by Dr. Chris Ballard
B3.3 Gender and Precedence
The two principles of gender and precedence provide the fundamental axes of distinction upon which Huli society is conceptually deployed. An understanding of the specific resonance for Huli of gender designations and claims to precedence is thus a prerequisite for any attempt to describe the broader universe of Huli belief and praxis.
The primacy of gender as a means of creating distinction has been widely documented throughout the Highlands region (M. Strathem 1988), but the deployment of gender distinctions in Huli society appears extreme even within this context. Goldman has described at length the assertion by Huli men of an ‘uncompromising ideology of pollution that pervades all contexts of Huli behaviour, and articulates the social implications of female sexuality’ (1983: 10). Substances derived from women and associated with the dangerous inner “heat” (pobo) attributed to women, such as menstrual blood, breast milk, vaginal fluids and afterbirth, are regarded by men as sources of mortality and ill health (Frankel 1986). Goldman further demonstrates the presence, most strikingly in male discourse, of a series of gendered oppositions between wali (female):agali (male), homa (death):habe (life), darama (blood):kuni (bone) and anda (private/home space):hama (public space) (1983:71). It is important, however, to distinguish between the sense of opposition implied in the discursive employment of these binarisms and a contrasting sense of complementarity between male and female. While female substances are identified by men as inimical to their growth, they are also a necessary component in procreation, the success of which hinges upon the correct balance of male and female substances. All people, for example, derive ultimately from the coalescence of both male and female substance: male semen (wi ibane) is held to form the bones (kuni), and female blood (darama) the fat and flesh of the body. The meanings and significance for Huli of gender and of gendered substances are not therefore fixed and immutable, but are instead subject to a process of continual negotiation, re-contextualisation and re-presentation. 1 Male denigration of women extends to claims that women have no capacity for the mana knowledge of men (Goldman 1983:99), thus excluding them from involvement in most of the public forums in which corporate decisions are taken and, in effect, from representation at a corporate level. Goldman’s suggestion that Huli gender ideology is not open to contestation presumably reflects this restricted access of women to public debate. Prior to the impact of Christian missions, this gender ideology was formally inculcated amongst men in the haroali or ibagiya bachelor cult, through which young men were “grown” by senior initiates to a state of resistance to the polluting effects of women (Frankel1986:55,103-4). The practical deployment of this ideology produced male and female universes that were largely distinct, with discrete bodies of knowledge restricted to each gender, and often separate worlds of action in which men and women gardened, harvested, ate and resided apart from each other (see B4.5). The fact that the corporate knowledge – ritual knowledge relating to clan ancestors, clan genealogies, origin myths and narratives about warfare – necessary for the reconstruction of Huli history is essentially a male preserve meant that most of my interviews were conducted with older men rather than women. To an unfortunate extent, this thesis thus operates within the prevailing gender ideology, as this is articulated by men. 2
The second critical axis of distinction, the notion of precedence, reflects Huli use of the lexeme tene, a polysemous term applied to social categories, knowledge, intentions and causes, which is glossed variously as ‘root, source, origin, base, cause, motive or real’ (Goldman 1983:19, 1993:46). 3 The privilege accorded to precedence in Huli society has yielded what Goldman (1983:78,93) describes as a cultural doctrine of causality founded on tene, a singular obsession with the identification of origins and sources which emerges as a constant theme in Huli discourse and significantly influences Huli practice. Thus land ownership is organised around the principle of association between an ancestor, as the “father of the land” (dindi aba) (Goldman 1981a:44), and an original specific territory (dindi tene or dindi kuni) or garden (mabu tene). Disputes are founded upon the distinction of opposed “sources of talk” (bi tene), and wars and compensation upon the identity of the original disputants, the “sources of the war” (wai tene). The full power of the concept of tene in Huli thought is suggested by Goldman when he asserts that tene ‘is more than a statement of fact; it connected events in a manner which suggested their explanation. In the judicial context, it could be glossed as truth’ (1981b:60).
