Williams, F. E. (Francis Edgar). Orokaiva society

Table of Contents

Publication Information

I The Orokaiva People


The Name ‘orokaiva’

Ethnic Neighbours

Tribes And Cultural Differences


Physical Characters

Ii Environment

The Country

The Rivers

The Seasons



Iii Daily Life

The Day's Work

The Evening's Recreation

Occasional Activities

Iv Personal Enhancement



Deformations, &c.

Personal Hygiene

Face Painting

Feather Head-dresses


V The Food Quest




Sago Making


Domesticated Animals

Preparation Of Food


Vi Arts Of Life

The Village

The House

Miscellaneous Buildings




Miscellaneous Implements

Musical Instruments

Vii Individual, Family, And Clan

The Members Of The Family

From Childhood To Manhood

The Constitution Of The Clan

Relationship Terms

Viii The Plant Emblem

The Nature Of The Heratu

Uses Of The Heratu

The Heratu As Ancestor

Identity Of Clan, Heratu, And Ancestor

Plant Names For Human Beings

The Heratu As Badge

The Heratu As Totem

Ix Marriage

Polygamy And Exogamy

Transfer Of The Bride-price

The Four Forms Of Marriage

X The Tribes

Partial Blending Of Tribes

Migrations Of The Aiga

Legends Of Origin And Dispersal Of Tribes

Individuality Of The Tribe

Xi Warfare

Inter-clan Fighting

The Tribal Raid


Resistance Against The Whites

Reasons For Raiding


Tabus And Purification Of The Slayer

Adoption Of The Victim's Name

Homicidal Insignia

Xii Initiation Ceremonies


Seclusion Of Initiates

Début And Decoration

Presentation Of ‘otobu’

Subsequent Rites: Prophylaxis And Purification

Meaning And Purpose Of The Ceremonies

Girls' Puberty Seclusion

Xiii Ceremonies Of Mourning

Death And Burial

Mourning Seclusion

‘gorukari’: Ending The Seclusion

Signs And Observances Of Mourning

Discarding The Signs Of Mourning

The Naterari, Or Tabu Post

Xiv Dance And Drama

The Dance

The Drama: Stage Accessories

A Typical Drama Described

The Plot Of The Drama

Actors, Stage, And Audience

Disposal Of Paraphernalia

Ceremonial Significance Of Dance And Drama

Aesthetic And Recreative Value

Xv The Spiritual Substitute

The Meanings Of Asisi

The Asisi As Spiritual Substitute

Asisi Of The Dead

Xvi Survival After Death

The ‘sovai’, Or Being Who Survives Death

Transition From Living Man To ‘sovai’

The Forms Of ‘sovai’

Destination Of Sovai

Attitude Of Sovai Toward The Living

Attitude Of The Living Toward The Sovai

Xvii Medicine And Magic

Causes Of Disease


Casual Diseases.

Sovai Diseases.

Sorcery Diseases.

Common-sense Treatments

Expulsive Treatments

Expulsive Treatments As Magic

Placatory Treatments

Xviii Morality

The Sympathy Group

Extra-group Morality

Intra-group Morality

Summary Of Intra-group Morality

Attempts At Standardization


Absence Of Central Authority

The Sanctions Of Morality

The Moral Sense

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Orokaiva society

Published By: London: Oxford University Press, 1930. xxiii, 335 p., plates: ill.

By line: by F.E. Williams ... with an introduction by Sir Hubert Murray

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2004. Computer File

Culture: Orokaiva (OJ23)

Subjects: Geography (130); Norms (183); Production and supply (433); Weapons (411); Daily routine (512); Art (530); Mode of marriage (583); Clans (614); War (720); Magical and mental therapy (755); Death (760); Sacred objects and places (778); Puberty and initiation (881);

Abstract: Williams, as in his previously published book entitled Orokaiva Magic, (document 2:Williams) compiled the material for this volume while serving in his official capacity as Anthropologist for the Papuan government. The book originally appeared as Anthropological Report No. 10 of the Papuan Government. During his field trips, Williams visited most of the Orokaiva area, but concentrated his attention primarily on the Aigá tribe, and secondarily on the Binandele and Wasida. He visited all the other Orokaiva tribes during his two field trips, and has incorporated the information into this study.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: oj23-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1923-1924

Evaluation: Ethnologist, Geographer-5

Analyst: John Beierle ; 1960

Coverage Date: 1923-1925

Coverage Place: Northern District, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Orokaiva (Papua New Guinea people)


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation