Volume 88 1979 > Volume 88, No. 3 > Holders of the way: a study in precolonial socio-economic history in Papua New Guinea, by Roderic Lacey, p 277-326
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The people of Enga Province of Papua New Guinea number over 160,000 speakers of a number of mutually intelligible dialects. They reside in dispersed hamlets scattered along the floors of a number of interlocking valleys at altitudes ranging from about 1,500 to 2,500 metres above sea level. Their territory covers 10,000 square kilometres of mountainous country west of the Mount Hagen range. The term “Enga” comes from a name given by people living in the Mount Hagen region to those living west of the range. These people in their turn called Hageners “Simbai” or “Timbai”. Prospectors moving up the Sepik River in 1929 met northern Enga (Shepherd 1971). The Leahy brothers travelled into some parts of Enga country during 1934, as did, probably, the Fox brothers in the same year (Leahy and Crane 1937: 240-57, Elkin 1953: 167, Nelson 1970: 7-9, Fox 1936: 41-4). Later J. L. Taylor walked through the main valleys on his Hagen-Sepik patrol in 1938-39 (Taylor 1940: 137-49). Colonial administration was begun about 1943 as part of the wartime Australia New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) structure.

The Enga present an ideal situation for the study of pre-colonial history. Theirs is the largest language group in Papua New Guinea. Within the cluster of related dialects and cultures, likenesses and differences suggest clues to historical interactions between groups. Because of the comparative recency of the establishment of a colonial administration there are men still alive who were moulded by the traditions of precolonial society. There is also a substantial body of ethnographic material available to assist the historian. 1

My initial period of residence in Enga Province covered almost 18 months, from July, 1971, to January, 1973. The aim of the field-work was a broad survey of oral traditions to assess their character and role in Enga society, and their value as historical sources.

The largest sociological unit among the Enga in pre-colonial times was - 278 the phratry, a group of clans claiming brotherhood because of shared origin in a founding ancestor. Meggitt argues that in the mid-1950s the mean population per phratry, among the Mae Enga, was 2,290 with a range between 950 and 5,400 per phratry (Meggitt 1965a: 6). In the mid-1960s Westermann argued that the Mae and Laiapu Enga phratries which he sampled had a mean population of 1,460 per phratry among the former and of 1,130 among the latter (Westermann 1968: 80). According to these surveys, the Mae and Laiapu, with related groups, represented 60,000 or approximately 40% of the estimated Enga population, grouped into approximately 40 phratries. Hence the total number of Enga phratries may be about 100.

None of these estimates can be more than a general guide, since both Meggitt and Westermann were more concerned with organisation at the clan rather than at the phratry level, and Government census figures were not reliable because of inconsistency in the definition of sociological units. But, supposing that the estimate of 100 phratries is close to actuality, the 24 phratries which I sampled represent approximately 25% of the total. (Map A (Figure 1) shows the phratries studied.) These 24 phratries were chosen on the basis of three broad criteria: ethnolinguistic groupings, differences in settlement patterns (from compact to dispersed), and ecological differences (defined in terms of low, medium and high soil fertility).

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The aim of this paper is to study clusters of traditions about the tee exchange. Certain traditions will be examined: about tee kamapi ‘ceremonial grounds’, especially the exchange events which occurred upon them and are remembered by historic markers, such as commemorative trees and bushes planted by famous tee kamongo ‘rich men’; about mena limando ‘pig stakes’, placed on the grounds for exchange events; and about the origins of these exchanges in particular places, the bodies of powerful knowledge and the ritual objects handed down within families. All these reveal much of significance about the pre-colonial history of the Enga groups who own them. This study of oral sources demonstrates that their careful exploration is of value for investigating and writing the socio-economic history of indigenous societies like the Enga in Papua New Guinea.

When J. L. Taylor walked into Enga territory in 1938 he saw, as he travelled towards what is now Wabag, “pig exhibitions in which great numbers of pigs are given by one group to another in reward for assistance in tribal war” (Elkin 1953: 162-3). 2 He described what he saw at Tilyapausa ceremonial ground (kamapi), just near modern Wapenamanda in the following words:

More than a hundred stakes, about 3 feet long had been placed in perfect alignment and driven into the turf. Pointing to them, an old man said, ‘Mena, mena (pig).’ Apparently it was connected with some pig festival. The Tilyapausa people were friendly and pulled the stakes out to make room for us . . . (Taylor n.d.: 94). 3

It is conceivable, from these remarks, that Taylor witnessed events in a tee ceremonial exchange cycle. For a number of generations before his coming, among Enga clans living in the upper Kaugel, Minyamp, lower and mid Lai, Tale and Wagime, Baiyer, Sau and lower Ambum valleys to a point just west of Wabag, the tee was a central cultural institution. 4 Around it revolved many clan activities; by means of it conflicts were resolved between clans; in the events by which each cycle was brought to a close the growth in power and the waning of clans were reflected; it was a channel by which important trade goods were distributed among the participating clans and beyond. This institution was so central to the culture of these clans that, with the influx of more valuables after the establishment of European administration, tee cycles have increased both in the number of clans involved (spreading into the Wale-Tarua, along the Ambum and Lai and into the Lagaip as far as Kepilyama) and in their internal dynamics (particularly the increase in participants within the clans).