The equation of “truth” with precedence and the correct divination of origins is related to the significance of ancestors in Huli society. Through their actions, which create enduring rights and obligations for the living, both male and female ancestors play a major conceptual role in the ordering of society. The earliest ancestors, referred to as dama, are held to have established primary territories (dindi kuni: “bone land”) for their clan descendants through the action of “cutting” the land, usually in the course of mythic journeys. Ties to this land are confirmed and demonstrated through the possession and recitation of dindi malu (“land genealogies”), mythic narratives which trace the genealogical and transactional continuity from the original dama, through ancestors (mama I mamali) to current clan members. Though knowledge of dindi malu is often widely dispersed within and even beyond a clan, the “correct” source of that knowledge, and the only individual deemed appropriate for its public recitation, is the agali haguene (literally “head man”). Ideally, the agali haguene in each clan is an agnatic male, the oldest living eldest son in an unbroken line of direct descent through eldest sons from the founding ancestor; in cases where no such link remains, the “office” of agali haguene has been assumed by the descendants of the next most senior agnatic patriline. By virtue of his possession of the mana of dindi malu, the agali haguene alone has the full right to employ what Merlan and Rumsey (1991:95-98) have described as the “segmentary person” pronoun in referring to the actions of clan ancestors in the first person singular. 4 In an important sense, all other clan members trace their connections to clan territory through the agali haguene. The significance of primogeniture is further emphasised in the recitation and discussion of genealogies. Huli genealogies (malu), like the office of agali haguene, are atypical of the Highlands region in both their “vertical” and “lateral” extent Some Huli can trace their genealogies to a depth of up to twenty-four generations, and across twenty or more clans. Functional explanations for this predilection for genealogies might perhaps be framed in terms of the relatively long-term stability of residence implied by Huli oral history and myth, but the relationship between extensive genealogical knowledge and success in disputes (Goldman 1983: 152) suggests that Huli interest in genealogies reflects the broader cultural concern for establishing tene sources. Appendix B6 provides a fuller description of the form and nature of Huli genealogies; it is sufficient here to observe that genealogical recitation places particular emphasis upon precedence and gender, the two principal axes of social difference distinguished here.
As evidence for the privilege accorded to primogeniture, siblings are typically ranked in terms of birth order, from wahene (eldest) through dombeni (middle) to heyogone (youngest) 5 , and individuals will often recite the personal genealogy of the agali haguene before proceeding to identify their own more immediate ancestors. Cutting across this distinction between elder and younger is that between male and female, as tene and yamuwini respectively. The pair tene:yamuwini refers strictly to a contrast in the status of residents within a parish territory (B3.5). Tene residents are those whose rights to reside in the parish are traced through an unbroken chain of agnatic links to the ancestral figure identified as the founder of the parish. Yamuwini are those residents whose genealogical links to the founder pass through a female tene. The terms tene and yamuwini and the categories they denote are often employed in other contexts as markers of gender. 6 Similarly, tene and yamuwini carry connotations of precedence: tene, by definition, are the “first” on the land; in corporate rituals, tene performants precede their yamuwini counterparts; and in disputes, a form of speech precedence accords tene the right to open the speech turn order (Goldman 1983:147). With some sense of the significance of gender and precedence in Huli belief established, it is now possible to examine the role these principles play in the conceptual structure of Huli society.
B3.4 Hameigini 1: Descent and Affinity
The structure of Huli society, and in particular the nature of the relationship between Huli descent, kinship and residence, has been the subject of an anthropological debate in which Huli society has frequently been cited as atypical of the Highlands region as a whole (A.Strathem 1969:41, Feil1987:164). Superficially, the problem rests upon the characterisation of Huli descent as essentially either cognatic or agnatic, but the implications of the differing perspectives on this question of descent extend more widely to differences in the understanding of the distinction between ideology and practice, and in the conception of the contrast between “native” and ethnographic models; these issues are significant here in terms of providing an understanding of land ownership and and of the structure of access to wetlands (Chapter C2) an illuminating review of the experience of his Huli fieldwork in the 1950s, Robert Glasse (1992) has described the difficulty he encountered in attempting to apply classical models of social structure derived from African ethnography to Huli society. His published thesis made the case for a system of cognatic descent, realised on the ground as cognatic descent groups, which Huli view people ‘as being related in the same way to both matri- and patrikin’ (1968: 138). Accordingly, Huli descent thus ideally confers rights equally via men and women, though statistical analyses of land holdings and residence patterns suggest that there is an agnatic “bias” in practice.
