The Mafulu - Mountain People of British New Guinea
by Robert W. Williamson
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The Mafulu Mountain People of British New Guinea

Robert W. Williamson

With an Introduction


A. C. Haddon, Sc.D., F.R.S.

With Illustrations and Map

Macmillan and Co., Limited St. Martin's Street, London 1912


This book is the outcome of an expedition to British New Guinea in 1910, in which, after a short stay among the people of some of the western Solomon Islands, including those of that old centre of the head hunters, the Rubiana lagoon, and a preparatory and instructive journey in New Guinea among the large villages of the Mekeo district, I struck across country by a little known route, via Lapeka, to Ido-Ido and on to Dilava, and thus passed by way of further preparation through the Kuni country, and ultimately reached the district of the Mafulu villages, of whose people very little was known, and which was therefore the mecca of my pilgrimage.

I endeavoured to carry out the enquiries of which the book is a record as carefully and accurately as possible; but it must be remembered that the Mafulu people had seen very few white men, except some of the Fathers of the Catholic Mission of the Sacred Heart, the visits of Government officials and once or twice of a scientific traveller having been but few and far between, and only short; that the mission station in Mafulu (the remotest station of the mission) had only been established five years previously; that the people were utterly unaccustomed to the type of questioning which systematic ethnological enquiry involves, and that necessarily there was often the usual hesitation in giving the required information.

I cannot doubt, therefore, that future enquiries and investigations made in the same district will bring to light errors and misunderstandings, which even with the greatest care can hardly be avoided in the case of a first attempt on new ground, where everything has to be investigated and worked up from the beginning. I hope, however, that the bulk of my notes will be found to have been correct in substance so far as they go.

I regret that my ignorance of tropical flora and fauna has made it impossible for me to give the names of many of the plants and animals to which I refer.

There are many people, more than I can mention here, to whom I owe my grateful thanks. Prior to my departure for the South Seas Dr. Haddon took great trouble in helping and advising me, and, indeed, I doubt whether I should have ventured upon my solitary expedition if I had not had his stimulating encouragement.

In New Guinea I had the never-failing hospitality and kindness of my good friend Monseigneur de Boismenu (the Bishop of the Mission of the Sacred Heart) and the Fathers and Brothers of the Mission. Among the latter I would specially mention Father Egedi and Father Clauser. Father Egedi (whose name is already familiar to students of New Guinea Ethnology) was my friend and travelling companion during a portion of my journeyings through the Mekeo and Kuni districts, and his Mekeo explanations proved invaluable to me when I reached my Mafulu destination. And dear good Father Clauser was a pillar of help in Mafulu. He placed at my disposal all his existing knowledge concerning the people, and was my intermediary and interpreter throughout all my enquiries. And finally, when having at some risk prolonged my stay at Mafulu until those enquiries were completed, I was at last compelled by the serious state of my health to beat a retreat, and be carried down to the coast, he undertook to do the whole of my photographing and physical measurements, and the care and skill with which he did so are evidenced by the results as disclosed in this book. [1] I must also add that the frontispiece and plates 17, 67, 68, 69 and 70 are taken from previous photographs which Father Clauser kindly placed at my disposal. My remembrance of His Lordship the Bishop, and of the Reverend Fathers and the Brothers of the Mission will ever be one of affectionate personal regard, and of admiration of the spirit of heroic self-sacrifice which impels them to submit cheerfully to the grave and constant hardships and dangers to which their labour of love necessarily exposes them.

Since my return home Dr. Seligmann has given me immense help, advising me upon my notes, placing material at my disposal, and afterwards reading through a considerable portion of my manuscript. Mr. T.A. Joyce and Mr. J. Edge Partington helped me in arranging and dealing with the things which I had brought back to the British Museum. Dr. Keith examined and reported upon some skulls which I had obtained, and advised me upon my notes on physique. Dr. Stapf helped me in matters of botanical identification; Mr. S.H. Ray has given me the full benefit of his wide knowledge of South Pacific linguistics, and has written the appendices to the book. And, finally, Dr. Haddon has very kindly read through my proof sheets.

In conclusion, I would add that there is still an immense amount of detailed work to be done among the Mafulu people, and that the districts of the Ambo and Boboi and Oru Lopiku people, still further back among the mountains, offer an almost virgin field for investigation to anyone who will take the trouble to go there.


Introduction, by Dr. A.C. Haddon




Physique and Character


Dress and Ornament


Daily Life and Matters Connected with It


Community, Clan, and Village Systems and Chieftainship


Villages, Emone, Houses and Modes of Inter-Village Communication


Government, Property and Inheritance


The Big Feast


Some Other Ceremonies and Feasts


Matrimonial and Sexual


Killing, Cannibalism and Warfare


Hunting, Fishing and Agriculture


Bark Cloth Making, Netting and Art


Music and Singing, Dancing, and Toys and Games


Counting, Currency and Trade




Illness, Death and Burial


Religion and Superstitious Beliefs and Practices


Note on the Kuni People




A Grammar of the Fuyuge Language


Note on the Afoa Language


Note on the Kovio Language


A Comparative Vocabulary of the Fuyuge, Afoa, and Kovio Languages


Notes on the Papuan Languages Spoken about the Head Waters of the St. Joseph River, Central Papua


Mafulu Women Decorated for a Dance. ... Frontispiece 1 Kuni Scenery. 2 Mafulu Scenery. 3 Skull A. 4 Skull C. 5 Husband, Wife and Child. 6 Man and Two Women. 7, 8 Man, Young Man and Boy. 9 Different Types of Men. 10 An Unusual Type. 11, 12 Two Unusual Types. 13 Fig. 1. Section of Man's Perineal Band. Fig. 2. Decoration near end of Woman's Perineal Band. Fig. 3. Section of Woman's Perineal Band. Fig. 4. Section of Man's or Woman's Dancing Ribbon. 14 Fig. 1. Belt No. 1. Fig. 2. Belt No. 3. Fig. 3. Belt No. 4. 15 Fig. 1. Belt No. 5 (one end only). Fig. 2. Belt No. 6 (one end only). Fig. 3. Belt No. 7. 16 A General Group. 17 A Young Chief's Sister decorated for a Dance. 18, 19 Women wearing Illness Recovery Capes. 20 Fig. 1. Ear-rings. Fig. 2. Jew's Harp. Fig. 3. Hair Fringe. 21 Man, Woman and Children. 22, 23 A Little Girl with Head Decorations. 24 Figs. 1, 2, 5, and 6. Women's Hair Plaits decorated with European Beads, Shells, Shell Discs, Dog's Tooth, and Betel Nut Fruit. Fig. 3. Man's Hair Plait with Cane Pendant. Fig. 4. Man's Hair Plait with Betel Nut Pendant. 25 Fig. 1. Leg Band. Figs. 2 and 4. Women's Hair Plaits decorated with Shells and Dogs' Teeth. Fig. 3. Bone Implement used (as a Fork) for Eating. 26 Group of Women. 27 A Young Woman. 28 Two Women. 29 Two Women. 30 Fig. 1. Mourning String Necklace. Fig. 2. Comb. Fig. 3. Pig's Tail Ornament for Head. Fig. 4. Whip Lash Head Ornament. Fig. 5. Forehead Ornament. 31 Necklaces. 32 A Necklace. 33 Necklaces. 34 Fig. 1. Armlet No. 5. Fig. 2. Armlet No. 4. Fig. 3. Armlet No. 2. Fig. 4. Armlet No. 1. 35 Woman wearing Dancing Apron. 36, 37 Decoration of Dancing Aprons. 38, 39 Decoration of Dancing Aprons. 40, 41 Decoration of Dancing Aprons. 42, 43 Decoration of Dancing Aprons. 44 Head Feather Ornaments. 45 Head Feather Ornaments. 46 Fig. 1. Head Feather Ornament. Fig. 2. Back Feather Ornament. 47 Plaited Head Feather Frames. 48 Mother and Baby. 49 At the Spring. 50 A Social Gathering. 51 Fig. 1. Small Smoking Pipe. Fig. 2. Pig-bone Scraping Implement. Fig. 3. Stone Bark Cloth Beater. Fig. 4. Drilling Implement. Fig. 5. Bamboo Knife. Figs. 6 and 7. Lime Gourds. 52 Fig. 1. Wooden Dish. Figs. 2 and 3. Water-Carrying Gourds. 53 Fig. 1. Bag No. 3. Fig. 2. Bag No. 4. Fig. 3. Bag. No. 6. 54 Village of Salube and Surrounding Country. 55 Village of Seluku, with Chiefs Emone at End and Remains of Broken-down Burial Platform in Middle. 56 Village of Amalala, with Chiefs Emone at End.. 57 Village of Amalala (looking in other direction), with Secondary Emone at End. 58 Village of Malala, with Secondary Emone at End and Ordinary Grave and Burial Platform of Chief's Child in Right Foreground. 59 Village of Uvande, with Chief's Emone at End. 60 Village of Biave, with Chief's Emone at End and Burial Platform of Chief's Child in Middle. 61 Chief's Emone in Village of Amalala. 62 Chief's Emone in Village of Malala. 63 House in Village of Malala. 64 House in Village of Levo, with Child's Excrement Receptacle to Left. 65 Suspension Bridge over St. Joseph River. 66 Bridge over Aduala River. 67 Scene at Big Feast in Village of Amalala. 68 Row of Killed Pigs at Big Feast at Village of Amalala. 69 Scene at Village of Seluku during Preparations for Big Feast. 70 Scene at Big Feast at Village of Seluku. 71 Young Girl Ornamented for Perineal Band Ceremony. 72 Feast at Perineal Band Ceremony. 73 Figs, 1, 2, and 3. Points of War Spears. Fig. 4. Point of War-Arrow. Fig. 5. Point of Bird-Shooting Arrow. 74 Fig. 1. Bow. Fig. 2. Shield (outside). Fig. 3. Shield (inside). 75 Fig. 1. Club (pineapple type of head). Fig. 2. Club (disc type of head). Fig. 3. Drum. Fig. 4. Adze. 76 Fishing Weir. 77 Planting Yams in Garden. 78 Collecting Sweet Potatoes in Garden. 79 Hammering Bark Cloth. 80 The Ine Pandanus. 81 Mafulu Network. 82 Funeral Feast (not of Chief). Guests assembled to commence Dance down Village Enclosure. 83 The same Funeral Feast. Guest Chief Dancing down Village Enclosure. 84 Platform Grave of Chief's Child at Back. Ordinary Grave in Front. 85 Group of Platform Graves of Chiefs and their Relations. 86 Platform Grave of a Chief's Child. 87, 88 The Gabe Fig Tree, in which Chiefs' Burial Boxes are placed and which is Generally Believed to be Haunted by Spirits. 89 The Remains of a Chiefs Burial Platform which has collapsed, and beneath which his Skull and some of his Bones are interred Underground. 90 An Emone to which are hung the Skulls and some of the Bones from Chiefs' Burial Platforms which have Collapsed. 91 A House with Receptacle for Child's Excrement.