Government officers and missionaries have had ambivalent attitudes towards this institution. In different areas and from time to time in the first decades of the colonial era it was banned by them. 5 Among Enga, both old and young, there is also a growing ambivalence towards the - 280 tee. 6 This tension and ambivalence could be a product of the present lack of congruence between the tee and pressures towards the modernisation of economic and political institutions at work within Enga society.

There are a number of works written on the tee, 7 enough written evidence and living protagonists, for a history of changes in this significant institution since 1938 to be written. One study of the modern tee has been made and it gives some insights into current issues of Enga life. 8

Considering the dramatic events recorded at ceremonial grounds near Wapenamanda and Wabag in 1950 (Bus 1951: 820-3, Elkin 1953: 178-95), it is tempting to argue simply that kamongo were acting as mediators, or links in a network of exchanges only here and now. That is what they were doing as they gave live pigs to friends and allies. The lining up of pigs at stakes on the centre of their ceremonial ground, the splendour of their decorations and the eloquence of their speech came as the culmination of negotiations extending back over several years. The skill, power, brilliance and eloquence with which the kamongo acted on these occasions brought glory to themselves, their family and their clan, both living and dead. These kamongo were certainly agents in the exchange system, funnelling in pigs and valuables to their grounds and then distributing them in these public events. Their distribution, successfully achieved, opened the way for kamongo in the next link to take up the ropes of exchange and stride in glory on the public arena of their clan dancing grounds.

Without doubt the three-phase exchange, marked by opening gifts of valuables, return gifts of live pigs and pearl shells, and by the final return of cooked pig, is best seen as a network involving the exchange negotiations and transactions of the participating kamongo. Enga give names to this three-fold rhythm. This exchange system has a unity of its own, so that each completed cycle is marked also by ebb and flow along clearly marked exchange roads. (Major tee kaita ‘roads’ are shown in Map B (Figure 2)). Thus, a given tee cycle, like the one witnessed in 1950 by Bus and Elkin at different points along its course, was completed later that year or early in the following year by the return of cooked pork in the reverse direction. Enga living in the Lai valley called this whole cycle an upward or westerly moving tee, because the gifts of live pig flowed westwards from Tambul in the Kaugel valley towards Wabag. The next major cycle (possibly in 1954-5) was then called a downward or easterly moving tee because the live pig exchanges moved from Wabag back to Tambul in the east. 9

These events witnessed by outsiders were dramas in which the participating kamongo, their allies and dependants competed. On each dancing ground, one kamongo and his entourage outdid his rivals and was acclaimed the master of that ground on that day. The line of his pig stakes was proven (by a public count) to exceed those of his rivals, so he

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stood supreme. Some kamongo would mark their success on this day by planting a commemorative bush at the edge of their ground in a position parallel to the point reached by his last pig stake. 10 Others would run off the ground and symbolically burn down a hut erected for the purpose. 11

So exchange events could mark glory and defeat for participants on tee grounds. The kamongo were protagonists responsible for making the tee work profitably and favourably. Each success added to their fame as kamongo. They were also representatives of numerous interests and groups, bound by ties and alliances to act well for those whom they represented. One informant, himself a kamongo, described their role as representatives and decision-makers in these terms:

The kamongo are the ones who have all the power and authority to plan and control the tee. However, when they have planned it everybody runs secretly around giving opening gifts and gathering up many pigs for themselves. Those who are insignificant men gather what they can while the kamongo spend time in the work of decision-making. The kamongo are the ones who call the ordinary men to come and distribute their collection when the tee comes into their clan territory. This exchange system is a kind of institution in which everybody takes part although the kamongo make the final decision . . . 12

But the kamongo were also performing public and representative acts which were not only part of a current exchange cycle; these acts were - 282 bound up in a continuous flow of past tee. They were bearers of the history of their group's participation in previous tee, and the arena on which they acted was full of reminders of that history.

