, Ruby Boyd, Joape Kuruyawa, Joe Henrich, Tanya Broesch, Samisoni Nanovu

2006 Project Team

Tuwai, Naomi, Tanya Broesch, Joe Henrich, Samisoni Nanovu, Kesa, Semesa

2007 Project Team

Joe Henrich, Samisoni Nanovu, Tepola, Semesa

2008 Project Team

(Photo by Jale Nasegesege)


2009 Project Team

(Photo by Jale Nasegesege)




2010 Project Team






2011 Project Team

(Photo by Ame Tuidama)






2012 Project Team