1. Leg band making (commencing stage) 2. Ancient Mortar 3. Illustrative Diagram of a Mafulu Community of Villages 4. Diagram of Front of Emone (Front Hood of Roof and Front Platform and Portions of Front Timbers omitted, so as to show Interior) 5. Diagram of Transverse Section across Centre of Emone 6. Diagrammatic Sketch of Apse-like Projection of Roof of Emone and Platform Arrangements 7. Diagram Illustrating Positions of People during Performance at Big Feast 8. Mafulu Net Making (1st Line of Network) 9. Mafulu Net Making (2nd, 3rd, and 4th Lines of Network) 10. Mafulu Net Making (5th Line of Network, to which Rest of Net is similar in Stitch)


By Dr. A.C. Haddon

It is a great pleasure to me to introduce Mr. Williamson's book to the notice of ethnologists and the general public, as I am convinced that it will be read with interest and profit.

Perhaps I may be permitted in this place to make a few personal remarks. Mr. Williamson was formerly a solicitor, and always had a great longing to see something of savage life, but it was not till about four years ago that he saw his way to attempting the realisation of this desire by an expedition to Melanesia. He made my acquaintance in the summer of 1908, and seeing that he was so keenly interested, I lent him a number of books and all my MS. notes on Melanesia; by the help of these and by the study of other books he gained a good knowledge of the ethnology of that area. In November, 1908, he started for Oceania for the first time and reached Fiji, from which place he had intended to start on his expedition. Circumstances over which he had no control, however, prevented the carrying out of his original programme; so he went to Sydney, and there arranged modified plans. He was on the point of executing these, when he was again frustrated by a telegram from England which necessitated his immediate return. It was a sad blow to him to have his long-cherished schemes thus thwarted and rendered abortive, but, undaunted, he set about to plan another expedition. Accordingly, in January, 1910, he once more set sail for Australia as a starting place for the Solomon Islands and British New Guinea, and this time achieved success; the book which he now offers to the public is the result of this plucky enterprise. In justice to the author it should be known that, owing to climatic and other conditions, he was unwell during the whole of his time in New Guinea, and had an injured foot and leg that hurt him every step he took. The only wonder is that he was able to accomplish so large and so thorough a piece of work as he has done.

It is interesting to note the different ways by which various investigators have entered the field of Ethnology. Some have approached it from the literary or classical side, but very few indeed of these have ever had any experience in the field. The majority of field workers have had a previous training in science—zoology not unnaturally has sent more recruits than any other branch of science. A few students have been lawyers, but so far as I am aware Mr. Williamson is the first British lawyer who has gone into the field, and he has proved that legal training may be a very good preliminary discipline for ethnological investigation in the field, as it gives invaluable practice in the best methods of acquiring and sifting of evidence. A lawyer must also necessarily have a wide knowledge of human nature and an appreciation of varied ways of thought and action.

It was with such an equipment and fortified by extensive reading in Ethnology, that Mr. Williamson was prepared for his self-imposed task. Proof of his powers of observation will be found in the excellent descriptions of objects of material culture with which he has presented us.

I now turn to some of the scientific aspects of his book. Mr. Williamson especially set before himself the work of investigating some tribes in the mountainous hinterland of the Mekeo district. This was a most happy selection, though no one could have foreseen the especial interest of these people.

Thanks mainly to the systematic investigations of Dr. Seligmann and to the sporadic observations of missionaries, government officials and travellers, we have a good general knowledge of many of the peoples of the eastern coast of the south-eastern peninsula of New Guinea, and of some of the islands from the Trobriands to the Louisiades. The Ethnology of the fertile and populous Mekeo district has been mainly made known to us by the investigations of various members of the Sacred Heart Mission, and by Dr. Seligmann. What little we know of the Papuan Gulf district is due to missionaries among the coastal tribes, Mr. James Chalmers and Mr. W. Holmes. Dr. G. Landtman is at present investigating the natives of the delta of the Fly river and Daudai. The natives of the Torres Straits islands have also been studied as fully as is possible. But of the mountain region lying behind the Mekeo district very little indeed has been published; so Mr. Williamson's book fills a gap in our knowledge of Papuan ethnology.

We have as yet a very imperfect knowledge of the ethnological history of New Guinea. Speaking very broadly, it is generally admitted that the bulk of the population belongs to the Papuan race, a dark-skinned, woolly-haired people who have also spread over western Oceania; but, to a greater or less extent, New Guinea has been subject to cultural and racial influences from all sides, except from Australia, where the movement has been the other way. Thus the East Indian archipelago has directly affected parts of Netherlands New Guinea, and its influence is to be traced to a variable degree in localities in the Bismarck archipelago, German New Guinea (Kaiser Wilhelm's Land), Western Oceania, and British New Guinea or Papua, as it is termed officially.

The south-eastern peninsula of New Guinea—or at all events the coastal regions—has been largely affected by immigrants, who were themselves a mixed people, and who came later at various times. It is to these immigrants that Mr. Ray and I applied the term Melanesian (Ray, S. H., and Haddon, A. C., "A Study of the Languages of Torres Straits," Proc. Roy. Irish Acad., 3rd ser., IV., 1897, p. 509). Early in 1894, Mr. Ray read a paper before the Anthropological Institute (Journ. Anth. Inst., XXIV., p. 15), in which he adhered to our former discrimination of two linguistic stocks and added a third type of language composed of a mixture of the other two, for which he proposed the name Melano-Papuan. These languages, according to Mr. Ray, occur in the Trobriands, Woodlarks and the Louisiades, and similar languages are found in the northern Solomon Islands. For some years I had been studying the decorative art of British New Guinea, and from physical and artistic and other cultural reasons had come to the conclusion that the Melanesians of British New Guinea should be broken up into two elements: one consisting of the Motu and allied Melanesians, and the other of the inhabitants of the Massim district—an area extending slightly beyond that of Mr. Ray's Melano-Papuans ("The Decorative Art of British New Guinea," Cunningham Memoirs, X., Roy. Irish Acad., 1894, pp. 253-269). I reinforced my position six years later ("Studies in the Anthropo-geography of British New Guinea," Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc., 1900, pp. 265, 414). Dr. Seligmann, in his valuable paper "A Classification of the Natives of British New Guinea" (Journ. Roy. Anth. Inst., XXXIX., 1909, pp. 246, 315) corroborated these views and designated the two groups of "Melanesians" as the Eastern and Western Papuo-Melanesians. The following year he published the great book to which Mr. Williamson so frequently refers, and in which this classification is maintained, and these two groups together with the Papuans, are termed Papuasians.

The Motu stock of the Western Papuo-Melanesians have extended their dispersal as far as the Mekeo district, where they came into contact with other peoples. It has been shown that the true Papuans are a narrow-headed people, but there are some puzzling exceptions, the explanation of which is not yet ascertained. The Papuo-Melanesians contain a somewhat broad-headed element, and there is a slightly broad-headed population in the central range of the south-east peninsula, the extent of which has not yet been determined. The questions naturally arise: (1) Is the true Papuan a variable stock including both long- broad-headed elements? or (2) Does the broad-headed element belong to an immigrant people? or, again (3) Is there an hitherto unidentified indigenous broad-headed race? I doubt if the time is ripe for a definite answer to any of these questions. Furthermore, we have yet to assign to their original sources the differences in culture which characterise various groups of people in New Guinea. Something has been done in this direction, but much more has yet to be learnt.

So far I have not referred to a Negrito element in the Ethnology of New Guinea. From time to time we have heard rumours of pygmy people, and German travellers have recorded very short individuals in Kaiser Wilhelm's Land; but it was not till the expedition to Netherlands New Guinea of the British Ornithological Union of 1910-11 that a definite pygmy race was demonstrated. I think this can be no longer denied, and the observations made by German ethnologists show that the race in a more or less modified state is widely spread. Now Mr. Williamson, whose work in New Guinea was contemporaneous with that of the Netherlands New Guinea expedition, adduces evidence that this is also the case in British territory. It is worth recalling that de Quatrefages and Hamy (Crania Ethnica, 1882, pp. 207-210, 253-256) distinguish a "Negrito-Papuan" and a "Papuan" element in the Torres Straits. This problem will be discussed in Vol. I. of the Reports of the Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits. I feel little doubt that Mr. Williamson has shown strong evidence that the Mafulu and probably other adjacent mountain tribes are essentially a pygmy—that is to say a Negrito—people who have been modified to some extent by Papuan and possibly Papuo-Melanesian influence, both physical and cultural. He has marshalled his data with great skill, and has dissected out, as it were, the physical and cultural elements of the Negrito substratum. It only remains for other observers to study Negritos in other parts of New Guinea to see how far these claims can be substantiated. It is evident therefore that, apart from the valuable detailed information which Mr. Williamson has given us concerning a hitherto unknown tribe, he has opened up a problem of considerable interest and magnitude.

A.C. Haddon.




