Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Austronesian-speaking Sa of southern Pentecost Island live in nucleated villages and dispersed homesteads, practicing swidden horticulture (principally taro and yams) and fishing in rivers and coastal waters. The main social and political unit is the patrilineage. Christianity has ostensibly replaced ancestor worship, although traditional priests and sorcerers continue to practice.


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


Oceania --Melanesia



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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 title where necessary.

Time coverage of the Sa collection reflects periods of fieldwork by three ethnologists spanning six decades in the twentieth century: from the mid-1910s to 1920s (Tattevin 1928), the 1950s, and 1970s. The main topics covered are subsistence practices (Jolly 1981), religious beliefs (Lane 1965), clans (Tattevin 1928), and kinship and marriage (Lane 1957).

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

Buluim – clan – use "CLANS (614)"

Bwari – personal power

Bwet – taro – use "VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)"

Dam – yam – use "VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)"

Gurian – magic – use "MAGIC (789)"

Lo sal – ancestral rites

Maet – “dead” objects (also see “Mir”) – use "COSMOLOGY (772)" with "ANIMISM (774)"

Mal – communal men’s house

Manun – soul – use ANIMISM (774)

Mir – “living” objects (also see “Maet”) – use "COSMOLOGY (772)" with "ANIMISM (774)"

Mlinik – sorcery – use "SORCERY (754)"

Nunun – see “Manun”

Tamate – secret society – use "SODALITIES (575)"

Warsangul – graded societies – use "AGE STRATIFICATION (561)"

Indexing Notes by

Ian Skoggard

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