Whiting, John Wesley Mayhew, 1908-. Becoming a Kwoma: teaching and learning in a New Guinea tribe

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Publication Information


Title: Becoming a Kwoma: teaching and learning in a New Guinea tribe

Published By: New Haven: Published for the Institute of Human Relations by Yale University Press, 1941. xix, 226 p., plates: ill.

By line: by John W. M. Whiting ; with a foreword by John Dollard

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Kwoma (OJ13)

Subjects: Culture summary (105); Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Reproduction (840); Religious beliefs (770); Social readjustments to death (768); Hunting and trapping (224); Infancy and childhood (850); Kin relationships (602); Sex (830); Socialization (860); Adolescence, adulthood, and old age (880);

Abstract: This study describes in detail the socialization process of the Kwoma individual. Young children are treated with very great indulgence, and scolding and beating are practiced in moderation in disciplining older children. The males have to undergo several age grade ceremonies in which certain religious secrets are revealed to them and scarification is practiced. Only after he has been initiated into the highest grade is a man permitted to plant yams. Headhunting, traditionally a source for personal merit, seems to have almost vanished under the pressure of the colonial administration. The author presents data which are primarily on males, since his sex did not permit more than superficial contact with Kwoma females. Also, data on the earliest phases of infancy are limited, since during the first three months of life, a baby is not allowed to be observed by anybody else than the closest family members; this, to prevent it from being harmed by sorcery.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: oj13-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1936-1937

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Sigrid Khera ; Helen Bornstein ; 1971-1974 ; Teferi Abate Adem; 2008

Coverage Date: 1936-1937

Coverage Place: Rumbina Hamlet, Sepik River District, Peilungua Mountains, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Kwoma (Papua New Guinean people)


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