Deacon, Bernard, 1903-1927. Malekula: a vanishing people in the New Hebrides

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Malekula ; A Study Of A Vanishing People In The New Hebrides

Chapter I The Land And The People

The Districts Of Malekula

The People Of Malekula

The Distribution Of Cultures

The Malekulan Mode Of Life

The Malekulan Character

Native Conditions To-day 1

Chapter Ii The Village And Village Life

The Villages

Houses And House-building

Village Life

Daily Occupations


Music And Singing




Maintenance Of Law And Order

Chapter Iii Kinship Organization In The South-west

Seniang, Wilemp, And Mewun

The Clans

The Villages Of Seniang

The Villages Of Wilemp

The Villages Of Hurtes

The Villages Of The South-west Coastal Region And Tomman Island

The Villages Of Mewun 2

The Kinship System Of Seniang

The Rights And Duties Of Relatives

The Father And Mother ( Teta And Amo )

The Mother's Brother (metuan)

The Father's Sister (awei)

Grandparents (aavu)

Brother And Sister ( Mwenengk And Venengk )

Relatives By Marriage

Parents And Child's Spouse ( Aiwut And Momo To Avile And Ale )

Brother- And Sister-in-law

Husband And Wife

The Clan Of The Spouse

The Kinship Systems Of Wien And Laus

The Kinship Terms Of Wien

The Kinship Terms Of Laus

The Kinship System Of Mewun

The Kinship Terms 1

The Rights And Duties Of Relatives

Chapter Iv Kinship Organization In The North-west


The Kinship System

The Kinship Terms

The Mother's Brother

Brother And Sister


Affinal Relatives. (i) Parents- And Children-in-law

(ii) Brothers- And Sisters-in-law

(iii) Husband And Wife

Kinship In Lagalag

The Kinship Terms Of Lagalag 1

The Rights And Duties Of Relatives

The Mother's Brother

Brother And Sister


Affinal Relatives

Descent In Lagalag

Kinship In Laravat

The Kinship Terms

The Behaviour Of Relatives

Chapter V Kinship Organization In North, Central, And East Malekula

The Big Nambas

Kinship Terms From Malua

Kinship Terms From Ten Marou

East Malekula

Kinship Terms From Senbarei District

The Kinship Terms Of Uripiv

The Interior


Chapter Vi Marriage And The Relations Of The Sexes

Seniang And Wilemp

The Regulation Of Marriage

Polygyny And Polyandry

Marriage Ceremonies

Premarital Relations And Adultery

Sexual Life


The Regulation Of Marriage

Marriage Ritual

Premarital Relations And Adultery

Lambumbu And Lagalag

The Regulation Of Marriage

The Ritual Of Marriage


Premarital Relations And Adultery

Sexual Life

Chapter Vii Economic Life

Land Tenure And The Cultivation Of Land







The Pig Grades Of Seniang

The Pig Grades Of Lambumbu

Gift Exchange And Trade

A Legend Of The Sun

Chapter Viii Warfare

The Weapons Used In Warfare

The Causes Of War

Organization And Preparation For War

Peace-making In Seniang


Chapter Ix The Rites Of Birth And Initiation

( A ) Birth

The Birth Rites

Seniang And Mewun

Lambumbu And Lagalag


( B ) Initiation


Lambumbu And Lagalag

The Rites Of Nöwei Nambög In Lambumbu

The Incision Rites Of Laravat

The Incision Rites Of South Lambumbu

Circumcision Among The Big Nambas

Chapter X The Nimangki 1 Society

Untitled Section: ...


The Insignia Of The Nimangki

The Rites Of The Nimangki

The Performers In A Nimangki

The Entrance Ceremonies To The Different Nimangki Grades

Naamb Tileo

Naamb Loh


Naai Mbimbarap



Chapter Xi The Nimangki Society (contd.)



Neten Mwelip


Mbat Ru





Naamel Ewon


Chapter Xii The Nimangki And Nelemew Of North And East Malekula

The Ritual Of A Nimangki And Nelemew

The Big Nambas

South And East Malekula

Chapter Xiii The Nalawan Society

Untitled Section: ...