The map appended to this volume is (with the exception of the red lines and red lettering upon it) a reproduction of a portion of the map relating to the explorations and surveys of Dr. Strong, Mr. Monckton and Captain Barton, which was published in the Geographical Journal for September, 1908, and the use of which has been kindly permitted me by the Royal Geographical Society. I have eliminated the red route lines which appear in the original map, so as to avoid confusion with the red lines which I have added. The unbroken red lines and the red lettering upon my map are copied from a map, also kindly placed at my disposal, which has been recently prepared by Father Fillodean of the Mission of the Sacred Heart, and these lines mark roughly what the Fathers of the Mission believe to be the boundaries of the several linguistic areas within the district covered by their map. It will be observed that some of these lines are not continued so as to surround and complete the definition of the areas which they indicate; but this defect is unavoidable, as the Fathers' map only covered a relatively small area, and even in that map the lines were not all carried to its margin. It will also be noticed that, though the Fathers introduce the two names Oru Lopiku and Boboi as being linguistically distinct, they have not indicated the boundary line between the two areas. Father Egedi, however, informed me that this boundary passes along the ridge of hills south of the Ufafa river as far as Mt. Eleia, and thence along the Ukalama river to the Kuni boundary. The Ukalama river is not shown in the Geographical Society's map; but I may say that it is shown in the Fathers' map as rising in Mt. Eleia, and flowing thence in a south-easterly direction, and so joining the St. Joseph river close to Dilava. The broken red line upon my map does not appear in the Fathers' map, but has been added by me to indicate what, I understand, the Fathers believe to be a continued boundary, so far as ascertained, of the Fuyuge linguistic area, called by them the Mafulu area, to which I am about to draw attention.

The term Mafulu is the Kuni pronunciation of Mambule, which is the name, as used by themselves, of the people who live in a group of villages within and near the north-westerly corner of the area of the Fuyuge-speaking people, whose Papuan language, so far as ascertained, appears, subject to local dialectal differences, to be the same, and may, I was informed, be regarded as one common language throughout the Fuyuge area.

The Fathers of the Mission have adopted the name Mafulu in a wider sense, as including all the people with whom they have come in contact of the Fuyuge-speaking area; and, though my investigations, which form the subject-matter of this book, have been conducted only in the neighbourhood of Mafulu itself, I was assured that, so far as the Fathers have been able to ascertain, all these Fuyuge people not only have similar languages, but also are substantially similar in physique and in culture. My observations concerning the Mafulu people may therefore, if this statement is correct, be regarded as applying, not only to the inhabitants of the portion of the north-westerly corner of the Fuyuge area in which the Mafulu group of villages is placed, but to those of the whole of the north-westerly portion of the area, and generally in a greater or less degree of accuracy to those of the northerly and north-easterly parts of the area, and possibly the southerly ones also.

The boundaries of this Fuyuge-speaking area can hardly be regarded as definitely ascertained; and the discrepancies, even as regards the courses of the rivers and the positions of the mountains, which appear in the few available maps make it difficult to deal with the question. The area, so far as actually ascertained by the Fathers of the Mission, roughly speaking, covers, and seems to extend also some distance to the south or south-west of a triangle, the western apex of which is the junction of the river Kea with the river Aduala (a tributary of the St. Joseph), [2] whose north-eastern apex is Mt. Albert Edward, and whose south-eastern apex is Mt. Scratchley. It includes the valley of the Aduala river and its streams (except those flowing into it from the north in the region of the western apex of the triangle) within its northern boundary, and the valley of the upper Vanapa river and its rivers and streams in the neighbourhood of its eastern boundary; but this eastern boundary has been found to extend also so as to include the upper valley of the river Chirima. How far the area extends to the south or south-west of the triangle above mentioned appears to be uncertain.

The linguistic area to the north of the Mafulu or Fuyuge people is that of the Ambo people, who are somewhat similar in appearance to the Mafulu, and whose language is also Papuan, and, though differing from the Mafulu language, is, I was told, somewhat similar to it in grammatical construction and as regards a few of its words. The area to the west is that of the Kuni people, whose language is Melanesian, but whose ordinary modes of life are, I was informed, more like those of the Mafulu than are those of the Papuan-speaking Ambo. The areas to the east and south cannot be so definitely stated, but are dealt with below.

As regards these Ambo people I may, in view of divergences of names which appear in maps, explain that Ambo is a contraction of Ambore, and is the name given to the people by their Mafulu neighbours, whilst Afoa is the name given to them by the Kuni people, and is adopted in the Geographical Society's map. [3] As regards the Kuni people, their name is the one adopted by themselves.

Concerning the boundaries of the Fuyuge linguistic area as above indicated, and the people whose districts adjoin that area, I propose here to draw attention to four names, and to refer to some observations bearing on the subject of the probable Fuyuge boundary which are to be found in existing literature.

The term Kovio, though primarily the name of Mt. Yule, and properly applicable to the people living in the neighbourhood of that mountain, is now, I think, often used to express all the mountain tribes of the hinterland of the Mekeo and Pokau, and perhaps the Kabadi, districts. But the use of this name has not, I believe, been generally associated with any question of linguistics.

The area in the map which is called by the Fathers Boboi is occupied by people whose language, I was told by the Fathers, is Papuan, but is distinct from the languages of the Ambo and the Fuyuge areas.

Kamaweka is a name which appears in several of Dr. Seligmann's publications. It seems to have been originally used by Captain Barton to designate the natives of the district of which Inavaurene, to the north-east of the Mekeo plains, is the centre, but to have been afterwards regarded as a somewhat more general term; and I think Dr. Seligmann uses it in a very general sense, almost, if not quite, equivalent to the wide application above referred to of the term Kovio, and which might include the Papuan-speaking Boboi and Ambo people, and even perhaps the people of the northern Mafulu villages. [4] But here again the use of the name has, I think, no reference to linguistics.

If the Fathers' linguistic boundary lines are substantially correct, each of the two terms Kovio and Kamaweka, as now used, would appear to cover more than one linguistic area; and in any case these terms seem to have widened and to have become somewhat indefinite. It will be seen on reference to the map and to Father Egedi's information as to the Oru Lopiku and Boboi boundaries that both Mt. Yule and Inavaurene are within the area which the Fathers call Oru Lopiku, but that Inavaurene is not far from their Boboi area. I suggest that it would be convenient for the present, pending further investigation and delimitation on the spot, and until we know something of the difference between the languages of the Oru Lopiku and Boboi people, to adopt the term Kovio as a general name for, and confine it to, the two areas Boboi and Oru Lopiku; though for linguistic purposes the names Boboi and Oru Lopiku, which at present indicate very little to us, may eventually be accepted and come into general use.

The Koiari people of the foothills and lateral spurs behind the Motu area, also referred to from time to time in Dr. Seligmann's writings, must be eastern next door neighbours of the Fuyuge-speaking people, the western boundary of these Koiari being stated by him to be the Vanapa river, [5] and they being in fact regarded by him as being the eastern neighbours of the natives of "the mountains inland of Mekeo Nara and Kabadi," [6] and being referred to by him as being the people from whose district the Kamaweka and Kuni are reached by "passing westward"—the word used is "eastward," but this is obviously a printer's error—"in the mountains, keeping roughly parallel with the coast." [7]

Turning to the question of the Fuyuge boundary, Dr. Strong says that the Fuyuge people occupy the upper waters of the St. Joseph river, [8] and he is quoted by Dr. Seligmann as having stated that the Afoa language "is spoken in the villages on Mt. Pizoko and the northern slopes of Mt. Davidson," and that "the Afoa villages lie to the north of the Fuyuge-speaking communities, stretching westward for an unknown distance behind Mt. Davidson." [9] If the information given to me verbally by the Fathers of the Mission of the Sacred Heart and the red linguistic boundary lines roughly drawn by them, and introduced into my map, be correct, these statements require modification, for according to the Fathers the Mafulu or Fuyuge-speaking area does not include any part of the St. Joseph river, as its extreme north-westerly corner lies to the east of the junction—close to the boundary line between the Afoa (Ambo) and the Kuni areas—of the rivers Alabula and Aduala, and Mt. Pizoko is within the Fuyuge area, and not within that of the Afoa, and Mt. Davidson is within the Boboi area. I think that, though the Fathers' lines are admittedly not exact, they and the information supplied by the Fathers to me are likely to be more trustworthy in these respects, especially as regards boundaries near to the actual Mafulu villages, than the earlier statements of Dr. Strong, as they are the outcome of recent and careful investigation; and, as regards Mt. Pizoko, I may mention that Dr. Strong himself seems to have subsequently regarded that mountain as being within the Mafulu district, [10] which brings it into the Fuyuge area.

The inclusion of the upper valley of the river Chirima within the Fuyuge or Mafulu-speaking area is perhaps surprising, as this valley is separated from the general Fuyuge area by one of the southern ridges of Mt. Albert Edward, and more or less so by the ridges of Mt. Stone Wigg and the Wharton range, and as the Chirima is a tributary flowing into the Mambare river, which is one of the great watercourses of Northern New Guinea. The Mafulu Fathers, however, had no doubt as to the correctness of the inclusion, which seems to open out the possibility of some, at all events, of the Fuyuge people having northern associations; and indeed Monseigneur de Boismenu told me that he believed that the Mafulu people were in touch with Northern New Guinea, and got some of their shell ornaments, or the shells from which they were made, from the northern coast.

It is interesting, therefore, to turn for the purpose of comparison to the report of Mr. Monckton's expedition to Mt. Albert Edward by way of the Upper Chirima valley in 1906 [11] and the illustrations accompanying it, with which I incorporate a description of the people of this valley given to Dr. Seligmann by Mr. Money, who was with Mr. Monckton. [12]

From these it appears that the Upper Chirima people are short in stature and sturdily built. Both sexes wear the perineal band, the front of which is made (I am not sure whether this applies to women as well as to men) to bulge out by padding. In some cases the men's hair is tied up in a bunch with string, and in others it is bound up in various styles with native cloth. Some of the men have their hair done up in small plaits over the forehead. All the above descriptions, except that of the padding of the band, are applicable to the Mafulu. Some of the Chirima houses have a curious apse-like roof projection over the front platform, which is a specially distinctive feature of a Mafulu house, and one with this projection figured by Mr. Monckton is indistinguishable from a typical Mafulu house. The Chirima people place the bodies of their dead on raised platforms, and apparently sometimes put the body of an infant on the platform erection of an adult, but below the latter. This also is a practice of the Mafulu; and, though the latter people confine platform burial (if such it may be called) to chiefs and their families and important persons, it is possible that some such limitation of the custom exists in the Chirima valley also, but did not come under Mr. Monckton's notice. A burial platform figured by him might well be a Mafulu burial platform, except that the curious cone-shaped receptacle for the child is a form for which I cannot vouch as regards the Mafulu. The Chirima have a special and peculiar form of netting, which Mr. Monckton's illustration shows to be identical with the special form of Mafulu netting. On the other hand, as regards the Chirima weapons, implements and utensils, a comparison of Mr. Monckton's verbal descriptions and figures with what I have seen in Mafulu, and describe in this book, leads me to the conclusion that, though many of these are similar to those of Mafulu, some of them are different. As examples of this I may say that the drill implements of the Chirima people are very similar to, and their stone cloth-beaters appear to be identical with, those used by the Mafulu; whilst on the other hand their war bows are much longer, [13] and their method of producing fire seems to be totally different; also they apparently have bull-roarers, which to the best of my knowledge are unknown among the Mafulu. Again some of the Chirima weapons, as figured by Mr. Monckton, disclose ideas of artistic design, including that of the curved line and a rude representation of a man, which I have not met with among the Mafulu. As regards this last point I draw attention to Mr. Monckton's figures of carving on a bow and on wooden clubs. I think, however, that in such matters as these local differences might well arise between people who are really more or less identical, especially if their respective districts are on opposite sides of the main mountain range of the country, and still more so if the people of one of the districts (in the present case I refer to the Chirima people) may perhaps have been subject to the influence of other people beyond them. As to this latter point, however, I should say that these Chirima people seem to be, so far as dress, ornaments, &c., are concerned, much nearer to the Mafulu than they are to the natives of the Mambare river itself, as described by Sir William Macgregor. [14] It is curious also that the dogs of the Chirima people are not yellow dingoes, but are black and white, as is the case in Mafulu.

I notice that Dr. Seligmann suggests that these Chirima valley people are related to the natives of the neighbourhood of Mt. Yule, [15] a statement which, though probably intended broadly, is in accord with the suggestion that they are connected with the Mafulu-speaking people.

The natives of Mt. Scratchley (apparently the eastern or south-eastern side), visited by Sir William Macgregor in 1896, appear from his description of them [16] to show a few points of resemblance to the Mafulu people. In particular I refer to their "dark bronze" colour, to the wearing by women of the perineal band (to which, however, is added a mantle and "in most cases" a grass petticoat, which is not done in Mafulu), to the absence of tattooing or cicatrical ornamentation, to their "large earrings made out of tails of lizards covered by narrow straps of palm leaves dyed yellow" (which, though not correctly descriptive of the Mafulu earring, is apparently something like it), to their use of pigs' tails as ear ornaments, to their plaiting of the hair and the decoration of the plaited hair with teeth and shells, to their small charm bags and to the shortness of their bows. Also to the construction of their houses, with the roof carried down to the ground, with a fireplace about 2 feet wide extending down the centre of the building from one end to the other, and having an inclined floor on each side, and especially to the curious apse-like roof projections in front of these houses (Dr. Haddon calls them "pent roofs" [17]), Sir William's figure of which is, like that of the Chirima villages, identical, or nearly so, with that of a Mafulu house. But Sir William's description of the physique of these Mt. Scratchley people and other matters make it clear, I think, that they belong to a type different from that of the Mafulu, though they must be next door neighbours of the Fuyuge-speaking people. Dr. Seligmann, in commenting upon this description of these people, expresses the opinion that they are Papuo-Melanesians. [18]

The natives in the region of Mt. Musgrave and Mt. Knutsford, as described by Mr. Thomson, [19] appear, at all events so far as dress is concerned, to be utterly different from the Mafulu.

Dr. Seligmann states that Dr. Strong has informed him that the southern boundary of the Fuyuge-speaking area is the Kabadi country, [20] and he had previously referred to Korona, immediately behind the Kabadi and Doura districts, as being within the area, [21] and, indeed, the Geographical Society's map shows the Fuyuge area as at all events extending as far south as Korona. I do not know how far inland the Kabadi and Doura people extend; but I may say that the Mafulu Fathers expressed grave doubt as to the extension of the Fuyuge area so far south as is indicated by the map.

If the Fuyuge area does in fact reach the Kabadi boundary, and if my notes on the Mafulu people are, as suggested, broadly descriptive of the natives of the whole Fuyuge area, there must be a very sudden and sharp differentiation, as the Kabadi people are apparently an offshoot from Mekeo, [22] with apparently other Papuo-Melanesian blood (especially Roro) introduced. [23]

The contour and appearance of the country in the actual Mafulu district of the Fuyuge area is strikingly different from that of the immediately adjoining Kuni country, the sharp steep ridges and narrow deep-cut valleys of the latter, with their thick unbroken covering of almost impenetrable forest, changing to higher mountain ranges with lateral ridges among them, and with frequent gentle undulating slopes and wider and more open valleys; while, interspersed with the forests, are small patches and great stretches of grass land, sometimes thinly covered or scattered with timber and sometimes quite open and devoid of trees. [24] And this condition continues, I was told, over the greater part of the triangular area above referred to.

Plates 1 and 2 give, I think, a fair illustration of what I mean, the steep contours and thickly wooded character of the foreground and nearer middle distance shown by Plate 1 being typical Kuni scenery, and the more open nature of the country displayed by Plate 2 and the comparative freedom from forest of its foreground being typical of the higher uplands of Mafulu. [25]

It will be noticed that the physical character of the Mafulu country is more favourable to continued occupation than is that of the Kuni country; and it is a fact that the Mafulu people are not so restless and ready to move as are the Kuni folk; and, even when they do migrate, it is generally to a spot comparatively near to their old villages.

The geological formation of the lower hills on which the actual Mafulu villages are placed and the intervening valleys is partly limestone; and I was told that limestone formation was also found further to the east.

Throughout this book I shall use the term "Mafulu" as including, not only the little group of villages near the north-westerly corner of the Fuyuge linguistic area actually known by that name, but also the other groups of Fuyuge villages in the north-western portion of that area; and, as above indicated, it is believed by the Fathers of the Mission that I should be substantially correct if I included the whole of the northern and north-eastern, and probably the southern portions of the known part of that area, and possibly the entire area.


Physique and Character


The Mafulu people are of short stature, though perhaps a trifle taller than the Kuni.

They are as a rule fairly strong and muscular in build, the women in particular having very strongly developed thighs; but, speaking generally, their limbs are more slender, and their general development is slighter, than is usually the case among the Roro and Mekeo people.

They appear to be usually mesaticephalic, but to have a very marked tendency to brachycephaly.

Their noses seemed to me to be generally strong, and of prominent size, varying considerably in width of bridge, but usually having rather widely distending nostrils; and sometimes the width of the nose was equal to its length, or nearly so.

Referring to the above matters, the following are the results of twenty measurements of Mafulu men. These were obtained from men of upwards of six different communities or groups of villages, so as to avoid the possible misleading character of measurements made in only one village or group of villages, in which some family relationship between the persons measured might militate against the true average character of the figures obtained.

No. Stature in cm. Length of head in cm. Breadth of head in cm. Cephalic index Cranial index (2 units deducted from cephalic index). Nose length in cm. Nose breadth in cm. Nasal index

1 150 18.5 14.7 79.5 77.5 4.9 4.4 89.8 2 155 18.8 15.1 80.3 78.3 4.8 4.8 100.0 3 155 19.5 14.8 75.9 73.9 5.3 4.3 81.1 4 157 18.5 15.4 83.2 81.2 4.3 4.3 100.0 5 153 18.9 14.6 77.2 75.2 4.8 4.4 91.7 6 151 18.6 14.3 76.9 74.9 4.9 3.8 77.6 7 151 19.3 15.2 78.8 76.8 5.4 4.4 81.5 8 163 19.4 14.5 74.7 72.7 5.6 4.4 78.6 9 162 18.8 15.2 80.9 78.9 5.3 4.0 75.5 10 163 17.4 15.1 86.8 84.8 5.5 4.6 83.6 11 155 18.0 14.0 77.8 75.8 5.3 4.4 83.0 12 157 17.4 14.6 83.9 81.9 4.6 4.0 87.0 13 158 19.7 14.8 75.1 73.1 5.3 4.3 81.1 14 160 17.9 14.4 80.4 78.4 5.1 4.3 84.3 15 153 17.7 14.7 83.1 81.1 5.2 4.1 78.8 16 156 18.5 14.8 80.0 78.0 5.5 4.5 81.8 17 152 17.7 14.9 84.2 82.2 5.6 4.0 71.4 18 154 18.6 14.9 80.1 78.1 5.2 4.5 86.5 19 150 17.8 15.2 85.4 83.4 4.9 3.9 79.6 20 147 18.8 14.5 77.1 75.1 4.6 3.8 82.6

Analysing these figures, we get the following results:—

Highest number. Lowest number. Average.

Stature [26] 163 cm. 147 cm. 155.1 cm. (64.2 ins.) (57.9 ins.) (61.1 ins.) Head length 19.7 cm. 17.4 cm. 18.5 cm. Head breadth 15.4 cm. 14.0 cm. 14.8 cm. Cephalic index 86.8 74.7 80.0 Cranial index 84.8 72.7 78.0 Nose length 5.6 cm. 4.3 cm. 5.1 cm. Nose breadth 4.8 cm. 3.8 cm. 4.3 cm. Nasal index 100.0 71.4 84.3 [27]

Number of cranial indices under 75 = 4 (20 per cent.). Number of cranial indices between 75 and 80 = 10 (50 per cent.). Number of cranial indices over 80 = 6 (30 per cent.).

There are a few points in connection with these figures to which I would draw attention. The very short man (No. 20—height, 147 cm.) has a cranial index of 75.1, on the border line between dolichocephaly and mesaticephaly. He has also a short nose (4.6 cm.), and is one of the two with the narrowest noses (3.8 c.m.). The very tall man (No. 8—height, 163 cm.) has a long head (19.4 cm.), and the lowest dolichocephalic cranial index of 72.7, and is one of two with the longest noses (5.6 cm.). The other very tall man (No. 10—height, 163 cm.) has one of the two shortest heads (17.4 cm.), and the highest brachycephalic cranial index of 84.8, and has a long nose (5.5 cm.) The man (No. 2) whose nasal index is 100 has the mesaticephalic cranial index of 78.3 (almost the average index). The other man (No. 4) whose nasal index is 100 has a head of exactly the average length (18.5 cm.) and the greatest breadth (15.4 cm.), and the brachycephalic cranial index of 81.2. The man (No. 17) with the lowest nasal index of 71.4 has a very short head (17.7 cm.), and the brachycephalic cranial index of 82.2.

The following tables, however, illustrate the fact that the measurements of these twenty men do not appear to indicate, as regards them, any marked connection between stature, cranial index, and nasal index.

Order in stature (beginning with the shortest):


Order in progress upwards of cranial indices:


Order in progress upwards of nasal indices:


I brought home three Mafulu skulls, which Dr. Keith kindly had measured at the Royal College of Surgeons, with the following results [28]:—

Skull Length in cm. Breadth in cm. Height in cm. Cranial Index. Proportion of height to length.

A 17.6 14.0 12.2 79.5 69.3 B 18.2 14.1 13.2 77.5 72.5 C 17.3 12.7 12.5 73.4 72.3

It will be observed that the lowest of these three cranial indices is a trifle higher than the lowest of those of the head measurements, that the highest of them is much lower than the highest of those of the head measurements, and that their average (76.8) is a little below the average of those of the head measurements.

Dr. Keith had further measurements made of these skulls from the point of view of prognathism and characters of noses and orbits, with the following results:

Skull. Basi-nasal length. Basi-alveolar length. Height of nose. Width of nose. Height of orbit. Width of orbit.

mm. mm. mm. mm. mm. mm. A 98 102 48 26 40 35 B 99 96 49 25 42 35 C 97 102 47 26 38 35

Dr. Keith, referring to these skulls, says that they disclose relatively small brains, the cranial capacity of A being 1,230 c.c., that of B being 1,330 c.c., and that of C being 1,130 c.c. He compares these figures with the average cranial capacity of the male European, which he puts at 1,500 c.c.

The eyes of the Mafulu people are dark brown and very bright. I never saw among them those oblique eyes, almost recalling the Mongolian, which, according to Dr. Seligmann, are found, though rarely only, on the coast, [29] and of which I saw many instances among the Kuni people.

Their lips are usually not so thick as are those of the Mekeo and Roro people, and are generally finer and more delicate in shape.

In view of their Papuan language I kept a sharp look out for the curious backward sloping foreheads and projecting brow ridges and Jewish-looking noses which are so often found among the Western Papuans; but, although I saw a few examples of these, they were rare, and I did not observe any noticeable tendency in these directions in the faces of the people generally. [30]

A curious characteristic with them is the big toe, which is usually much developed, and projects outwards at a larger angle than is the case with the Roro and Mekeo people, and is much used for holding on to roots, &c., whilst travelling along their rough mountain paths.

Their general colour is a dark sooty brown, a trifle darker, perhaps, than that of the Kuni people, and contrasting forcibly with the varying shades of chocolate which you find among the Roro and Mekeo people. They are smooth-skinned.

Their hair is frizzly, and generally dark brown, often quite dark, almost even approaching to black, and sometimes perhaps quite black. But it is frequently lighter; and indeed I was often, when observing men's hair lit up by sunshine, impressed by the fact that its brown colour was not even what we should in Europe call dark. [31] I often saw marked variations in the depth of hair colour on the head of the same individual. I saw no examples of the comparatively straight or curly type of hair which is found in the Pokau district and elsewhere. [32]

Plate 3 gives front and side views of the mesaticephalic (almost brachycephalic) skull A and Plate 4 gives similar views of the dolichocephalic skull C. All the photographs were made as nearly as possible exactly half the sizes of the originals; but the photographer has made the front view of skull A about an eighth of an inch too narrow (with, of course, a corresponding deficiency in height), so that the tendency to roundness of this skull is not quite sufficiently shown, and the proportion of its height to its length is reduced, in the plate. I am not a craniologist, and so I do not attempt to discuss the more detailed points of interest which arise in connection with these skulls.

A good idea of the somewhat varying characters of the general physiques and features of the people will be obtained from my plates; but there are a few of these plates which I may mention here.

The people shown in Plates 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 16 may, I think, be regarded as fairly typical, and I would draw attention to the somewhat Melanesian tendency of feature which is disclosed by the faces of the man in Plate 6, the young man in the middle in Plate 7 and the fourth and sixth men from the left in Plate 9; also to the great diversity shown in Plate 9. The man shown in Plate 10, with his thick and strong muscular development, is of a type which is occasionally seen, but which is, I believe, unusual. The two men figured in Plates 11 and 12 are, I think, specially interesting. The one to the right, with his somewhat backward sloping forehead, and slightly arched nose, shows a distinct tendency towards the type of the Western Papuan, to which I have already referred. The other one is in general shape of head and appearance of features not unlike some of the dwarf people found by the recent expedition into Dutch New Guinea (see the man to the left in Plate 4 of the page of illustrations in The Illustrated London News for September 2, 1911), and indeed there is almost an Australian tendency in his face. It is noticeable that he has a beard and moustache, which is quite unusual among the Mafulu. A somewhat similar type of face may be noticed in one or two of the other plates.

Character and Temperament.

It is difficult to speak with any degree of definiteness on this question. It must be borne in mind that the Mafulu people have been very little in touch with white people, the missionaries, who have only been there since 1905, and on rare occasions a Government official or scientific traveller, being almost the only white men whom the bulk of them have ever seen; and they have been but slightly affected by the outside influences which for some years past have been constantly brought to bear upon the natives of the adjoining coast line and the people of the Mekeo plains; so that comparisons of these people with their more up-to-date neighbours as regards their relative natural characters may well be in some respects misleading.

Subject, however, to this caution I would say that they are lazy and easy-going (though not so much so as the Roro and Mekeo people), lively, excitable, cheerful, merry, fairly intelligent (this being judged rather from the young people), very superstitious, brave, with much power of enduring pain, cruel, not more revengeful perhaps than is usual among uncivilised natives, friendly one with another, not quarrelsome, but untrustworthy and not over-faithful even in their dealings with one another, though honest as regards boundaries and property rights and in the sense of not stealing from one another within their own communities (this being regarded as a most shameful offence), and of very loose sexual morality.

A difference between them and the Mekeo and Roro natives is that they appear to be not so conservative as the latter, being more ready to abandon old traditions and adopt new ideas; though this characteristic is one which shows itself in the young people rather than in the elders with their formed habits.


Dress and Ornament


The perineal band, made of bark cloth, is the one article of dress which is universally worn by both men and women.

These bands are made by both men and women, but are coloured by men only. They are commonly unstained and undecorated; but some of them, and especially those worn for visiting and at dances, are more or less decorated. Some that I have noticed are stained in one colour covering the whole garment; others in two colours arranged in alternate transverse bands, sometimes with narrow spaces of unstained cloth between; and again others have bands of one colour alternating with bands of unstained cloth. Some are decorated with lines or groups of lines of one colour, or alternating lines or groups of lines of two colours, painted transversely across the cloth. Others, while simply stained in one colour or stained or decorated in one of the ways above described, have another simple terminal design near the end of the garment.

The men's bands are usually small and narrow, as compared with those worn by the Roro and Mekeo people; and the women's bands seemed to me to be generally even narrower than those of the men, particularly in front. Men's bands, which I have measured, were about 6 inches wide at one end, narrowing down to about 3 inches at the other; and the widths of women's bands were 4 or 5 inches or less at one end, narrowing down to about 2 inches at the other. But the bands of both men and women, especially those of the latter, often become so crumpled up and creased with wear that the portion passing between the legs dwindles down to about an inch or less in width. One is tempted to think, as regards both men and women, that, from the point of view of covering, the bands might be dispensed with altogether. This remark applies still more strongly to the case of young boys and unmarried girls, including among the latter big full-grown girls, who are in fact fully developed women, whose bands can hardly be regarded as being more than nominal, and who, especially the girls and young women, and even sometimes married women who are nursing their babies, can really only be described as being practically naked.

Plate 13 (Figs, 1, 2, and 3) illustrates the staining and decoration of perineal bands. [33] Fig. 1 is a section of a man's band about 6 inches wide. The transverse lines, which extend along the whole length of the band, are in alternate groups of black and red. The background is unevenly stained yellow behind the black lines; but the background behind the red lines and the spaces intervening between the groups of lines are unstained. Fig. 2 is the pattern near the end of a woman's band about 5 inches wide. The lines are coloured red. There is no pattern on the rest of the band; but the whole of the band, including the background of the pattern, is stained yellow. Fig. 3 is a section of a woman's band about 2 1/2 inches wide. The colouring is in alternate bands of red and yellow with irregular unstained spaces between.

I was struck with the gradual reduction of the women's dress as I travelled from the coast, with its Roro inhabitants, through Mekeo, and thence by Lapeka and Ido-ido to Dilava, and on by Deva-deva to Mafulu. The petticoats of the Roro women gave way to the shorter ones of Mekeo, and these seemed to get shorter as I went further inland. Then at Lapeka they were still shorter. At Ido-ido, which is Kuni, the petticoats ceased, and there was only the perineal band. Then, again, at Dilava (still Kuni) this band was narrower, and at Deva-deva, and finally at Mafulu, it was often, as I have said, almost nominal.

I was told that the age at which a boy usually begins to wear his band is about 10 or 12, or in the case of a chief's son 16 or 17; but that girls assume their bands at a somewhat earlier age, say at 7 or 8. So far as my personal observation went I should have thought that the usual maximum age of nakedness for both boys and girls was rather younger, and I never saw a naked boy of an age anything like 16.

The assumption of the perineal band is the subject of a ceremony which will be dealt with hereafter.

Caps are very often worn by men, but not by women or children. These are simply pieces of plain unstained bark cloth about 9 inches wide, which are coiled and twisted on the head. The result is often a shapeless mass; but there are methods of arranging the cloth in definite ways which produce describable results. Sometimes the cloth is merely coiled several times around the head, so as to produce a tall thin turban-shaped band, the crown of the head being left uncovered. Often this plan is extended by turning the end of the cloth over, so as to cover the top of the head, thus producing in some cases a result which resembles a fez, and in other cases one which looks more like a tight skullcap. Again the cap often has its centre terminating in an end or tassel hanging over, thus making it look like a cap of liberty; and yet again I have seen the cap look almost like the square paper caps often worn by certain artisans at home. These caps are seen in several of the plates.

Abdominal belts are commonly worn by both men and women, but not as a rule by children. There are several distinct forms of these:—

(1) A thick strong dark-coloured belt (Plate 14, Fig. I) made of tree bark; made and worn by men only. The belt is about 3 or more inches wide and is often so long that it passes twice round the body, the outer end being fastened to the coil beneath it by two strings. This form of belt is sometimes ornamented with simple straight-lined geometric patterns carved into the belt, but it is never coloured. The process of manufacture is as follows: they cut off a strip of bark large enough for one, two, three, or four belts, and coil it up in concentric circles, like the two circles of the belt when worn. They then place it so coiled into water, and leave it there to soak for a few days, after which they strip off the outer part, leaving the smooth inner bark, which they dry, and finally cut into the required lengths, to which they add the attachment strings made of native fibre.

(2) A belt made of a material looking like split cane and thin strips from the fibre of what I was told was a creeping plant [34]; made and worn by men only. The latter material is obtained by splitting the fibre into thin strips. These strips and the strips of split cane-like material are rather coarse in texture. The former are of a dull red-brown colour (natural, not produced by staining) and the latter are stone-yellow. The two are plaited together in geometric patterns. The width of the belt is about 2 inches. It only passes once round the man's body; and the plaiting is finished with the belt on the body, so that it can only afterwards be removed by unplaiting or cutting it off.

(3) A belt (Plate 14, Fig. 2) made of stone-yellow unsplit cane; made and worn by both men and women. This is the simplest form of belt, being merely a strip of cane intertwined (not plaited) so as to form a band about half an inch wide, and left the natural colour of the cane. Both men and women, when short of food, use this belt to reduce the pain of hunger, by tightening it over the stomach. It is, therefore, much worn during a period of restricted diet prior to a feast. Women also use it, along with their other ordinary means, to bring about abortion, the belt being for this purpose drawn very tightly round the body. Often two, or even three, such belts are worn together.

(4) A belt (Plate 14, Fig. 3) made of coarse, sometimes very coarse, stone-yellow split cane or cane-like material; made and worn by men only. This belt is left the natural colour of the material, which is plaited so as to form a band from half an inch to 2 inches broad, the two ends of which are bound together with cane. It also, like No. 2, is finished on the body. A man will often wear two or three of these belts together.

(5) A belt (Plate 15, Fig. i) made out of the inner fibre of a creeping plant [35]; made and worn by men only. The fibre threads used for this belt are very fine, so the plaiting is minute, instead of being coarse like that of No. 2; but it is generally done rather loosely and openly. The belt is usually about 2 inches wide or a trifle less and is often plaited in slightly varying geometric patterns. It is not stained in manufacture, but the natural stone-grey colour of the fibre soon becomes tinted as the result of wear and the staining of the wearer's body, and in particular it often becomes an ornamental red. This belt also is finished on the man's body.

(6) A belt (Plate 15, Fig. 2) made of the inner fibre of what I was told was another creeping plant [36] and the stem of a plant which I believe to be one of the Dendrobiums [37]; made and worn by men only. The fibres of the former plant are stained black; the reedy stems of the other plant are put in short bamboo stems filled with water, and then boiled. They are then easily split up into flattish straws, and become a colour varying from rather bright yellow to brown. For making the belt these two materials, looking rather like black and bright yellow straw, are plaited together in various geometrical patterns. The width of the belt is 2 inches, or a trifle more. It is tied at the ends with fibre string.

(7) A rather special form of belt (Plate 15, Fig. 3) used mainly for visiting and dancing; made and worn by both men and women. The belt is made out of a hank of loose separate strands between 4 and 5 feet long, tied together with string or bark cloth at two opposite points, so as to form a belt of between 2 feet and 2 feet 6 inches in length. For better description I would liken it to a skein of wool, as it looks when held on the hands of one person for the purpose of being wound off into a ball by someone else, but which, instead of being wound off, is tied up at the two points where it passes round the hands of the holder, and is then pulled out into a straight line of double the original number of strands, and so forms a single many-stranded belt of 2 feet or more in length. It is fastened round the waist with a piece of bark cloth attached to one of the points where the hank has been tied up. [38]

The number of strands is considerable. Belts examined by me and counted gave numbers varying from eighteen to thirty-five, and the number of strands of the belt round the body would be double that. Each strand is made of three parts plaited together, and is one-eighth of an inch or less in width. Various materials, including all the materials used for armlets (see below), are employed for making these belts, some for one and some for another. Sometimes a belt has its strands all plaited out of one material only, in which case the belt will be all of one colour. Sometimes its strands are plaited out of two different coloured materials. There is no colouring of the belt, except that of its strands.

Belt No. 1, as worn, is seen in Plates 9 and 11. Belt No. 3 is worn by the man at the extreme right in Plate 16. It is worn by many of the women figured in the plates, and several of them have two belts. One of the women figured in Plates 18 and 19 has three of them. Belt No. 4 is worn by one of the men figured in Plates 7 and 8 (he has three of them). Belt No. 7 is worn by one or two of the women figured in the frontispiece, the one to the extreme right having a many-stranded belt, and it is excellently illustrated in Plate 17.

Capes made of bark cloth are made and worn by men and women. They are only put on after recovery from an illness by which the wearer has been laid up, including childbirth. The cape is simply a plain long narrow piece of undyed bark cloth. The corners of one end are fastened together, and the whole of that end is bunched up into a sort of hood, which is placed over the head, whilst the rest of the cloth hangs down as a narrow strip behind. The cape in no way covers or conceals any part of the body when viewed from the front or side. It is only worn for a few days; but whilst wearing it the wearer discards all, or nearly all, his or her ornaments. I could learn no reason for the custom. Plates 18 and 19 show these capes, and the way in which they are worn.

Mourning strings (Plate 30, Fig. 1) are made and worn by both men and women. These are plain undecorated necklaces varying much in size and appearance; sometimes they are made of undyed twisted bark cloth, and vary in thickness from one-sixteenth of an inch to an inch; sometimes they are only made of string, and are quite thin. There is always an end or tassel to the necklace, made out of the extremities of the neck part, and hanging in front over the chest; and, if the necklace is of string, and not of bark cloth, some bark cloth is twisted round this tassel. This sign of grief is after a death worn by the widow or widower or other nearest relative (male or female) of the deceased; and at times two people of equal degree of relationship will both wear it. It is worn until the formal ending of the mourning. The woman to the extreme right in Plate 26 is wearing one of these.

Widows' vests. These are mourning garments, only worn by the widows of chiefs. The garment, which is made by women, is a vest made of string network (like a string bag), the mesh of which is the special Mafulu mesh, which will be described hereafter, and it is not coloured. It is plainly and simply made, with openings at the top for the neck, and at the sides for the arms (no sleeves), and coming down to about the waist, without any other opening either in front or at the back. This garment is also worn until the formal end of the period of mourning. [39] I was unable to secure a picture of one of these.

There is no special dress for chiefs to distinguish them from other people.

European calico clothing has not been adopted by these people, even in the district where they are in touch with the missionaries. Indeed I may say that the people, happily for their own health, show no inclination to wear more clothing; and no doubt as a result of their conservatism in this respect they escape many a fatal cold and attack of pneumonia, and the spread of infectious skin diseases is somewhat reduced. I may also add that the Bishop and Fathers of the Mission do not attempt, or seem to desire, to urge the people who come under their influence to endanger their health and their lives for the sake of conforming to views as to clothing which have played such havoc with tropical natives in many parts of the globe. [40]

Physical Body Decoration, &c.

Tattooing and body-scarring are not practised by either men or women among the Mafulu.

Depilation. When a young man's beard begins to grow, the hairs of the beard and moustache and eye-brows are extracted. No other depilation is practised by men, and none whatever by women; and none of them shave any part of the body. The depilation is effected with two fibre threads twisted round each other, the hair to be extracted being inserted between the threads. Anyone can do this, and there is no ceremony connected with it.

Nose-piercing. The septa of the noses of both men and women are pierced at or after the age of 15 or 18, and either before or after marriage. This is done for men by men, and for women by women. There is no special person whose duty it is to do it, but he or she must be one who knows the incantations which are required. There is no restriction as to diet or otherwise placed upon the operator prior to the operation, but there is a day's food restriction imposed upon the person whose nose is to be pierced.

Two instruments are used for the operation, one being a piercing instrument made of pig bone and sharpened, and the other being a small wooden plug, also sharpened. The operator first visibly, but silently, engages in two incantations, during the former of which he holds up the thumb and first finger of his right hand, and during the latter of which he holds up the two instruments. He then with the thumb and first finger of his right hand holds the septum of the nose of the person to be operated upon, whom I will call the "patient," and with the left hand pierces the septum with the bone instrument. He next inserts the wooden plug into the hole, so as to make it larger, and leaves the plug there. Then he takes a blade of grass, which he also inserts through the hole, by the side of the plug, and, holding the grass by the two ends, he makes it rotate round and round the plug. This is a painful process, which frequently causes tears and cries from the patient. He then probably goes through the same process with various other patients, as it is the custom to operate on several persons at the same time.

The patients are then all lodged in houses built for the purpose, one house being for men and one for women. These are not houses which are kept permanently standing, but are specially built on each occasion on which the nose-boring operation is going to be performed. A great swelling of the patients' noses develops, and this spreads more or less over their faces. The patients are confined in the special houses until the holes in their noses are large enough and the wounds are healed. During this confinement each patient has himself to do what is requisite to further enlarge the hole by the insertion into it from time to time of pieces of wood and by putting in rolled up leaves and pushing pieces of wood inside these leaves. During all this period he is not allowed to come out of the house, at all events not so as to be seen, and his diet is confined to sweet potato, cooked in a certain way. The cooking for all the patients, men and women, is done by the woman nose-piercing operator, assisted by other women. The potatoes are wrapped up in leaves (usually banana), each potato being generally wrapped up separately in one or more leaves; and, when so wrapped up, they are cooked in red-hot ashes, and then taken to the houses where the patients are.

