The Wogeo are Austronesian-speaking inhabitants of Vokeo Island off the north coast of Papua New Guinea. They live in small villages along the coast and practice slash and burn horticulture, complemented by fishing, gathering nuts, fruit and shellfish, hunting, and raising pigs. The Wogeo once built ocean-going canoes and traded with people living on neighboring islands and the mainland. Regular contact with Europeans did not begin until the late 1800s. Beginning in 1905 the Wogeo were recruited as laborers to work on plantations on the mainland. Wogeo society is divided into two exogamous matrilineal moieties and patrilineal clans. Clan and village headmen adjudicate disputes and presided over religious ceremonies.
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Papua New Guinea
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Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.
Almost all of the documents in the Wogeo culture file are by the ethnographer Herbert Ian Hogbin, who did fieldwork in 1933, 1934 and 1948. The other paper, by Sacks (n.d., document no. 18), is a critique of Hogbin’s work on Wogeo land tenure system. Hogbin’s work includes a general overview of Wogeo culture (1935, no. 4) and discussions on a variety of topics, including economy (1939, no. 1), land tenure (1940, no. 2), a dispute narrative (1940. No. 3), trade (1935, no. 5), pregnancy, child birth and infant care (1943, no. 6), marriage (1945, no. 7), sexual life (1946, no. 8), childrearing (1946, no. 9), adoption (1935, no. 10), crime (1938, no. 11), sorcery (1935, no. 13; 1952, no. 12), magic (1936, no. 14), religion (1970, no. 15) kinship terms (n.d., no. 16), and feasting (n.d., no. 17).
For more detailed information of the content of the individual works in this collection, see abstracts in the citations preceding each document.