Customs and traditions of Papua New Guinea
The culture of Papua-New Guinea is extremely diverse and here it is unlikely to highlight the United Country Type of Traditions or Lifestyle. Even within the same districts or areas, representatives of several dozen nations can live, often practically unnecessar between neither origin, nor. And taking into account the isolation of many tribal groups and thoroughly following their various and very ancient traditions, it turns out a very difficult picture that absorbs more than 1000 cultural groups.
The local population of Papua New Guinea is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Several thousand individual communities live here, many of which often count barely only a few hundred people. And until recently, many neighboring tribes conducted irreconcilable wars, whose roots often go to the darkness of millennia. Accordingly, the underlining of their cultural identity, especially in relation to hostile neighbors, has also led to the all-time increase in the intergovernmental division. Isolation caused by mountainous landscape and sufficiently harsh natural conditions is often so comprehensive that some tribal groups until recently did not even know about the existence of neighboring peoples, if they were at least a few kilometers from the border of the tribal range. As a result, there was even a saying "Each village is its culture", exactly transmitting all variety of local life.
Best of all, this picture is traced in local languages. Papua New Guinea is the most multilingual country of the Earth (there are 820 local languages and dialects in total here, only half of them have clearly traceable relationships). Most of the local adverbs are very clearly localized – usually representatives of one particular tribal group that dwells at such a limited space. Typically, one language is used from several hundred to several thousand people, although languages are a mother (Hyri-Mota – almost the main language of the coastal area around Port Morsby) or ENGA (used in part of the mountainous area) are much wider and often needed for interethnic communication. However, these "general" Languages are divided into several clan dialects, often very little similar to each other. In addition, almost all local adverbs are extremely complex grammatically and abundant with sounds, almost non-promotable for Europeans.
Hybrid Language "Tok-Pisin" It is used almost throughout Papua New Guinea and absorbed a lot of word forms from both local lawless and from English and Dutch. Europeans usually call him "Pondan-Inglish", implying the english language basis of this "international" Language, but in reality it uses so many local idioms that it is extremely difficult to select elements in it. Language of interethnic communication, along with "Tok-Pisin" Both the Motom (Hiri-Mot), acts as the so-called Neomelanezian language (distributed in the eastern part of the country), which has gained both the language basis of the peoples of Oceania and numerous borrowing from English, German, Japanese and Dutch languages. Often it is confused with the language of the mother, because the sound of many words, indeed, is very similar, however, in fact, these are two different languages. The official language of the country – English is used only in the system of education, commercial activities and government circles.
If you try to allocate some common cultural elements for the entire diversity of the population of Papua New Guinea, it is relatively clearly able to localize only the common traditions in the clothes and decoration of the body, a rather similar organization of settlements and the common tribal structure for all tribes. All other features, sometimes global enough, will be characteristic only for some particular tribal group. Therefore, when traveling deep into the country and communicating with the locals, the help of a local conductor and a translator is essential, without which the tourist, even armed encyclopedic knowledge about the structure of a local society, not to avoid trouble.
Novogvinets are widely known for their complex and colorful dress, and the colors and style of local clothes, especially the shape of the hats, are unique for each tribal group and often serve as a sign of ethnic identification. Local tribes are mostly confessing the ancient animistic cults and the champion systems, according to which each tribal group has its own animal or a plant that performs the role of the patron. Moreover, the nature and variety of such totems simply amaze – they can be all possible plants, insects, and birds, and mammals, and even some mythical creatures. Therefore, the nature of the breeding dresses expresses the image or symbol of a tribal totem. The same purpose is the indispensable coloring of the body, which in everyday life has a clearly identification function (the full tribal coloring of the islanders is applied to their bodies only for hostilities or large festive ceremonies), and also acts as a means of protection against exposure to the external environment (Japanese, for example, In the period of hostilities on the islands, it was noted that the complex local paint applied to the body protects against bloodsowing insects much better than military uniform, mesh and repeated).
The imitation of the Totems is clearly traced in ceremonial dances and music, as well as in characteristic of all the peoples of the islands wigs, often representing a complex engineering building from human hair (women’s hair and children are used), bird feathers, colors (sometimes specially grown only for this purpose ) and animal fur. The combination of these elements is natural, each tribe has its own. It is worth adding the famous local masks, which often make up one whole with some particular type of clothing or coloring of the body, and also carry a cult function. In everyday life, naturally, the islanders are simplified by their "national clothes", For the holidays or in the case of some particularly significant activities (regional festivals, fairs, negotiations with neighbors or receptions) are dressed in compliance with all elements of local ruffles.
