Families of Papua New Guinea

Ethnographic expeditions from around the world seek to Papua New Guinea, since the local tribes’ way of life in remote areas of the island often does not differ from the life of their ancestors in the Stone Age.

In tribes, large families-yards for 30-40 people. The Papuans live in houses on stilts so that during the rains and floods the water does not flood the dwelling. From a bamboo or other strong material erect a skeleton, a roof and walls do of a grass, wide leaves.

Families of Papua New Guinea

Papuans still sometimes get fire by rubbing, and groups of houses are built around the “hearth”. Men settle separately from women and children, here and there a woman is forbidden even to approach the male houses, not to go inside.

To cultivate the garden, the Papuans burn out part of the forest and plant the sweet potato, keo-keo, yams on the resulting territory. For cultivation of land use sticks – diggers. In tribes, stone and wooden tools are used, dispensing with iron.

Women of the tribe collect coconuts, bananas, keep the farm. As meat food in the course of roast pork – wild boars or their domesticated offspring, but the meat is rarely eaten. Pigs in the tribe appreciate and cherish.

Do not shun the Papuans to taste other forest living creatures, tasty are considered cassowaries (a kind of ostrich), rodent couscous, snakes. Eat twice a day, instead of plates using banana leaves.

Not so long ago in New Guinea, cannibalism flourished. All Papuans chew betel – a red mixture of leaves of pepper plant and palm seeds catechu with crushed shells, which has a doping effect.

The life of the natives is strictly subject to the laws of the tribe. All questions are decided by elders. Respect for them is unlimited. Until recently, the 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 this, wrapped in leaves, the body was smoked over the fire, moistening with herbal infusion, for several months. So it turned out absolutely black Papuan mummy.

In the days of holidays and festivities it was carried to the people, they asked for advice at a difficult hour. Today in Papua about 5 such relics, whose age range from 350 to 550 years, have been preserved, but modern Papuans have lost the secret of making mummies. Therefore, tribes, where there are own mummies, are very proud of them.

Papuan women are powerless. In marriage they enter early – in 11-14 years the girl is considered “in the 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 to the relatives of the bride come “woo”, bringing as a gift betel. After the family agreed, you need to pay for the girl.

On the day of the wedding, the bridegroom is sent to the tribe where the bride lives, with a procession of dressed fellow-villagers, men and women. They carry a ransom – boars, bags with vegetables, banana branches and other valuables. Often the groom’s tribe runs into the village of the bride with a hoot, symbolizing the “kidnapping” of a fiancé.

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

After the transfer of the bride has taken place, a wedding feast takes place, at which representatives of the related tribes “walk”. After the departure of the bride her property is shared among all members of the community.

Marriage for Papuan is not an easy matter. Women live separately from men with their homes, polygamy is widespread. Since contraception is not provided, many are given birth, but not all children survive. Infants are considered common to the whole tribe, but especially with the children no one rushes.

If tourists come to the tribe, lollipops, cigarettes and beads from them will be received first of all by male warriors. When a woman loses someone from her relatives, she is supposed to chop off the first phalanx of a finger on her arm.

You can meet old women completely without phalanx – hence, in their families there were many deaths. In addition, the widow makes herself long beads – “tears of tears”, stringing on the thread fruits of the local plant. These harnesses weigh about 20 kg. she must wear at least two years.

There are huts for marital embraces where the husband and his wife can retire. You can also have sex in the forest. Attitude towards physical affinity among the Papuans is free, incest is frequent, men can take possession of another’s wife.

Girls grow up with their mothers, and boys of 7 years old are raised among men. Initiation into warriors begins with a puncture of the nose with a pointed wand. Boys all imitate the men: during wars they bring weapons, they hunt.

About 12-13 years, every boy puts on a sexual organ a special band made from a bottle pumpkin, which is worn constantly, being often the only “clothing”. By the length and shape of the bandage it is possible to determine what status the owner has: direct bandages – for “fit” men, the longest – for the leader, for teenagers and the elderly – curved.

ча Wars are frequent among tribes. Given that the armament is made up only of wooden short and long spears and bows with arrows without feathers, there are not enough casualties in the battles. And the skirmishes themselves, the reason for which can be the kidnapping of a pig from a foreign village, are, rather, a ritual character, accompanied by a stream of insults and menacing dances. Sometimes a strong shower can stop a war – warriors run away to their homes. The wounds of the Papuans received in battle are licked, or chewed leaves are applied to them.

Although Christianity prevails in large cities, in the wild tribes they believe in the deities of nature, spirits and ghosts. If on ordinary days a man’s clothes consist of a bandage, and women from a grassy skirt, then religious holidays, wars, weddings are an occasion to dress up and color as best as possible. As outfits and ornaments, the Papuans use everything they can find: feathers, leaves, fruits, teeth and bones of animals.

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

That’s how modern Papuans live – children of nature, not spoiled by civilization. They do not consider their life either poor or backward, but simply preserve the traditions of their ancestors for the sake of future generations.

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