In one historic poem, recorded in 1972 from an experienced tee participant who lived on the northern ridges of the lower Ambum River, a time of great prosperity among his ancestors was remembered. This prosperity followed the acquisition of a powerful sacred plant by key kamongo of the poet's grandfather's generation. One of the most important consequences of the coming of this plant and its power into this clan of MALIPINI phratry was an increased influx of valuables brought in from a more active participation in tee exchanges with their neighbours and friends. One refrain running through this poem sings of the exploits of the protagonists as they took part in successive regional cycles of the tee exchange in communities to the east, south-east and south of their clan territory. In each tee cycle they gathered in the valuables in which clans of that region specialised: these included oil for bodily decoration, pigs for breeding new herds, stone axe blades, blackwood palm spears and salt. The refrain catalogues the valuables acquired in each tee and extols their newly won wealth. The poem tells that they now had such success in their tee that these goods were heaped up in their men's houses and on their dancing grounds, like piles of rubbish, like heaps of river sand. 13


The ceremonial grounds are arenas full of history. Some specific ways in which these grounds carry and stimulate a sense of history for their owners have been suggested. These and other notions about these kamapi need further elaboration. One case illustrates this very clearly.

When I interviewed Lambu of the YAKANI/Timali clan in November 1971 he could demonstrate the many reminders of the tee and other aspects of clan history bound up in two tee grounds, Lenge and Yokopatimanda. He was one of the early Government bosbois and luluais in the Wabag area and is credited with having been one of the most outstanding tee kamongo in the Lai valley. 14 His ties and alliances, through five wives, stretched from Saka and Wapenamanda through to the Ambum valley. He was born about 1900 and by the time Taylor came through his territory he had performed three tee cycles. Four more were to follow. His last tee was in 1954 or 1955. By then he had reached the pinnacle of his career as a tee kamongo. Kambau, his eldest son, was ready to succeed him.

In 1956 Lambu joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church, having earlier shown some interest in both this and the Lutheran Church (Burce 1971). That step entailed his renunciation of all but one wife, and the - 283 dispersal of his wealth and obligations as a tee kamongo. Kambau, his heir, received this inheritance and these alliances and in return presented his father with five cassowaries (which, unlike pigs, the SDA permits its members to own). 15 While Lambu's role as tee kamongo has now waned, he is still a great patriarch of his own and related clans. He resides on a small mission station close to Yokopatimanda tee ground. The interview took place at the two ceremonial grounds, Yokapatimanda and Lenge.

The Lenge tee ground is now reduced from its original size, cut by the Enga Highway. Below its south-eastern edge the ground borders what was formerly a sacred grove for the YAKANI people. 16 The tee ground has growing on it some giant beech and casuarina trees. A number of traditions were given about some of these trees by both Lambu and a fellow clansman in separate interviews. The first man to clear the ground and plant the earliest trees was probably Ipuwapa. Ipuwapa is remembered as both the clan founder and the clearer of this ground at Lenge. He probably lived about six generations before Lambu. 17

More trees were planted two generations later by Wambi. He may have begun the tee for the Timali, but that honour is probably due to his two sons, Yandama and Kepa. Kepa, according to Lambu, was both the initiator of the tee and the founder of the Kepa lineage of which Lambu is the patriarch. Wambi, Yandama and Kepa all planted beech trees to mark these events. Some of their trees still remain on the ground. So it is conceivable that the tee could have begun among Timali clan sometime between 1850 and 1870. 18

That is the substance of the testimony about tree planting and the tee on Lenge ground. Before discussing other reminders of the tee on this ground, something further should be said about other trees on Lenge ground and those discussed by Lambu at Yokopatimanda. On the southeastern corner of Lenge kamapi, there are a number of huge casuarina trees. It is claimed that these sprang up out of a layer of volcanic dust which covered the ground during three days of darkness some generations ago. Lambu discussed the tradition about the “time of darkness” while we were on the kamapi. He thought that this event occurred either when his grandfather Kepa or that man's father, Wambi, were young boys. This could mean sometime between 1820 and 1850. 19

At the Yokopatimanda tee kamapi Lambu commented on two groups of trees. This kamapi is now part of Sikinowane clan territory. Earlier it had been part of YAKANI/Kalia territory. Along the eastern edge of the kamapi Lambu showed me the stumps of four very old and large casuarinas planted either by Kalia himself or by some of his early descendants. 20 The Kalia were only temporary possessors of the Yokopatimanda kamapi, despite the monument of Kalia trees left behind. Lambu and others have claimed that, because of a quarrel with a clansman, Kalia fled. His place as the owner of Yokopatimanda was taken by - 284 Sikinowane, brother of Timali. Sikinowane is reputed to have planted the grove of ancient beech trees still standing in the north-western corner of this ground. So the two clusters of trees on Yokopatimanda recalled for Lambu the troubled history of this territory.

There was another lasting memento of past tee for Lambu — the lines of pig stakes on Lenge ground. As we walked from the western approach to the ground towards its head at the eastern end, Lambu paused from time to time to plunge the handle of his axe into the ground. Then he would straighten up his towering figure, look around and proclaim that this spot marked the place where his line of pig stakes ceased at a certain tee. Whenever he proclaimed these triumphs the other old YAKANI men who followed would nod their approval, perhaps recalling Lambu's glories for themselves as fellow clansmen.

The first such place was where his last tee was completed in 1954 or 1955. At that point the approach to the ground was hard to discern, since the road now cuts through. The head of the ground was some distance away, and Lambu's line of stakes may have held nearly 200 pigs. 21 Men with us claimed that clansmen and allies came from many places on that day, in their hundreds to witness the event at which Lambu made his last tee. European witnesses may also have been there. 22 In addition, there is a specified distance of 4 feet between each pig stake. Lambu's testimony about his last and greatest tee could therefore be assessed from a variety of sources.

The last place at which we paused was at the point where Pendaiane, Lambu's father, had made his last and greatest tee, assisted by his son and heir. It was apparent that Pendaiane in his own time was a great kamongo, in terms of the alliances he had built which enabled him to display so long a line of his stakes. But it was also obvious that the heir surpassed his father's great achievements. To appreciate the historical significance of this act of self-praise and remembrance performed by Lambu late in 1971 we need to examine the meaning and use of pig stakes in the tee.


Here is a written account about the placing of stakes at Pumakosa tee ground near Wapenamanda in 1949:

Soon after Christmas of 1949 I saw rows of sharply pointed stakes, about three feet high appear on the meeting grounds. Some rows were long, some short. Each row was laid out in a perfectly straight line, and the rows ran parallel. The distance between the stakes in each row was about four feet, and the rows were about five apart . . . It was interesting to count the longest rows: I found a few which numbered as many as 150 stakes. It was still a long time before the tee would take place. In the following months more rows were put - 285 in, and the original rows grew longer and longer.
Each stake represented one pig to be handed out. For example, if Chief Tuingi has a row of 95 stakes, it means that he is going to hand out 95 pigs on the day of the display and exchange. The stakes are put in without special ceremonial. When the first ones are to be set out on the meeting grounds, a number of natives get together, cut the grass and put the stakes in . . .
The fact that the above-mentioned Chief Tuingi has 95 stakes in the ground does not necessarily mean that he has 95 pigs in his possession at the time he puts in the stakes. He knows that he will be getting pigs in from other places where the tee is held before it arrives in his locality. He knows to whom he has given presents, and he knows where those presents have gone. He will carefully watch which pig is being returned for his gift, and diligently follow the route along which the pig is exchanged (Bus 1951: 814-5).

The writer, Bus, adds that one of the participants had about 300 pigs ready to tie to stakes once the day for exchange arrived (1951: 820). It is useful to compare Bus's description of the number and use of pig stakes among eastern clans with that given by Elkin for clans near Wabag. Here he describes the tee at a ceremonial ground just south of Wabag on Saturday, July 15, 1950:

The . . . ground was rectangular, about 80 by 20 yards, and had been levelled at some time in the past. The earth which had been removed now formed a bank, mainly on the northern side, and was occupied by some onlookers, mainly women. The western end and the adjacent parts of the two sides were sheltered by trees, at the back of which was tall grass. The eastern end was open and beyond it the land sloped gently away.
Entering the ground the first thing we saw was a display of pigs, arranged in 12 parallel lines, and totalling 443. Each was tethered to a stake and in some cases a woman or child or even a man was sitting with a pig, watching, perhaps, that a wrong person did not get it, and preventing it from fighting with a nearby pig or from cluttering up the space between the lines. Men too, about twelve of them gaily dressed, were walking up and down the lines, exclaiming, straightening the lines, giving the pegs a turn, looking at the pigs, and generally behaving as good stewards should. The decorated men were kamongo, each proud in the long line of pigs which he had obtained from the east for his clients and himself though sometimes two kamongo combine to make a good line and share the prestige, rather than each making a poor showing with a short line . . .
All the lines began from a common base towards the east end of the ground, and finished up unevenly in the west, with the result that the onlookers, who, as stated, were almost all at that end, could see at - 286 once which kamongo had the longest line, and admire it . . . A little after 9.30 the real business started. A man moved along one line from east to west, touching each pig with a stick, and as he did so, called out in a loud and high-pitched voice. He was “marking” or counting the line.
The man who counts a line is a friend of the kamongo concerned, but he must also be a good counter, and judging by the performances, a good actor also . . . As soon as the counter gets to the end of the line, the kamongo with an assistant, and any fellow kamongo who have combined with him in the line, dance down the same line with a high polka-like step from west to east, as though having brought the pigs west they now leave them there. As he “dances”, the kamongo shouts out the names of the recipients. If, however, a kamongo thinks that his line of pigs is not impressive, he will only count it, but not dance down. At Kaipinimanda the dancers always paused and turned a circle with a prancing polka step when about two-thirds down the line and then, calling out, went to the end of the line. Immediately, the destined recipients hurried into the line, if they were not already inconspicuously sitting there, and led or carried their pigs away. Informants emphasized that ‘clients’ (and their wives) come to the tee for the pigs due to them. They do not send someone else . . .
As soon as a line of pigs was taken away, the pegs were pulled up, and put in bundles on the side of the ground . . . (Elkin 1953: 178-81). 23