In addition to the usual coloring and dresses for a tribe, there is still a whole system "Events" Elements. Women, for example, make special festive outfits (for a wedding, such as black) or cover themselves with a special type of color (blue-gray clay under mourning, for example). Men have a complex body painting system corresponding to their rank or social status, as well as the nature of the actions performed (there is a real camouflage from gray-green spots and strips of different shapes applied to the body for hunting or hostilities). It should be noted that these traditions are so strong that the official symbols of this or that district or the region are not the emblems or flags, and some special chapecological images decorated in the form of shields, masks or other military ammunition items (usually they are quite officially approved in as a kind of coat of arms at the highest level).
Clans in the mountainous area have an ancient and fairly confusing social system, which is weakly affected by changes even under pressure from modern civilization. It is almost useless to describe it, because in each tribal group there is a set of social relationships. The only common element is the observance of a complex social hierarchy (at the head of the clan is usually worth the leader or elder, the rest of the elements, starting with the system of inheritance and ending with the building of the general hierarchy, each tribe has its own) and its rigid clan system. Plus, the division of duties for sexual sign is characteristic – women are traditionally responsible for home care and daily work for the benefit of the whole village (communities), while men are engaged in hunting, trading and military actions. Materials are usually distributed between community farms with a senior man.
Wealth As such here has a rather unusual role – the accumulation of property is not very accepted, but the system of transmission of it in the form of gifts or offenses has a very complex ceremonial and meaning, increasing the prestige of the giving and superimposing on the well-taking certain obligations (from here and nonlyubov islanders to gifts from strangers and teas). The fundamental element of society is also the result of the concept of mutual obligations between clans (families), still having the strongest impact on the entire social structure.
Although the country gradually changes, many people still live in small villages, earning a living by agriculture, gardening, fishing, hunting or craft. Almost all the land, and not only suitable for processing belongs to communities or villages, so it should be remembered that when you join someone else, it is necessary to ask permits. This also applies to the collection of fruits or fishing on someone’s lands, about the hunt we are simply not going – any stranger caught in foreign hunting grounds, the local law considers a criminal, and anyone can be applied to it (anyone (!) Methods of exposure.
The center of any populated area is "House Tambaran" (in the near translation – "House of Spirit"). As soon as local residents are based on a new settlement, the first thing they build this particular cult center, sacred for any islander, whether he is a Christian (and such a third-third of the country’s population) or a commitment of local beliefs. Only men of tribe and tribal leaders can enter the shelter of this house, although for foreigners this rule is usually somewhat softened, and with some ability to negotiate this house is quite possible and even necessary – after the visiting ritual "House Tambaran" any strange thing goes into a guest discharge. Such structures are usually built in a wide variety of styles, with massive carved wooden columns, which are their main distinguishing feature. From the inside the walls of the house are decorated with numerous carved images of the spirits and the chapter patrons of the tribe, which are addressed for advice when making any ceremonies. Inside, there are also several pedestals similar to stools, but it is not allowed to sit on them – the ligaments of the leaves are abandoned on them indicate the ownership of this place of a distinguished member of the community.
Ancient rituals still play the role of essential social events. Over these complex ceremonies are usually supervised by the elder clan, all members of the community have their own role and importance in them, and external design is often simply great – almost all members of the community, depending on their social status, decorate themselves with traditional clothes, the most complex headquarters and color bodies, dance ceremonies, religious rites and other elements, for the most part who came in our time from prehistoric times. Today, each of the twenty regions of the country conducts its own cultural festival and regional festive events, which are usually invited by representatives of neighboring tribal groups and professional artistic groups, and their visitors have the opportunity in one place and for a short period of time to see many types of rites, traditions and arts of Papua -New Guinea.
The artistic forms of the country are as diverse as different from each other. In a country where language changes from the village to the village, the artistic traditions of the population are also different both in style and forms of expression. No wonder they say that on the territory of Papua New Guinea, you can see all Oceania at one time and in one place. Clay utensils, weapons, carved and wicker products, musical instruments created by masters of various tribes according to their traditional skills and beliefs are the real wealth of the country and popular export subjects.