Papua New Guinea

Submitted by administrator on Tue, 2012-10-23 10:44
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Amruqa has been very busy throughout the past few months after receiving funding for an EU sponsored coconut product manufacturing project. While the project is slowly moving forward, they have gotten verbal confirmation that they have an additional 20 hectares of land available to them to establish a factory and adequate working area for pre-processing and production of coconut byproducts. They are currently waiting for written confirmation to begin expansion.

The 2010 Papua New Guinea internship had the largest team in the programs history with 6 team members; Shannon Augustine, Caitlin Boyd, Lewis Caskey, Rod Jackson, Katie Martin, and Elspeth Missel. We expanded our reach in East New Britain by living in three new communities and returned to Komgi. The team started in the Qaqet community of Alakasam, learning a number of traditional Qaqet items as well as agricultural practices. After that the team traveled to Komgi to continue the development of our community profile. The H.I.T.

To launch the Heritable Innovation Trust program, M·CAM and Amruqa (then known as Pacific Spices) collaborated to deploy the program in an inaugural environment which integrates social, ecological and historical context diversity. East New Britain, Papua New Guinea was chosen for this location because of its abundant natural resources that provide multiple options within varying world markets and its deeply rooted and celebrated cultural heritage.

As is the case in many collectivist societies, well-being is a central focus of the Ngavalus community. The community as a whole puts an emphasis on cleanliness, hygiene, water and food security, and education among a number of other things maintaining the ability to function at its optimal level. As discussed in the Custom and Culture section, the greater Ngavalus community assembles each Monday morning to discuss communitywide issues and to make announcements. One of the announcements comes from the head of the health committee.

In Ngavalus, the supplies and tools for completing most everyday community tasks can be found in the surrounding forest. Trees, especially sago trees, are used for constructing houses, tools and roofing as well as a source of food. They also utilize every part of the tree. The actual tree is used for making saksak, which is their staple food, by beating the tree into small pieces which are washed and squeezed to release the saksak. The stalks are used to create the washing apparatus, which is a trough configuration with two levels, one for washing and the other for collecting the saksak.

Kina is the currency used in the mainstream economy of Papua New Guinea. However, Ngavalus also uses a traditional form of currency called mis. Mis is primarily used within the community for various transactions or in local custom. The two primary uses of mis are in the purchase of community land and in ceremonies requiring a transaction of some kind. Similar to the Tolai tradition with Tambu discussed in the Money description in the East New Britain section of this document, children begin acquiring mis at birth and continue to accumulate it at milestones throughout their lives.