The Rites Of The Nalawan

Naamel Limbu

Numbou Nemen And Numbou Vanmesur

Nalawan Naainggol

Nalawan Nisamp

Nimbatin Na'amel

Nalawan Amel Sesmandur

Lelengva'al Nimbwilei Tonggor

Nimbwilei Ambar Leo 3

Numbou Ai Mbamp


Numbou Vivinsiengk Loor'ha

Numbou Timbarap

Nalawan Vinbamp 1

The Masks Of The Nalawan

The Nalawan In Other Districts Of Malekula

Chapter Xiv The Nimangki Tlel And The Nelan Societies

The Nimangki Tlel Of Lambumbu

The Celebration Of Nimangki Tlel 2

The Nelan Of Lagalag

Chapter Xv The Rites Of The Nevinbur, Neleng, And Nimbe'ei

The Neleng

The Nimbe'ei

Chapter Xvi The Ritual Life Of Women

The Lapas Of Seniang



Chapter Xvii The Gongs

The Ceremonial Of Erecting A New Gong

Gong-making In Lagalag

Chapter Xviii Death And The Disposal Of The Dead In The South-west


The Disposal Of The Dead

The Funeral Rites Of Apwil Naandu

Pig-giving At Funerals


Memorials Of The Dead

The Rambaramp

Beliefs Concerning The Soul Or Spirit

Life After Death

The Cult Of The Dead

Death And Disposal Of The Dead In Mewun

Beliefs Concerning The Soul

The Land Of The Dead

Chapter Xix Death And The Disposal Of The Dead In The North

Lambumbu, Lagalag, And Laravat

The Disposal Of The Dead


Beliefs Concerning The Soul

The Cult Of The Dead

The Land Of The Dead

Death And The Disposal Of The Dead Among The Big Nambas

The Disposal Of The Dead

Beliefs Concerning The Dead

The Land Of The Dead

East Malekula

Chapter Xx Totemism

Seniang And Wilemp

The Clan Neerew



Lagalag, Nesan, And Big Nambas

The Story Of Mbögwi Of Lagandu

Chapter Xxi Ambat, Kabat, And Hambat

The Ambat Of Seniang

Ambat And The Giant Clam

The Death Of Ambat

The Kabat

The Hambat Of Lambumbu

The Hambut Of Lagalag

Chapter Xxii The “making Of Man”

The Neerew Rahulemp

The Neerew Mbatiar Of Wilemp

The Nogho Tilabwe Of Mewun

The Logho At Melpmes

The Rites Of The Nogho Tilabwe

The Nogharo Nömur Of Lambumbu

The Wut Moul Of Lembelag

The Rites Of The Nogharo Nömur

Chapter Xxiii Magic

The Rite

The Condition Of The Performer

The Spell

Sickness And Its Treatment

The Performers In Magic

The Clan Magician

Chapter Xxiv The Distribution Of Cultures In The Northern New Hebrides

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Malekula: a vanishing people in the New Hebrides

Published By: Original publisher London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd.. 1934. xl, 792 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by A. Bernard Deacon ; edited by Camilla H. Wedgwood. With a pref. by A. C. Haddon.

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2002. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Malekula (OO12)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Reviews and critiques (114); Domesticated animals (231); Body alterations (304); Age stratification (561); Sodalities (575); Regulation of marriage (582); Kinship terminology (601); Kin relationships (602); Avuncular and nepotic relatives (604); Clans (614); Mythology (773); Eschatology (775); Spirits and gods (776); Sacred objects and places (778); Magic (789); Organized ceremonial (796); Puberty and initiation (881); Interlinear translations (903);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This monograph is a comprehensive survey of traditional Malekulan ethnography, based on Deacon's own field observations during the period of 1925-1927, and the memories of his native informants dealing with earlier historical periods. Copious notes were taken by the author during the years of his field work, but unfortunately he died of blackwater fever in 1927 before they could be organized into a form suitable for publication. After his death this task was left to Miss Camilla H. Wedgewood who edited the notes and put them into the final form of the publication presented here (with many editorial notes scattered throughout the text). Although Deacon's work centered primarily on the southwestern region of Malekula, he does present much comparative information on other regions of the island as well (northwestern, eastern, northern, central, etc.). Much of the document deals with the age grade rituals of the NIMANGKI and NALAWAN societies, but there is also abundant information on geography, kinship, marriage, the economic life, warfare, birth and initiation, the gongs (which are involved in many aspects of Malekulan life), death practices, totemism, and magic. Three appendices provide data on the prehistoric pottery used extensively in rituals, native texts of myths, and a glossary of native terms.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 4

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. oo12-004

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English and dialects of Malekula

Note: 'Native texts: stories and myths recorded in the dialects of Malekula, and translated wholly or in part by A. B. Deacon': p. 715-736 Includes bibliographical references (p. 757-760) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1925-1927

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle ; 2000

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). late eighteenth century - mid 1920s

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Island of Malekula, Vanuatu

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Malekula (Vanuatu)


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