Collection Description

Culture Name

Northeastern Massim

Culture Description

The Austronesian speaking Northeastern Massim peoples occupy a region encompassing the northeastern offshore islands of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Muyuw, by far the largest island, is also the name of the regional [i]lingua franca[/i], and a blanket term for Northeastern Massim peoples excepting those on Trobriand-influenced Yanaba and the Marshall Bennett Islands. Social organization is based on clans that function primarily in the selection of marriage partners, and subclans that function as property holding units. Traditionally, each clan recognized one man as its head, and the head of the most important clan on each island was recognized as the paramount chief. Kinship terminology is a variant of the Crow type used in the Trobriands. Subsistence is based on fishing and agriculture.

Note

Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.

Region

Oceania --Melanesia

Countries

Papua New Guinea

OWC Code

OL07

Number of Documents

10

Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages

835

Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF World Cultures Collection and are referenced by author, date of publication and, as needed, an abbreviated title.

The OL07 Northeastern Massim collection consists of several documents dealing primarily with the time period from 1845 to 1999. It concentrates heavily on the kula exchange in the broader North Massim (including the Trobriands) especially in: Damon (1983 "What moves…", 1990, 2002); Young (1983); and Munn (1986). Damon’s studies deal primarily with the Muyuw area, with particular emphasis on Wabunum village where he did most of his field work. In contrast, Munn did her work on much smaller Gawa. Damon (1990) provides the best general overview. Other topics given varying degrees of coverage in this collection are: mortuary rites and marriage (Damon 1989); kinship (Damon 1983 "Muyuw kinship…"); internal and external changes (Damon 1983 "On the transformation…"); history, trade, and culture change (Young 1983); and symbolic theory analysis (Munn 1986, 1990).

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

John Beierle

Aluw -- incorporeal aspects of a deceased person; an ancestor -- Use Eschatology ( 775 )

Anagin tavalam -- mortuary ritual -- Use Cult Of The Dead ( 769 )

Balouma -- spirit children -- Use Eschatology ( 775 )

Bibira -- cleansing of the land and the people by sending away illness -- Use Magical And Mental Therapy ( 755 )

Burawura -- one’s kula partner -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) with Exchange Transactions ( 437 )

Buwaa -- food transmission, generally in marriage exchange -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) with Mode Of Marriage ( 583 )

Bwagaw -- witch or witchcraft -- Use Sorcery ( 754 )

Dal -- subclan -- Use Lineages ( 613 )

Dibadeb -- post in or near the center of a village, around which dancing takes place -- Use Miscellaneous Structures ( 349 )

Garden specialist -- -- Use Magicians And Diviners ( 791 )

Geliw -- supernatural being -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 )

Gulugwal -- closing gift in kula -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 )

Guyaw -- man of high standing -- Use Community Heads ( 622 ) and/or Status Role And Prestige ( 554 )

Intersubjective spacetime -- -- Use Social Relationships And Groups ( 571 )

Kaluwan -- life force or soul -- Use Life And Death ( 761 ) and/or Animism ( 774 )

Kayasa -- Drum and Comb dances (Gawa entertainments) -- Use Rest Days And Holidays ( 527 ) with Dance ( 535 )

Kaypul -- informal gathering of men to discuss local problems -- Use Public Lectures ( 544 )

Kitoum -- personally owned kula valuables -- Use Accumulation Of Wealth ( 556 )

Kum -- clan -- Use Sibs ( 614 )

Kun -- the kula interisland exchange system -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) and/or Exchange Transactions ( 437 )

Lo’un -- mortuary ceremony that ends the marriage between a deceased’s father and mother -- Use Cult Of The Dead ( 769 )

Local government council -- -- Use Territorial Hierarchy ( 631 )

Mwal -- armshell ornaments circulating in the kula exchange -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) with Exchange Transactions ( 437 )

Po’un -- following the death of a wife, the surviving husband’s gift of kitoum valuables to his brothersinlaw -- Use Social Readjustments To Death ( 768 ) and/or Gift Giving ( 431 )

Sagal -- general term of a series of mortuary rites -- Use Burial Practices And Funerals ( 764 )

Seygous -- yam houses, as a structure -- Use Outbuildings ( 343 )

Silami -- use of a variety of poisonous leaves to cause death -- Use Offenses Against Life ( 682 )

Sinavarama -- labor assistance -- Use Labor Supply And Employment ( 464 ) and/or Mutual Aid ( 476 ) and/or Kin Relationships ( 602 )

Sinvalam -- -- Use Kin Relationships ( 602 )

Takon -- exchange form in which vegetables (and pork) are exchanged for kitoum ( kula valuables) -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) and/or Exchange Transactions ( 437 )

Taraveru -- male head or owner of a hamlet -- Use Community Heads ( 622 )

Umata -- dala or lineage of the deceased -- Use Lineages ( 613 )

Uvelaku -- communityorganized kula competition -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) and/or Competition ( 477 )

Vag -- opening gift in kula -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 )

Valuables -- -- Use Accumulation Of Wealth ( 556 )

Veigun -- necklaces circulating in the kula exchange -- Use Gift Giving ( 431 ) and/or Exchange Transactions ( 437 )

Ven -- division of villages on Muyuw into two pseudomoieties, formerly war communities incorporating complementary economic production -- Use Community Structure ( 621 ) and/or Territorial Hierarchy ( 631 )

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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