The Role of Technology in Don Richardson’s “Peace Child”
Technology plays a major role in the story “Peace Child”. When white people arrive in the land of Netherlands New Guinea, the natives are attracted to the technology they bring with them. This new technology is in the form of steel tools such as axes and razor blades. These tools are first acquired from the white men by the Kayagar clan, who show them off to other tribes such as the Sawi.
When Canadian evangelists Don and Carol Richardson arrive to try and spread the Christian gospel among the natives, their message is initially rejected. This is because the locals, whose culture glorifies war and treachery, begin to admire Judas Iscariot more than Jesus Christ. When the evangelists threaten to leave due to the constant wars among the locals, it is the new tools they have with them that locals don’t want to lose. Each tribe thus offers a peace child to other tribes, and in turn receives one from each of the tribes. This exchange of children fosters peace, so long as the children are still alive. This peace enables the evangelists to stay and spread their gospel. The locals become converts, mainly to retain the valuable tools.