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Old 02-02-2002, 10:46 PM
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Kavieng, New Ireland

An aerial picture of Kavieng, New Ireland's capital
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:32 AM
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Kavieng

Anyone for Diving in Kavieng ?
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:34 AM
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Kavieng Diving

Niugini Diving:

Join our diving expedition in the tropical Kavieng, Papua New Guinea
from the 1st May to the 31st October 2002!!!

Kavieng is a great spot for diving and we will guide you to some of
the most interesting diving sites that can be found around Kavieng.

Dive sites include: Silver Tip Reef, Shanko Maru, Mini Sub, "Jake" and "Kate",
Albatross Pass Passage, Big Fish Reef, Chapman's, and many more.

Includes:

All accommodation, meals, weight belts, tanks and dive guide services.
Airport Transfer fees
Coplementary wine at night
Mud Crabs
Night Diving
Unlimited diving

Costs are A$198.00 per person per day.
Get six passengers and the 6th comes FOC.

more info can be found at: www.niuginidiving.com
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Old 09-02-2002, 04:24 PM
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New Ireland

Malagan Mask, New Ireland Province:
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Old 24-02-2002, 12:38 AM
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Malagan:

The meaning of the Malagan:

Story by GRAHAME BOND and photographs by DAVID BAKER

An Australian media chief executive David Baker is also a traditional chief among the Tabar people of New Ireland Province after being initiated into the highest rank of the tribally unique tradition, the malagan culture.

In 1999 David Baker was invited by the Kuk clan of Tatau, one of the Tabar Islands in the province of New Ireland, to be initiated into the highest rank of the malagan culture. this honor, "Lakaki", would give him chiefly status, and confer on him all the title's customary rights and authority in the Wawara malagan tradition.

The honor recognised David's long interest in and support of malagan customs and culture, which are tribally unique to New Ireland, in particular to the Tabar Group.

Malangan culture and enthnographic art have won international recognition through important collections in the Australian Museum; in Holland; in Germany; and in a travelling exhibition of a number of North American public an dprivate collections.

David knew of my interest in documentary making and asked whether I'd like ot come on this adventure. I agreed immediately. We had known one another professionally for some 15 years - David as chief executive of Australia's leading independent media agency; and me as a "media person" with a background in acting, advertising, occasional activism, and architecture.

I barely knew what to expect, but then we had a couple of long plane hops, from Sydney to Port Moresby, from Port Moresby to Kavieng, New Ireland, then a 120km truck ride followed by a two hour boat trip to the source, during which time David could brief me:
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Old 24-02-2002, 12:50 AM
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The meaning of the Malagan

The accompanying images of masks, carvings, and the Wawara design, were also shot on video-tape was later edited for a 20 minute entertainment feature. Although representative of malagan art, these images on the page tell us little about the culture, its history, or present significance to the clan or people. That is best left ot Michael gunn's essay, The Transfer of Tribal Ownership on Tabar.

Presently curator of the Metropolitan Museum of New York's department for Oceania, Gunn studied for his doctoral thesis in the Tabar Group.

When these artefacts were first shown to the outside world, he writes, "they were viewed as bizarre, a confirmation of the unsavory reputation for cannibalism that the New Irelanders had at the time. Today the malagan tradition continues in a different world".

Evolution of ideas and images has made these artefacts essentially their own copyright documentation. Tha tis, today they can be inherited and transferred as rights to reproduce traditional sculptural designs, and to individual's duty to "honor the death of his or her spouse's kin group by displaying malangan sculpture or using malagan masks in ceremonial context".

Further, Gunn writes, for the people of Tabar "the meaning of malagan lies in its use. From memory, and often from oral descriptions, they produce new versions of the master artworks first carved centuries ago ... But the tradition continues, linking malagan with clanspeople, binding people to one another with sculpture given now and returned in the next generation".

Obligations take a number of forms additional to burial rites, Gunn records. Display of sculpture and use of masks may be made:
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Old 24-02-2002, 01:08 AM
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The meaning of Malagan

  • to ensure that a malagan inheritance passes to the next generation;
  • establish a new sub-clan in order to connect a child, born away from land owned by the mother's clan, with the malagans of the old clan;
  • ratify social contracts;
  • remove certain social prohibitions
  • to validate land-use transactions
  • during commemorative ceremonies for a number of the dead.

The culture does permit in special instances and on the basis of appreciation, genuineness and trust, the investiture of outsiders to the clan - of which David's initiation was to be done. He would become the first non-clansman to receive the honour.

At Kavieng, we were met by the Lurang family, hosts of Matanasoi Guest House. Noal Lurang, a former headmaster, school inspector, and now head of the New Ireland Culture and Tourism Office, is deeply attentive to malagan culture significance. At Libba, we met master malagan carver, Ben Sisia, who was working on two canoes: one commissioned by Noah for New Ireland Provincial Museum, the other by Kavieng Hotel. Ben now uses store-bought paints.

We made two hour outboard journey to the Tabar Group. On our arrival at Tatau Island we were greeted by chief Joel Pichia, in full regalia, wading out from the beach. With him was a team of wanis whose dance described the importance of David's visit. The mask with large ears originally belonged to the Kuk clan. Two other warriors were ngis whose role was to protect us against danger.

Chief Pichia welcomed us in freedom. He threw six buai, addressing six prominent figures in the six categories of malangan to which he belonged. From each of these spiritual presences he sought permission to bring us under his protection.