When the hole in any patient's nose has reached the requisite size, and the wound is healed, he inserts a large croton leaf [41] into the hole; he may then come out and return to his own house, retaining the croton leaf in his nose. He must next occupy himself in searching for a black non-poisonous snake about 12 or 18 inches long, which is commonly found in the grass. I cannot say what snake this is, but I am advised that it is probably Tropidonotus mairii. Its native name is fal' ul' obe, which means "germ of the ground." Until he finds this snake he must keep the croton leaf in his nose, and is still under the same restriction as to food, which is cooked in the same way and by the same persons as before. On finding the snake, he secures it alive, removes the croton leaf from the hole in his nose, and inserts into it the tail end of the living snake; then, holding the head of the snake in one of his hands, and the tail in the other, he draws the snake slowly through the hole, until its head is close to the hole. He then lets the head drop from his hand, and with a quick movement of the other hand draws it through the nose, and throws the snake, still living, away. [42] This completes the nose-piercing; but there still rests upon the patient the duty of going to the river, and there catching an eel, which he gives to the people who have been feeding him during his illness.

The nose-piercing is generally done at one of the big feasts; and, as these are rare in any one village, you usually find in the villages many fully-grown people whose noses have not been pierced; though as to this I may say that nose-piercing is more generally indulged in by chiefs and important people and their families than by the village rank and file. It commonly happens, however, that a good many people have to be done when the occasion arises. Each person to be operated upon has to provide a domestic pig for the big feast. I have been unable to discover the origin and meaning of the nose-piercing ceremony. [43]

Ear-piercing is done to both men and women, generally when quite young, say at seven or twelve years of age. Both the lower and the upper lobes are pierced, sometimes only one or the other, and sometimes both; but the lower lobe is the one more commonly pierced. They can do it themselves, or can get someone else to do it. There is no ceremony. The piercing is done with the thorn of a tree, and the hole is afterwards gradually widened by the insertion of small pieces of wood. They never make large holes, or enlarge them greatly afterwards, as the holes are only used for the hanging of pendants, and not for the insertion of discs. After the piercing the patient must, until the wound is healed, abstain from all food except sweet potato; but there is no restriction as to the way in which this food is to be cooked, or the person who is to cook it. There is as regards ear-piercing no difference between the case of chiefs' children and those of other people.

Body-staining is usual with both men and women, who do it for themselves, or get others to help them. There is no ceremony in connection with it. The colours generally adopted are red, greyish-yellow and black. The red stain is procured from an earth, which is obtained from the low countries; but they themselves also have an earth which is used, and produces a more bronzy red. The yellow stain is also got from an earth. All these coloured earths are worked into a paste with water, or with animal fat, if they can get it. I think they also get a red stain from the fruit of a species of Pandanus; but I am not quite clear as to this. The black stain is obtained from crushed vegetable ashes mixed with fat or water. The staining of the face is usually of a simple character. It may cover the whole face all in one colour or in different colours, and often one side of the face is stained one colour, and the other side another colour. They also make stripes and spots or either of them of any colour or colours on any part of the face. The red colour (I think especially that obtained from the Pandanus fruit) is also often applied in staining the whole body, this being especially done for dances and visiting; though a young dandy will often do it at other times. The black is the symbol of mourning, and will be referred to hereafter.

Hairdressing may be conveniently dealt with here. The Mafulu hairdressing is quite simple and rough, very different from the big, spreading, elaborately prepared and carefully combed mops of Mekeo. This is a factor which a traveller in this part of New Guinea may well bear in mind in connection with his impedimenta, as he has no difficulty in getting the Kuni and Mafulu people to carry packages on their heads, which the Mekeo folk are unwilling to do.

The modes in which the men dress their hair, so far as I was able to notice, may be roughly divided into the following categories:—(a) A simple crop of hair either cut quite close or allowed to grow fairly long, or anything between these two, but not dressed in any way, and probably uncombed, unkempt and untidy. This is the commonest form. (b) The same as (a), but with a band round the hair, separating the upper part of it from the lower, and giving the former a somewhat chignon-like appearance, (c) The hair done up all over the head in three-stranded plaits a few inches long, and about an eighth of an inch thick, having the appearance of short thick pieces of string, (d) The top of the head undressed, but the sides, and sometimes the back, of the head done up in plaits like (c). (e) A manufactured long shaped fringe of hair, human, but not the hair of the wearer (Plate 20, Fig. 3), is often worn over the forehead, just under the wearer's own hair, so as to form, as it were, a part of it, pieces of string being attached to the ends of the fringe and passed round the back of the head, where they are tied. These fringes are made by tying a series of little bunches of hair close to one another along the double string, which forms the base of the fringe. Specimens examined by me were about 12 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide (this width being the length of the bunches of hair), and contained about twenty bunches. It is usual to have two or three of these strings of bunches of hair tied together at the ends, thus making one broad fringe. These fringes are often worn in connection with styles (c) and (d) of hairdressing; but I never noticed them in association with (a) and (b).

I was told that men who have become bald sometimes wear complete artificial wigs, though I never saw an example of this.

The hairdressing of the women seemed to be similar to that of the men, except that I never saw the chignon-producing band, that they do not wear fringes, and that the entire or partial plaiting of the hair is more frequently adopted by them than it is by the men. I do not know whether the women ever indulge in entire wigs.

Method (a) is seen in many of the plates. Method (b) is illustrated, though not very well, in Plate 9 (the fourth and fifth man from the left) and in Plate 21 (the young man to the left, behind). Method (c) is adopted by four of the women in the frontispiece, by some of the women in Plate 16, by the woman in Plate 17, and by the little girl in Plates 22 and 23. Method (d) is well illustrated by the second woman from the right in the frontispiece.

The cutting of the hair of both men and women is effected with sharp pieces of stone of the sort used for making adze blades, or with sharp pieces of bamboo or shell.

Infant deformation is not practised in any form by the Mafulu people; nor do they circumcise their children.


The string-like plaits in which men and women arrange their hair, and especially those of the women, are often decorated with ornaments. Small cowrie and other shells, or native or European beads, or both, are strung by women on to these plaits, sometimes in a line along all or the greater part of the length of the plait, sometimes as a pendant at the end of it, and sometimes in both ways; and any other small ornamental object may be added. Dogs' teeth are also used by both men and women in the same way; but these are, I think, more commonly strung in line along the plaits, rather than suspended at the ends of them. Both men and women wear suspended at the ends of these plaits wild betel-nut fruit, looking like elongated acorns; and men, but not women, wear in the same way small pieces of cane, an inch or two long, into which the ends of the plaits are inserted. All these forms of decoration may be found associated together. They are in the case of men usually confined to the plaits at the sides, being also often attached to the side ends of the artificial fringes; but they are sometimes used for the back of the head also. The women often wear them also at the top of the head, and in wearing them at the sides sometimes have them hanging in long strings reaching to the shoulders.

Plate 24 (Figs. 1, 2, 5, and 6) and Plate 25 (Figs. 2 and 4) are ornamented plaits cut off the heads of women. The ornaments shown include beads, shells, discs made out of shells, dogs' teeth and betel-nut fruit. Plate 24 (Figs. 3 and 4) are ornamented plaits cut off the heads of men, one of them having a cane pendant, and the other a pendant of betel-nut.

The appearance of these things, as worn, is seen in Plates 16, 26, 27, 28 and 29 (the habit of wearing a single dog-tooth at each side of the head, as shown by 27, being a common one, and 28 showing the equally common habit of wearing a couple of betel-nuts at each side). Their appearance, when worn in abundance for a festal dance, is excellently shown in the frontispiece and in Plate 17; and the little girl in Plates 22 and 23, though too young to be a dancer, is decorated for an occasion.

Pigs' tails are a common head decoration for women, and are also worn, though not so frequently, by men. These tails are covered with the natural hair of the tail, and are brown-coloured. They are suspended by strings passing round the crown of the head or from the plaits at the sides of the head. They are generally only about 6 inches long; but sometimes the ornaments into which they are made are much longer, and I have seen them worn by women hanging down as far as the level of the breast. These pigtails are sometimes worn hanging in clusters of several tails. They are also often, in the case of women, decorated with shells, beads, dogs' teeth, etc., which are attached like tassels to their upper ends. [44]

Plate 30, Fig. 3 shows a pigtail ornament for hanging over the head, with the tails suspended on both sides and strings of beads and dogs' teeth hanging from the upper ends of the tails. The ornament is worn by the middle man in Plate 9 and by the little girl figured in Plates 22 and 23, and it is seen more extensively worn by women decorated for dancing in the frontispiece and in Plate 17, and by the girl in Plate 71.

A peculiar and less usual sort of head ornament (Plate 30, Fig. 4), worn by both men and women, is a cluster of about a dozen or less of bark cloth strings, about 1 1/2 feet long, fastened together at the top, and there suspended by a string tied round the top of the head, so as to hang down like the lashes of a several-thonged whip over the back. The individual strings of the cluster are quite thin, but they are decorated with the yellow and brown straw-like material above referred to in connection with abdominal belt No. 6 (being prepared from the same plant, apparently Dendrobium, and in the same way), the material being twisted in a close spiral round the strings, and making them look, when seen from a short distance off, like strings of very small yellow and brown beads, irregularly arranged in varying lengths of the two colours, shading off gradually from one to the other. Even when so bound round, these strings are only about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch thick.