Solely on the grounds of the evidence which Glasse himself presented, several critics questioned his conclusions (De Lepervanche 1967/68, G.Jackson 1971, Aijmer 1975), noting that Glasse had offered sufficient material to suggest that Huli descent is in fact agnatic. Glasse’s characterisation of Huli descent as cognatic, and his questionable identification of “descent groups”, appear to have stemmed from his conflation of Huli descent ideology and the actual statistical distribution of descent categories on the ground. Noting that “cognatic descent groups”, which imply a perfect correspondence between actual communities and a theoretically unbounded kin, are not actually possible, G.Jackson (1971) drew particular attention to Glasse’s mistaken attempt to define descent in terms of recruitment to social groups, effectively deriving ideology from practice. Further ethnographic fieldwork has subsequently provided detailed evidence to support the view that Huli descent ideology is fundamentally agnatic (Frankel1986:51, Goldman 1988:86f.), a position that I seek to demonstrate in the course of this chapter.
Insofar as there are finer distinctions to be drawn amongst the models proposed by Glasse’s critics, I find my own view of Huli social structure most closely in sympathy with that expressed in a series of monographs by Goldman (1981a, 1983, 1988, 1993); his close attention to language and particularly to the idioms expressive of kinship, and his clear distinctions between ideology and practice and between ethnographic and indigenous models, appear to have yielded the keenest insights into Huli society. 7 My particular emphasis in the following account is on the significance for Huli of historic specificity, of the importance of the names of people and of places, evident in the central role Huli discourse of genealogies and oral historical narratives; all features of the way in which Huli “practise” kinship that tend to be obscured in the quest for structure.
Marilyn Strathem (1991) has commented on the attenuated form of social taxonomy amongst the Kalam of Western Highlands Province, as contrasted with the elaborate taxonomies that they articulate for the “natural” world. As I seek to demonstrate in Chapters B2 and B4, Huli taxonomies for the “natural” world are fairly shallow, with emphasis placed instead upon the social and historical significance of a wide range of specific terms. There is similar evidence in Huli accounts of their society for this same “shallowness” of taxonomic structure, but this is offset by a concern for the specific names of individuals, clans and locations; names whose meanings derive their significance not from taxonomic position but from historical context.
Thus the considerable range of potential referents for the single term, hameigini, (“father-son(s)” after Goldman 1983:76), is narrowed to a single possibility for a Huli audience on the basis of contextual references and the use of specific names. From an external perspective, however, it is necessary to create taxonomies with which to apprehend the structure of Huli society. Two broad fields of reference for the single term hameigini are thus distinguished to discriminate between the significance of hameigini as a conceptual category of descent (hameigini 1), and the sense of hameigini as a coresident community identified with a particular territory (hameigini II). The first may then be used to refer to a range of sizes of descent unit, such as clans, sub-clans and individual patrilines. The second is glossed here as a “parish”, retaining the term used by both Glasse and Goldman which captures neatly the sense of association between a coresident community and its territory, but with the caveat that my use of “parish” is more restricted than Glasse’s. Although there are important areas of overlap between these two senses of hameigini, they never correspond perfectly and much of the confusion in external accounts of Huli society has stemmed from a failure to sufficiently discriminate between them. 8 In the discussion that follows, the sense of descent as a form of conceptual distinction (hameigini 1) is addressed first, before turning to the more complex issues of practice refered to by the discursive use of hameigini n. Descent is one of a range of conceptual resources deployed by Huli speakers in the creation and negotiation of social distinction; but unlike the Nebilyer for whom, as for most other groups of the Highlands and adjacent regions, ‘notions of descent and apical ancestor are of little or no relevance’ (Merlan and Rumsey 1991:36), descent, as it is articulated through genealogy and oral history, is of crucial significance in Huli life. The past constitutes an enormous discursive field upon which contemporary Huli draw in negotiating the present and constructing possible futures. Seen in this light, hameigini 1 are indigenously articulated descent constructs to which reference is made in the practical negotiation of marriage, dispute and (formerly) ritual. Importantly, and almost certainly without exception, hameigini 1 have no physical presence. Only members of the smallest level of hameigini 1 might ever have performed rituals, gardened, fought wars or even lived together as a single group. Following Wagner (1974:107), the terms for Huli descent categories (hameigini 1) are thus ‘names, rather than the things named’.
As descent constructs expressive of the prevailing gender ideology, hameigini 1 are unambiguously agnatic, consisting of a core of individuals connected genealogically through common male ancestors. In a term whose full significance is realised only with respect to land ownership and residence, these individuals, whether female or male, are held to be tene in that hameigini I. Every Huli, regardless of gender, is tene in regard to one, and only one, hameigini 1. Tene status is marked linguistically through the use by an individual, and by others in reference to that person, of a specific patronymic prefix. These prefixes identify an individual as tene within a specific hameigini 1. A woman X or a man X who is tene in Tani hameigini 1, for example, will be identified as Ngoari- X 19. The patronyms of most Huli clans are listed and further discussed Appendix B6.
Recognized use of a patronym thus links an individual both genealogically to a fixed and bounded core of ancestors and to a hameigini 1 headed ideally by a unique agali haguene, and through them to a specific core territory, dindi kuni or dindi tene (Goldman 1983:76). Hameigini 1 can refer to a wide range of sizes of segmentary unit. Reference to the specific name of the designated unit, or to a senior member, living or historical, of the unit is usually sufficient for local Huli to divine the size of the unit. Where the distinction between unit size requires explanation, as to an outsider, use is made of the qualifiers “large” (timbuni) and “small” (emene); but the terms hameigini timbuni and hameigini emene are relative and neither are related in any fixed way to units of a specific segmentary level. Solely for the purposes of identifying broad differences of scale, a nested hierarchy of unit sizes is distinguished in this thesis. The largest of these units are named clusters of clans related through descent, which are designated here as “phratries”; these are not, in fact, identified as hameigini, nor is there a generic term for them in Huli, but they constitute a recognisable, overarching category of unit within which the component units are hameigini. A list of Huli phratries and their component clans is given in Table B5, showing that phratry level segmentary units are indigenously recognised and named, and that their component clans tend to retain a common patronym. Beneath phratries in size are “clans”. These clans are also uniquely named, though the origins of these names are not always known and indeed seldom follow the names of clan-founding ancestors, as has been claimed (Wood 1984, Vol.I:89); most of the Huli clan names known to me are listed in Appendix B6. Clans contain named “clan sections” which consist, in tum, of named “sub-clans”; almost without exception, these names are held to follow the names of the apical ancestor of each clan section or sub-clan. The smallest descent units identified as hameigini are individual “patrilines”, usually identified with the name of a living or recently deceased senior member. This hierarchy is illustrated with reference to Tani clan of the Yari phratry, the largest of the descent constructs based in the Haeapugua basin (Appendix B6: Gen.1). If references to han1eigini 1 denote conceptual categories and only rarely correspond to the physical presence of groups of the smallest segmentary class such as patrilines, what purpose is conceived by Huli for units of the larger orders of size? Two principal “functions”, relating to ritual and exogamy, are readily apparent. It is rare, however, to hear women being identified in this way, reflecting their diminished presence in the corporate contexts in which such patronyms are usually deployed. 9
Recognized use of a patronym thus links an individual both genealogically to a fixed and bounded core of ancestors and to a hameigini 1 headed ideally by a unique agali haguene, and through them to a specific core territory, dindi kuni or dindi tene (Goldman 1983:76). Hameigini 1 can refer to a wide range of sizes of segmentary unit. Reference to the specific name of the designated unit, or to a senior member, living or historical, of the unit is usually sufficient for local Huli to divine the size of the unit. Where the distinction between unit size requires explanation, as to an outsider, use is made of the qualifiers “large” (timbuni) and “small” (emene); but the terms hameigini timbuni and hameigini emene are relative and neither are related in any fixed way to units of a specific segmentary level. Solely for the purposes of identifying broad differences of scale, a nested hierarchy of unit sizes is distinguished in this thesis. The largest of these units are named clusters of clans related through descent, which are designated here as “phratries”; these are not, in fact, identified as hameigini, nor is there a generic term for them in Huli, but they constitute a recognisable, overarching category of unit within which the component units are hameigini. A list