Materialistic Anthropology, based on Marxist theory, focuses on human practices that result from the material conditions in which the society exists. This meant that there finally was a strong appreciation of the fact that historical transformations resulting from changes in material conditions are of critical importance to understand the underpinnings of a society
In the early twentieth century the Trobriand people were the subject of an in-depth ethnographic study by Bronislaw Malinowski. The anthropologist lived on Mailu Island for several years. He learnt their language and interacted with the islanders daily. His stated aim was to understand the “imponderabilia of everyday life” in the tribe.