Families of Papua New Guinea


Ethnographic expeditions from all over the world strive to Papua New Guinea, since the way of life of local tribes in remote areas of the island is often no different from the life of their ancestors in the Stone Age.

The tribes have large families-courtyards of 30-40 people. Papuans live in houses on stilts so that during rains and floods the water does not flood their homes. A frame is erected from bamboo or other strong material, the roof and walls are made of grass, wide leaves.

The Papuans still sometimes produce fire by friction, and groups of houses are built around the "hearth". Men live separately from women and children, in some places a woman is forbidden even to approach men's houses, let alone go inside.

To cultivate a vegetable garden, the Papuans burn out part of the forest and plant sweet potatoes, keo-keo, yams on the resulting territory. Digging sticks are used to cultivate the land. The tribes use stone and wood tools, doing without iron.

The women of the tribe collect coconuts, bananas, and farm. Fried pork is used as a meat food - wild boars or their domesticated descendants, but meat is rarely eaten. Pigs in the tribe are valued and cherished.

Papuans do not hesitate to taste other forest animals, cassowaries (a kind of ostrich), couscous rodent, snakes are considered tasty. Eat twice a day, using banana leaves instead of plates.

Cannibalism flourished in New Guinea not long ago. All Papuans chew betel, a red mixture of pepper plant leaves and catechu palm seeds with crushed shells, which has an intoxicating effect.

The life of the natives is strictly subject to the laws of the tribe. All matters are decided by the elders. The respect for them is limitless. Until recently, leaders and elders were honored to "live after death" in the form of a mummy.

The body of the leader was given a sitting position, sprinkled with herbs and rubbed with drugs. After that, wrapped in leaves, the body was smoked over the fire, moistened with herbal infusion, for several months. This is how an absolutely black Papuan mummy turned out.

On holidays and celebrations, she was taken out to the people, in difficult times they asked for advice. Today, about 5 such relics have survived in Papua, the age of which is from 350 to 550 years, but modern Papuans have lost the secret of making mummies. Therefore, the tribes that have their own mummies are very proud of them.

Papuan women have no rights. They get married early - at 11-14 years old a girl is considered "in the very juice". The bride is chosen by the decision of the elders, since the young must belong to certain tribes, know one language.

Before the wedding, the bride's relatives come to "woo", bringing betel nuts as a present. After the families have agreed, you need to pay for the girl.

On the wedding day, the groom goes to the tribe where the bride lives with a procession of dressed fellow villagers, men and women. They carry the ransom - wild boars, sacks of vegetables, banana branches and other valuables. Often, the groom's tribe runs into the bride's village with a hoot, symbolizing the "abduction" of the bride.

The bride comes out to meet her, painted in "wedding" colors - red and black, hung with local paper money, the amount of which means the ransom amount. Sometimes, in order to get married, a young man and his family take a long ransom, working on coffee plantations.

After the transaction on the transfer of the bride took place, a wedding feast takes place, where representatives of the related tribes "walk". After the bride leaves, all members of the community share her property with each other.

Marriage is not easy for a Papuasca. Women live separately from men in their own homes, polygamy is widespread. Since contraception is not provided, many give birth, but not all babies survive. Babies are considered common to the entire tribe, but no one is especially worried with children.

If tourists come to the tribe, then, first of all, male warriors will receive lollipops, cigarettes and beads from them. When a woman loses one of her relatives, it is customary for her to chop off the first phalanx of the finger on her hand.

You can find old women completely without phalanxes - which means that there were many deaths in their families. In addition, the widow makes herself long beads - "bundles of tears", stringing the fruits of a local plant on a string. These harnesses weigh about 20 kg. it must be worn for at least two years.

For marital hugs, huts are provided, where husband and wife can retire. You can also have sex in the forest. The Papuans have a free attitude to physical intimacy, often incest, men can take possession of someone else's wife.

Girls grow up with their mothers, and boys from the age of 7 are brought up among men. Initiation into warriors begins with a piercing of the nose with a sharpened stick. Boys imitate men in everything: during wars they bring up weapons, hunt.

At about 12-13 years old, each boy puts on a special bandage made of bottle gourd on his genitals, which is worn constantly, being often the only "clothing". By the length and shape of the bandage, one can determine the status of the owner: straight bandages - for "fit" men, the longest - for the leader, for adolescents and old people - curved.

Wars are frequent among the tribes. Given the fact that the weapons are only wooden short and long spears and bows with arrows without feathers, there are few casualties in battles. And the skirmishes themselves, the reason for which may be the kidnapping of a pig from a foreign village, are rather ritual in nature, accompanied by streams of insults and threatening dances. Sometimes a heavy downpour can stop the war - the soldiers scatter home. The Papuans lick the wounds received in the battle, or apply chewed leaves to them.

Although Christianity is widespread in large cities, savage tribes believe in nature deities, spirits, and ghosts. If on ordinary days a man's clothes consist of a bandage, and a woman's clothes consist of a grass skirt, then religious holidays, wars, weddings are an excuse to dress up and paint as best as possible. The Papuans use everything that comes across as outfits and adornments: feathers, leaves, fruits, teeth and animal bones.

Men tie beards made of grass and moss. Necessarily rubbed with lard or painted faces and bodies. Each tribe has its own colors and patterns. The paint is made from natural materials: clay, soot, leaves, bark and more. Apply it in a thick layer so that only the eyes stand out on the face.

This is how modern Papuans live - children of nature, not spoiled by civilization. They do not consider their life to be either poor or backward, but simply preserve the traditions of their ancestors for the sake of future generations.


Watch the video: Most Dangerous Ways To School. PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Free Documentary


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