In this way wer were welcomed ot the new Adi Guest House, co-hosted by the youthful Selina and Ken Pawut. As we learned, Selina had been selected by the clan for initiation as matriach, replaceing an old lady who had recently died.

We were next admitted culturally to the men's clan-house, or hausboi, in a ceremony similar to the one performed on the beach. this time the ngis danced before the villagers; and we were given traditional shell money, or mies as a symbol of welcome and acceptance that there was much to do in a limited time.

On the following day we went by dingy to see the carvers at various villages. At Mapua, David bought a piece that clement Makou said had been carved by his uncle, chief Mikeu, a famous carver and prominent malagan host. Chief Joel Pichia had convinced Chief Mikeu that he should teach his art to this nephew. "Nobody will remember your name in the future if you do not pass on the lessons of the malagan,", he told them. He was also reminding his people that relaxation of the malagan tradition would weaken clan cohesion.

There were levels of master carvers and "commercial" carvers, I learned from David, whose visits to PNG span more than 15 years. Edward Sales, of Tatau Island, is everywhere regarded as the peet traditional malagan carver, the great purist. Two gifted young apprentices, Edward's son Mathew Sale, and Peteli Apisai, are meanwhile developing their own evolutionary style along purist lines.

On the "commercial" side Ben Sisia, whose work we had seen at Libba on the New Ireland mainland, was an example of how religion had impacted on traditional art. He is a United church goer, and he, like some Seventh Day Adventist carvers on Big Tabar Island, holds beliefs that are contrary to some aspects of clan culture. Such carvers therefore work for commissions for the tourist industry.

Lurang, one of the ngis whose role was to protect their honoured guests from danger:
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Old 24-02-2002, 01:20 AM
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The meaning of Malagan

At Tatau David was briefed on what would take place during his inition. We witnessed a ceremonial choking of pigs, their firing and butchering. One of the pigs that we had earlier seen trotting like a dog after his master now lay in pieces, reinforcing in memory the old sayint that man is the only species to make friends of the animals he one day intendes to eat.

Les squamish and more to the cultural point, Michael Gunn reported that "even the smallest of Malagan ceremonies demands at least one pig, and during some of the larger ceremonies up to 20 pigs might be strangled, singed, gutted, carved into sections, and given to the guests to carry home. for reasons of prestige a malagan operator has as many pigs as possible committed to a ceremony, for a large part of the power associated with amalagan ceremoney comes from the operator and his colleagues gaining committment from clanspeople, business partners, potential colleagues, and people indebted for various reasons to promise a pig for a coming malagan event".

We met the members of the dance group from Langania on the mainland: the former Premier of New Ireland, Demas Kavavu; and the government liaison officer from Konos, Hubert Guawi from Sepik. After a feast of chicken and vegetables Noah and David went ot the clan mern's area, listening to the singing and watching the preparations.

Chief Joes Pichia explained that these groups would take part in the ceremony. The first would be Noah, the chief's son Lengei, and David: the second, the chief alone: and the third, a part of "searchers".
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Old 24-02-2002, 01:22 AM
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The meaning of Malagan

The wanis were in the water just before dawn. When the sun came up Chief Joel Pichia gave the order for them to dance to the shore. As they advanced, the assembled crowd scattered, children crying, before this fearsome line of men who by repute might spear a few onlookers.

The chief orchestrated the dance spectacular to the village.
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Old 24-02-2002, 01:34 AM
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The meaning of Malagan

The group of ngis with big ears - the protectors against danger - are known as mgeoch mgeo and bagang.
When the wanis advance began, the chief's son Lengei danced to a tune called by this father, who strutted with them around the parade ground.

A ceremony initiating Selina to a senior stage of malagan was conducted before the hausboi.

Soon Noah, Lengei and David were 'concealed' behind a partition of coconut leaves, supposed to block the view of the platform on which they stood. The third party of "searchers" probed until the initates were "discovered", after which the chief ordered removal of the screen.

To the accompaniment of rattled shells the initation chant went: O ta-ou-ou (O get ready). O irou, oi ot, o irou, oi ot (Search the sea, search the bush). Oi kur, oi kem, oi kur, oi kem (Search thei air, seach the land). O ta ken ro-rou (Sway and be with it). O ta ou-ou (To retire). O ta vovo-turu (To rest).

This was followed by a confirmation ceremony during which the initiates accepted their awards of rights and authority with an exchange of mies, or traditional money.

The feast that immediately followed was preceded by the act of cutting the pig in two parts, symbolising that the ceremony to confirm David, Noah and Lengei as "Lakaki" in the Wawara category of malagan was now completed and confirmed.

On the following day we spoke witht he young malagan carver, Apisai Peteli. I selected a horizontal carving, while David boutht from Chief Pichia one that Edward Sale had carved. Another, large, horizontal carving, with some borer damage, had been carved by apisia and Edward. This was "put on the slate" for David.

Towards the end of our stay we walked to the village of master carver, Edward Sale. A welcoming party and carved canoe display purchased the carved canoe and it crew. Then, when he proposed to buy a larger carved figure, it was classified by Edward's son Mathew as being "on programme". This, when translated proved to be a gift to David, in return for his having assisted Matthew during his visit to Sydney earlier in the year.

We walked back to the village for drinks of pure citrus juice, enjoyed during yet another dramatic sunset.
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