of Huli phratries and their component clans is given in Table B5, showing that phratrylevel segmentary units are indigenously recognised and named, and that their component clans tend to retain a common patronym. Beneath phratries in size are “clans”. These clans are also uniquely named, though the origins of these names are not always known and indeed seldom follow the names of clan-founding ancestors, as has been claimed (Wood 1984, Vol.I:89); most of the Huli clan names known to me are listed in Appendix B6. Clans contain named “clan sections” which consist, in tum, of named “sub-clans”; almost without exception, these names are held to follow the names of the apical ancestor of each clan section or sub-clan. The smallest descent units identified as hameigini are individual “patrilines”, usually identified with the name of a living or recently deceased senior member. This hierarchy is illustrated with reference to Tani clan of the Yari phratry, the largest of the descent constructs based in the Haeapugua basin (Appendix B6: Gen.1). If references to han1eigini 1 denote conceptual categories and only rarely correspond to the physical presence of groups of the smallest segmentary class such as patrilines, what purpose is conceived by Huli for units of the larger orders of size? Two principal “functions”, relating to ritual and exogamy, are readily apparent.
Although the clan or corporate rituals are no longer performed, their importance prior to contact should not be underestimated. The relationship between clan origin myths (dindi malu), ancestral dama spirits (gebe) and gebeanda ritual sites as the residences of those spirits has been described in B2.6, where the distinction was also made between major gebeanda associated with the root of the earth (dindi pong one gebeanda) and lesser gebeanda that relate to individual clans or phratries. A more extensive hierarchy of minor gebeanda corresponding to different sizes of segmentary unit within clans can also be discerned. Thus most sub-clans had their own specific gebeanda sites at which ritual leaders from that sub-clan would officiate in rituals relating to the interests of the sub-clan. 10 Rituals would be performed at the gebeanda of the clan ancestor, on behalf of the entire clan, by the ritual leader of the senior lineage in the senior sub-clan. Members of segmentary units, identified as common descendants of an apical ancestor, were thus conceptually represented through ritual performance at the gebeanda of those apical ancestors.
Hameigini 1 are also exogamous units. Ideally, marriage is prohibited between individuals, male or female, who can trace agnatic descent from the same clan founder. However, individuals from different clans related as members of the same phratry can marry, which presumably explains why phratries are not identified as hameigini. The process of clan fission is clearly marked by the first few marriages amongst tene of different sub-clans within the same clan. In the case of Tani clan (Appendix B6: Gen.2), tene of Doromo and Hewago sub-clans have recently begun to inter-marry amidst a storm of debate with claims of incest and counter-claims that the two sub-clans are now distinct and therefore inter-marriageable units. 11
Ideally, exogamic restrictions are also extended to cognatic kin, but in the same way that Glasse’s postulated “cognatic descent group” is a practical impossibility, so too is a restriction that extends to all cognatic kin, particularly given the genealogical depth and conservatism of descent- reckoning in Huli society. the place of rigid category distinctions amongst non- agnatic cognatic kin, delineating marriageable and non-marriageable categories, a more feasible form of exogamy that bars only those cognatic kin that are “actively” recognised is practised. It is this scope for distinguishing “active” from “inactive” cognatic links that furnishes Huli descent with its “negotiable”, and superficially cognatic, quality.
Minimally, kinship and exogamic restrictions are reckoned individually. This reflects the practice of polygyny in Huli society, a situation further complicated by high rates of divorce and remarriage (Glasse 1968:74-75). Thus only those individuals with the same father and mother reckon their kinship links in precisely the same way. At increasingly higher levels of segmentation, links with correspondingly larger affinal units are acknowledged as the enduring products of ancestral marriages. But only those consanguineallinks created by ancestors that are still actively recognised and engaged in forms of exchange are acknowledged in this way, and it is this narrowed category of non-agnatic cognatic kin, together with one’s agnatic kin, that constitute the effective exogamic unit for an individual (Goldman 1983:83-84). The nature of these consanguineal exchanges and of the relationships that they initiate and commemorate constitute the critical counterpart to descent in Huli kinship ideology.
Myths about the origin of the sun, Ni, and his sister the moon, Hana, describe a “moral progression” from the incest between Ni and Hana, to the direct or equivalent exchange of sisters between the son and daughter of Ni and a brother-sister pair from Tinali, and ultimately to the modern norm ofbrideprice payments. 12 Goldman (1983:84) has shown how the transfer and consumption of a specific category of pig given as brideprice (wariabu, from wali: woman+ abi: compensation) serve to identify a category of affinal kin termed aba. As a category term, aba is then extended to all of an individual’s non-agnatic cognatic kin as ‘persons between whom reciprocal economic, ritual and social obligations exist’ (Goldman 1983:234). Aba thus constitute a critical conceptual category of bilateral consanguineal kin, identified collectively as aria or damene (Goldman 1983:72) or dame, an ego-focused cognatic kindred. 13 Importantly, the term for these bilateral consanguines is distinguished only tonally from aba, the term for father or father’s brother. The most significant affinal link for a male individual is his mother’s brother, or ababuni, whose agnatic lineage becomes, in effect, a form of tene line for ego. The importance of the ababuni, rather than the woman who links the two patrilines, is suggested by reference to the status of the woman through whom the aba connection is traced as the aba wandari (“daughter of the aba”). 14 Individuals reciting the malu genealogy of their ababuni’s patriline will often identify themselves as ‘born of their ababuni. 15 Aba are therefore described as being ‘like tene’, in terms of restrictions on marriage. However, this tene-like treatment of aba neither constitutes “cognatic descent” nor does it yield “cognatic descent groups”. Although aba are initially an ego-focused category of kin, the obligations of the reciprocal aba relationships of ancestors are assumed by their agnatic descendants, producing enduring links between increasingly larger segmentary units related to each other as aba. However, only certain of these aba relationships are actively maintained over long periods of time, principally through either a history of co-residence or, in the case of distant aba kin, where mutually beneficial exchanges guarantee continuous contact. 16 In other words, there are no structural entailments for the selection of particular aba kin for these enduring corporate relationships. Much as ancestral bones and the performace of ancestor-focused rituals identify agnatic units, aba kin formerly engaged in a variety of rituals in which representatives from each kindred played complementary roles; the homa haguene rite, in particular, entailed the feeding, decoration and safeguarding by aba of skulls from each other’s lineages. Crucially, the links between aba lineages are not, therefore, links between descent units at a comparable or higher level of segmentation. Those Tambaruma tene related to Tani thus stand as aba in relation to Agiabu, Eli and Yunda sub-clans alone and not to Tani as a clan or to any of the other Tani sub-clans; as a Tambaruma man put it, they are “joined” (wayadago) to Agiabu as the descendants of the Tani tene woman, Taya-Nano (Taya-Nano igini) (see Appendix B6: Gen.3). 17 There is therefore no category term that refers to all of the aba lineages linked to a single clan and no basis for a concept of cognatic descent.
A summary of structural principles is insufficient however as an account of practice for, as Gardner (1983:84) notes, ‘it is not the rules that explain what is going on but people’s commitment to, or observance of the rules’; the social groups of Huli individuals who actually work together reflect the negotiated implications of normative principles. The full social and historical significance of the aba relationship is thus realised in terms of actual social groups: those communities that reside, produce, fight and, in the past, performed ritual as a largely unified group. Only in these contexts are certain aba lineages identified as a category with respect to the tene of a clan, and the following section illustrates the ways in which these aba links are exploited in the constitution of physical communities.
(Reprinted with permission of Dr. Chris Ballard. The Death of A Great Land: Ritual, History and Subsistence Revolution in Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of The Australian National University, Canberra, January 1995. pp. 58-68).
- The issue of balance in male and female substances, and the tendency towards decline in a world where that balance is under constant threat through inappropriate human behaviour, are further explored in relation to the process of entropy in Chapter B5.
