Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

Austronesian-speaking Tinputz peoples inhabit the northernmost portion of the island of Bougainville, and Taiof and the Saposa islands off the northwest coast, within the North Bougainville District of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The Tinputz (or Tinputz-Saposa) language family includes Tinputz proper of northeastern Bougainville, Teop to the southeast, Hahon to the west and Saposa on western islands. Tinputz were typical Melanesian swidden horticulturalists, growing taro as a staple crop. In the colonial era they worked on European coconut plantations. The basic kin group is the localized matrilineage grouped into exogamous landholding clans, with the lineage head having some authority within and outside the village. An elaborate initiation ceremony for boys involved the wearing of a distinct headgear over a two-year period.


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


Oceania --Melanesia


Papua New Guinea

OWC Code


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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

Blackwood (1935, Both sides of Buka Passage) wrote the major ethnography on the Tinputz proper, based on fieldwork carried out in 1930, centered on the village of Kurtatchi on the north coast of Bougainville. Also included in the file are two shorter articles by the same author on folk stories (Blackwood 1932) and folk medicine (Blackwood 1935, "Treatment of the sick…"), from information collected in and around Kurtatchi that year, with some additional information collected mainly among the Petats (Buka) during travels in 1929 and 1930.

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

Overview by

Ian Skoggard

Beroan -- ceremonial currency -- Use Medium Of Exchange ( 436 )

Kōma -- dance -- Use Dance ( 535 )

Pinari -- supernatural creature -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 )

Tsunaun -- village head -- Use Community Heads ( 622 )

Tukis -- supernatural creature -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 )

Upe -- ritual headgear -- Use Special Garments ( 292 )

Ura -- ghosts -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 ) or Eschatology ( 775 )

Wapi -- boys' initiation ceremony -- Use Puberty And Initiation ( 881 )

Indexing Notes by

Ian Skoggard

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