The Mafulu comb (Plate 30, Fig. 2) differs in construction from the wooden combs, all made in one piece, which are commonly used in Mekeo. It is made of four, five, or six thin pieces of wood, which are left blunt at one end, but are sharpened to points at the other. These are bound together with straw-like work, sometimes beautifully done, the binding being nearly always near to the blunt ends, though it is sometimes almost in the middle. [45] The combs so made are flat, with the blunt ends converging and generally fastened together, and the long sharp ends, which are the ends to be inserted into the hair, spreading outwards. The bound-up blunt ends are in fact a point, or, say, half an inch or less (occasionally more) across. The spread of the sharp ends varies from 1 to 2 inches or more. The straw-like binding may be light or dark brown, or partly one and partly the other. Sometimes only the two outside prongs meet together at the blunt end, and the inner prongs do not extend much, or at all, beyond the upper edge of the straw-like work binding. The fastening together of the blunt converging tips is done sometimes with native thread just at the tips, and sometimes with a little straw work rather further down; occasionally it is missing altogether. The comb figured is not so converging at the blunt ends or so spreading at the sharp ends as is usual, and its blunt ends are not bound together. These combs are only worn by men; they are commonly worn in front, projecting forwards over the forehead, as is done in Mekeo; but they are also worn at the back of the head, projecting sideways to either right or left. A feather (generally a white cockatoo feather), or sometimes two feathers, are often inserted into the straw-like work of the comb, so as to stand up vertically when the comb is worn, and there wave, or rather wag, backwards and forwards in the wind. I could not learn any significance in these feathers, such as applies to many of the upright head feathers worn by the young men of Mekeo. The comb is worn by several of the men figured in Plate 9, one of them wearing it in front and the others having it standing out sideways at the back.

The almost universal type of earring (Plate 20, Fig. 1), varying from 2 to 3 inches in circumference, is made out of the tail of the cuscus. The ring is made by removing the hair from the animal's tail, drying the tail, and fastening the pointed end into or on to the blunt cut-off stump end, tying them firmly together. The ring is then bound closely round with the yellow and brown material (Dendrobium) of belt No. 6; but a space of 1 or 2 inches is generally left uncovered at the part where the two ends of the tail are fastened together. The simplest form is a single earring, which passes through the hole in the ear; but I have seen two rings hanging to the ear; and frequently a second ring is hung on to the first, and often a third to the second, and sometimes a fourth to the third; or perhaps, instead of the fourth ring, there may be two rings hanging to the second one. In fact, there are varieties of ways in which the fancy of the wearer and the number of rings he possesses will cause him to wear them. They are worn by both men and women. [46] They may be seen in several plates, but unfortunately are not very clear. The most distinct are, I think, those worn by the second woman from the left in Plate 26 and the woman on the left in Plate 28. The second woman from the left in the frontispiece has two of them hanging from her right ear.

Pigs' tails, similar to those worn from the hair, are also worn by both men and women, especially the latter, suspended from the ears; and here again they vary much in length, and are often decorated with tassel-like hanging ornaments of shells, beads, etc.

Forehead ornaments (Plate 30, Fig 5) are made by men and worn by them at dances. This ornament is a band, very slightly curved, which is worn across the forehead, just under and surrounding the basis of the dancing feathers. It is generally about 16 inches long and between 4 and 5 inches broad in the middle, from which it narrows somewhat towards the ends. Its manufacture consists of a ground basis of the material of belt No. 5, into which are interplaited in geometric patterns the two black and yellow and brown materials which are used for belt No. 6. It is fixed on to the forehead by means of strings attached to its two ends, and passing round, and tied at the back of, the head.

Nose ornaments. These are straight pencil-shaped pieces of shell, generally about 6 inches long, which are passed through the hole in the septum of the nose. They are only worn at dances and on special occasions; but the people from time to time insert bits of wood or cane or bone or some other thing into the hole for the purpose of keeping it open. There are temporary pegs in the noses of the fifth man to the left in Plate 9 and the man in Plate 10. The nose ornament is worn by the woman to the extreme right in the frontispiece.

Necklaces and straight pendants, suspended from the neck and hanging over the chest, are common, though they are not usually worn in anything approaching the profusion seen in Mekeo and on the coast. These are made chiefly of shells of various sorts (cut or whole), dogs' teeth and beads, as in Mekeo. The shells include the cowries and the small closely packed overlapping cut shells so generally used in Mekeo for necklaces, and the flat disc-like shell sections, which are here, as in Mekeo, specially used for straight hanging pendants; also those lovely large crescent-shaped discs of pearl shell, which are well known to New Guinea travellers. The shells are, of course, all obtained directly or indirectly from the coast; in fact, these are some of the chief articles for which the mountain people exchange their stone implements and special mountain feathers, so the similarity in the ornaments is to be expected; but it is only within a quite recent time that the pearl crescents have found their way to Mafulu. I do not propose to describe at length the various forms of shell ornament, as they are very similar to, and indeed I think practically the same as, those of Mekeo. Some of the necklaces are figured in Plates 31, 32 and 33, and they are worn by many of the people figured in other plates, especially the frontispiece and Plate 17. Straight pendant ornaments are seen in the frontispiece and in Plates 6, 17, 26 and others. The crescent-shaped pearl ornaments are seen in the frontispiece and in Plates 6, 7, 16, 28 and others, a very large one being worn by the little girl in Plate 71.

There is, however, one shell necklace which is peculiar to the mountains, and, I think, to Mafulu (I do not know whether the Kuni people also wear it), where it is worn as an emblem of mourning by persons who are relatives of the deceased, but who are not sufficiently closely related to him to stain themselves with black during the period of mourning. This necklace is made of white cowrie shells varying in size from half an inch to an inch long, each of which has its convex side ground away, so as to show on one side the untouched mouth of the shell and on the other an open cavity. The shells are strung, sometimes closely and sometimes loosely, on to a double band of thin cord. Specimens of this type of necklace measured by me varied in length from 36 inches (with 97 shells) to 20 inches (with 38 shells). It is worn until the period of mourning is formally terminated. The middle necklace in Plate 33 is a mourning shell necklace, and it is seen on the neck of the woman to the right in Plate 29.

Pigs' tail ornaments similar to those already described are also worn suspended by neck-bands over the chest.

Armlets and wrist-bands are worn by both men and women, and more or less by children, including quite young ones, at the higher end of the upper arm and just above the wrist. They are made by men only, and vary in width from half an inch to 5 or 6 inches, the wider ones being generally worn on the upper arm. There are several common forms of these: (1) The more usual form (Plate 34, Fig. 4) is made of the thin and finely plaited stone-grey material described in abdominal belt No. 5, and is made in the same way, subject to the difference that the plaiting is more closely done. Measured specimens of this armlet varied in width from 1 to 2 1/4 inches, and displayed different varieties of diagonal twill stitch. (2) Another common form (Plate 34, Fig. 3) is made of the coarser-plaited black and yellow and brown materials described concerning No. 6 belt, and is made in the same way. Specimens of this armlet varied in width from 1 to 5 inches. (3) There is another form which in fineness of material and plait is between Nos. 1 and 2. I was told that this is made out of another creeping plant, and is left in its own natural unstained colour, which, however, in this case is a dull brown red. (4) Another form (Plate 34, Fig. 2) is made of the coarse dull red-brown and stone-yellow materials described with reference to belt No. 2, and is made in the same way. A specimen of this armlet was 2 1/4 inches wide. (5) Another form (Plate 34, Fig. 1) is in make something like No. 4, but the two materials used are the stone-yellow material of belt No. 2 and the black material of belt No. 6, and the plaiting materials are much finer in thickness than are those of armlet No. 4. Specimens of this armlet varied in width from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches. (6) The beautiful large cut single-shell wrist ornament, commonly worn on the coast and plains, whence the Mafulu people procure it. Armlets will be seen worn by many of the people figured in the plates.

There is no practice of putting armlets on young folk, and retaining them in after life, so as to tighten round and contract the arm.

Leg-bands (Plate 25, Fig. 1) and anklets are worn by both men and women, and also by children, just below the knee and above the ankle.

There is a form of plaited leg-band somewhat similar in make to armlet No. 5, and between half-an-inch and an inch in width, though the colour of this leg-band is a dull brown. But the usual form of leg-band and anklet is made by women only out of thread fibre by a process of manufacture quite distinct from the stiff plait work adopted for some of the belts and for the armlets. They make their thread out of fine vegetable fibre as they proceed with the manufacture of the band, rolling the individual fibres with their hands upon their thighs, and then rolling these fibres into two-strand threads, and from time to time in this way making more thread, which is worked into the open ends of the then working thread as it is required—all this being done in the usual native method.

I had an opportunity of watching a woman making a leg-band, and I think the process is worth describing. She first made a thread 5 or 6 feet long by the method above referred to, the thread being a two-strand one, made out of small lengths about 5 or 6 inches long of the original fibre, rolled together and added to from time to time until the full length of 5 or 6 feet of thread had been made. The thread was of the thickness of very coarse European thread or exceedingly fine string. She next wound the thread into a triple loop of the size of the proposed leg-band. This triple loop was to be the base upon which she was to make the leg-band, of which it would form the first line and upper edge. It was only about 11 inches in circumference, and thus left two ends, one of which (I will call it "the working thread") was a long one, and the other of which (I will call it "the inside thread") was a short one. Both these threads hung down together from the same point (which I will call "the starting point"). She then, commencing at the starting point, worked the working thread round the triple base by a series of interlacing loops in the form shown (very greatly magnified) in Fig. 1; but the loops were drawn quite tight, and not left loose, as, for the purpose of illustration, I have had to make them in the figure. This process was carried round the base until she had again reached the starting point, at which stage the base, with its tightly drawn loop work all around it, was firm and strong, and there were still the two ends of thread hanging from the starting point. Here and at subsequent stages of the work she added to the lengths of these two ends from time to time in the way above described when they needed it, and the two ends of thread were therefore always present. Then began the making of the second line. This was commenced at the starting point, from which the two ends of thread hung, and was effected by a series of loops made with the working thread in the way already described, except that these loops, instead of passing round the whole of the base line, passed through holes which she bored with a thorn, as she went on, in the extreme bottom edge of that line, and also that, in making this second line, she passed the inside thread through each loop before she drew the latter tight; so that the second line was itself composed of a single internal thread, around which the loops were drawn. The second line was continued in this way until she again reached the starting point (but, of course, one line lower down), from which the two ends of thread hung down as before. The third and following lines were made by a process identical with that of the second one, the holes for each line being pricked through the bottom of that above it. I did not see the completion of the band, but I may say that the final line is similar to the second and subsequent ones, and is not a triple-threaded line like the first one. It was amazing to see this woman doing her work. She was an old woman, but she did the whole of the work with her fingers, and she must have had wonderful eyesight and steadiness of hand, as she made the minute scarcely visible prick holes, and passed the end of her working thread through them, with the utmost apparent ease and quickness.

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