- Numerous interviews were conducted with older women, but only rarely were women either knowledgeable or prepared to speak about the forms of corporate knowledge which I had identified as the focus for my thesis. Kyakas and Wiessner (1992) have also described the emphasis in the oral traditions of women in Enga Province on personal and private experience, rather than corporate history.
- Goldman (1983:78) has drawn parallels between tene and corresponding concepts of pukl in Melpa, tse in Duna and page in Daribi; the Nebilyer notion of pul, as described by Merlan and Rumsey (1991:44), also shares many of the features of tene in Huli.
- Thus the agali haguene ofPoro Goya sub-clan refers to Goya, his direct ancestor thirteen generations back, in the first person singular: ‘Poro honowuwa Goya i ala daba mbira’; ‘Of the offspring ofPoro, I, Goya was the eldest’ (Haea-Yoge, 23.6.91, 91/7A:0-52, extract).
- Hence the following description of the three ancestral brothers of Poro clan: ‘Wahene Goyago, ibu hamene, dombeni o Pebe, heyogone Ango: Goya was the oldest, his middle brother was Pebo and the youngest was Ango’ (Haea-Yoge, 25.6.91, 91/7B:0-30). Tene and yamuwini are described as sitting in a parish together ‘like a girl and a boy’ (Haea-Yoge,
- Tene and yamuwini are described as sitting in a parish together ‘like a girl and a boy’ (Haea-Yoge, 25.6.91, 91/7A:460-491); in the origin myth of Hiwa Poro clan, the brother/sister pair, Hiwa and Hiwa, are themselves identified as tene and yamuwini (Tugu-Bogoya, 8.12.89, 89/3B:0-45)
- Goldman summarizes his general approach to Huli social structure in the following passage: ‘Structure [in his view] is a “becoming”, not a “being”, in accordance with, and sensitive to, agendas that are frequently politically motivated… Understanding Huli social structure is, then, very much a task that entails locating idioms and terms in their appropriate contexts of discourse, their appropriate levels of reference, and appropriate orientations in some speaker’s viewpoint or strategy’ (1993:23).
- See, for example, Frankel (1986:39-41). Glasse’s (1968:23) promising initial distinction between “hamigini” firstly as ‘a purely genealogical unit’ and secondly as a ‘de facto social group’ is undermined by the fact that he then describes the first retrospectively in terms of the second. Allen (in press) has recently suggested that the Huli term dindi hameigini is used to distinguish ‘group territory’ from the ‘sociopolitical group’ (hameigini). He notes that none of the ethnographers of the Huli have mentioned the term dindi hameigini; neither Goldman (pers.comm.) nor I have ever heard it expressed by Hulispeakers. Whether the term dindi hameigini is employed beyond the context of interviews with outsiders or not, Allen’s clustering of descent categories and social groups together as hameigini does not resolve Glasse’s dilemma
- The patronyms of most Huli clans are listed and further discussed Appendix B6.
- These smaller gebeanda are commonly identified as “kamianda”, though there is no suggestion that this a category term.
- Tani clan is unusual in that it is probably the largest single Huli clan. This inter-marriage between
the Tani “sub-clans” suggests that these sub-clans should more accurately be designated “clans” in their own right, and Tani, which is still referred to in discourse as a clan, described as a “super-clan”.
- Dali-Urulu, 27.3.91, 91/3B:0-49.
- Dame, the contracted form of damene, is presumably cognate with the term yame, which describes cognatic kindreds amongst the neighbouring Ipili/Paiela (Biersack 1991).
- A usage illustrated in context in Narrative C3.
- Gelaya, 28.6.91, 91/10A:0-25.
- A point made by Goldman (1988:91-92) in reference to the distribution of brideprice: ‘a man will have more aba than pigs available so that an area of discretion exists which permits him to choose from amongst this class only those with whom he has current relations, or those with whom he wishes to initiate some e change behaviour’.
- Similarly, as their Poro tene explains, Dobani clan are resident at Haeapugua by virtue of their aba link to Goya sub-clan of Poro: ‘Dobani ibu yamuwini, Poro daru bihende yamuwini ndo, Goya ibu hangu yamuwini: Dobani is yamuwini, not to all Poro but to Goya alone’ (Haea-Yoge, 25.6.91, 91/7A:275-310).