The Mountain Arapesh Essay

The Mountain Arapesh, are located in Papua, New Guinea. Both men and women of the Arapesh share equal responsibility in Procreation. The positions of women are very valuable to the Arapesh men. Women are used for reproduction, carrying water, search for firewood, and cook the daily food, gardening, and the cleaning responsibilities. The work of the men consists of cultivating yams, cook food for the ceremonies, build fences and houses. Both men and women care for the children.

The Arapesh classify life into five different cycles; 1) Falanga-early childhood, 2) Lafin-late childhood, 3) Maolinmu, adolescence, 4) Nggwal Bunafunei- adulthood, and 5) Nggwal Walepeine-old age. The advancement into the different stages of life is through rituals. These rituals are held twice a year, during the planting and harvesting of the yams. The yams are planted during the wet season which is March to June. The yams are harvested during the dry season with is from June to September.

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Yams are a huge part of the Arapesh, and contribute to every ritual performed. Yams are also seen as a person’s wealth, from what I gathered yams are as important to the Arapesh as money is to us. Yams are more complex the n what money holds, but none the less still a symbol of wealth to the Arapesh. The ceremonies that are held for these rituals have food offering and distributions of mainly yams, and meat. These ceremonies are a huge festivity, they are held for; rituals of the children, harvesting of the yams, marriage, birth and death.

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