Papua New Guinea


Tavurvur dominates the landscape and history of East New Britain and is the basis for much heritable knowledge. While in Matupit, Vincent, the councilor of Ward 2, explained how in 1994 the people of Matupit were fully aware of the upcoming eruption that took place based on a description passed down from their ancestors.


The population of Navunaram is part of the Tolai ethnic group and therefore, the community functions under the traditions of the Tolai. Traditional weddings are one of the many Tolai ceremonies celebrated in Navunaram. Tolai weddings consist of three separate ceremonies over an extended period of time; each representing an important step the new couple is taking. The first is the Warkulkul (var•kool•kool), the ceremony in which the wife leaves her home and is accepted by her husband’s family. While visiting Navunaram, we had the opportunity to attend a Warkulkul.


In addition to the more than 800 languages spoken at the community level in East New Britain, Tok-Pisin (commonly called Pidgin) and English are the two nationally recognized languages. Though not everyone speaks English or Pidgin, the majority of the population understands both, making communication possible despite the communal language differences. Many of these community languages even differ depending on what area you are in, similar to the differing vocabulary and dialects of English across the United States. For example, Kuanua is the language spoken in the Tolai tribe.


Agriculture is a key component of life for the people of Navunaram. Not only do many people engage in subsistence farming, but most also have multiple hectares of land set aside for commercial farming. The community of Navunaram takes advantage of its substantial amount of traditionally-held land to grow a variety of commercial and subsistence crops such as coffee, coconuts, peanuts, bananas, mangoes, oranges, and most recently introduced -- nutmeg. The primary cash crop for farmers in Navunaram was cocoa for a number of years.


The ecological diversity in the province of East New Britain provides the people in the various regions with the opportunity to utilize different natural resources which are present in abundance to add value to their communities. The fertile soil, warm temperatures during the day, and prevalence of water from rivers, springs, and rain makes the highlands an ideal region for agricultural crops to flourish. Komgi has taken advantage of this natural greenhouse effect by cultivating cardamom, the seeds of which are dried for use as a spice or distilled for its oil.


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Submitted by MLD on Wed, 2012-05-30 00:45
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The team is doing fantastic in Papua New Guinea! They have been helping our hosts at Amruqa prepare a spice shipment for a vessel that reached port a little bit sooner than scheduled.


Submitted by MLD on Fri, 2012-05-11 15:20
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It hasn't fully hit me I will be on the other side of the world in just over 10 days.


Submitted by MLD on Thu, 2012-05-10 12:11
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I am very excited for this trip to Papua New Guinea. This is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot wait to see the things it will lead to. I have been reading and hearing a lot of things about Papua New Guinea and as you may know there are many things that are exaggerated. I cannot wait to arrive in Papua New Guinea and see how it is and how people live over there with my own eyes. I am also very excited to learn about a different living style.