Household Items


The community of Raluana utilizes the prevalence of Gaga leaves in the preservation of their food. Often times at meals, individual servings will be encased in the leaves and tied tightly to prevent insects from contaminating the food. Any leftovers are rewrapped and stored in the Gaga leaves.


Felt has many uses throughout the world and particularly in Mongolia where it is used for clothing and for insulation of gers.


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As a result of the hot temperatures in East New Britain, palm fans are often used as a cooling mechanism because of the accessibility to the necessary materials.


The majority of gers are equipped with a wood stove in the center for cooking and heating purposes. A flat round plate on top of the stove serves as a covering for heating purposes (see Figure 1) and when the plate is removed it leaves a circular hole with a direct opening to the fire. For cooking purposes, Mongolians take different sized round curved pans and place them into the round holes creating a seal between the pan and the stove. This seal helps to conserve a large amount of heat that would otherwise escape to the sides around the pan.


Chain-links are made of very tightly woven cane rings. Chains made with these links are commonly used for bundling heavy loads and securing hanging objects. Long chains are even used for decorative purposes, and individual chain links can be worn as bracelets or rings. Any type of vine or strong fiber can be used, however cane strips are most common because of their strength. The strips used to weave chains are called amgalan. Weaving can get complicated with the small scale of the rings but the resulting chain is so strong that no knots are required to fasten the ends.


There are multiple uses for braided camel wool rope. Usually it is used as binding for ger construction as well as harnesses, tethers and leads for animals.


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Most homes in rural areas of East New Britain do not have access to electricity, therefore, the people have found that the sap from candle trees can be collected and used in creating long lasting candles called bush-lamps. These lamps are used as lighting to homes as well as an insect repellent.


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Bush-rope is made from very thin strips of bark, tightly woven to create a strong, wide length of material with many possible uses.


The buluur is the tool used to churn milk into butter (urum). The tool itself is designed in such a way that butter is churned completely in three hours of continuous churning. A buluur is carved from two pieces of wood: a stick roughly one meter in length (used as the handle) and a smaller rectangular piece of wood.


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In Raluana, brooms are made by bundling the vein of the leaves from a palm frond in bunches of around 50. Each broom roughly one meter long and is used for both indoor and outdoor cleaning.