These eyewitness accounts of the 1950 tee cycle show that the pig stakes served a practical purpose in the final display of pigs at the ground. Each line belonged to a particular kamongo, his clansmen and friends. The number lined up by each kamongo represented a multiplicity of exchange transactions. In Elkin's view, the pigs were owed to the kamongo by friends and allies in communities west of the ground. The public display and competition among kamongo for status culminated in the counting ceremony. Once the counting and distribution were complete the stakes had served their purpose and were taken away. With the coming of a new cycle in 1954-5, the procedure (sketched by Bus) of setting the stakes on each ground would begin again.

Lambu, recalling past triumphs on Lenge ground, perceived both particular lines of stakes produced on the particular occasions and the continuous line in which each tee surpassed its predecessors. The two foreign witnesses perceived only the particular events which they recorded in writing. Enga kamongo, especially men of the stature of Lambu, saw the line of pig stakes, in two dimensions: a visible record of each particular tee cycle, and a public historic record of previous tee which must be equalled and bettered with each performance.

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Another younger and still active kamongo confirmed independently what I have argued here from Lambu's evidence. 24 His contention that his great-grandfather Yama (a contemporary of Lambu's grandfather Kepa), was the man who began the tee tradition in his family is chronologically possible. Here is a paraphrase of his views:

In the times of his ancestors before Yama first made the tee they had a form of exchange also called tee pingi. This was a compensation payment made by one group to another after death in warfare. When these exchanges occurred their ancestors would mark the event by planting a commemorative cordyline bush at their ceremonial ground. At these earlier tee men would perform these pig exchanges in their men's houses not in public on the ceremonial ground. He had been taught that Yama brought the tee into Irelya in the following way. 25 Yama planted sugar cane in his garden because he heard that the tee was coming into his area. He planted that sugar cane near a sacred tree at the edge of what is now the informant's garden. That place is near the north-eastern end of the Irelya kamapi.
Yama's sugar cane grew very tall and he cut it to exchange with others. He was a powerful kamongo. When people saw his tall cane they came to exchange pigs with him. Yama was married to an APULINI/Sikita woman, but he did not pass on the tee exchange to his wife's clansmen. The tee came up the Lai valley first and Yama planted pig stakes on the Irelya ground.
When he first made the tee Yama may have placed six stakes on the centre of the ground. His sons, when they made the tee, may have been able to go further and add another two to their father's record. This man was taught that one of Yama's sons planted some of the large chestnut and beech trees which still stand on the southern side of the ground. The grandsons of Yama may have added another three, and they would then have a total of eleven stakes. When it was time for the informant to follow his father and make his own tee, he might have had eleven pigs which he could display and distribute on the ground. His stakes would then equal what his ancestors had been able to achieve in the previous tee. In his next tee he would work to go beyond what they had achieved. Once he had been able to reach beyond them, say to fifteen pig stakes he could then proclaim in the presence of the assembly:
‘I am a kamongo. All others are poor men. My father's mark stands there (at the place where his father's eleven stakes had reached). I have added more, and have leapt over his stakes. I am therefore richer than my fathers!’
He would then plant a bush to mark his triumph. So each generation seeks to add to the number of stakes and to improve the tee. Now his stakes go out over the edge of the ground and if he had sons and they - 288 made the tee, they would seek to leap over their father's stakes. 26
On the Irelya ground there are lines of stakes for each ‘brother’ lineage within the subclan. The line belonging to Talene, the eldest brother, is in the middle of the ground, but if a particular kamongo within Talene wished to stand on his own, he would begin another line.
Within APULINI/Talyulu clan, the Irelya ceremonial ground belonging to Wakemane subclan is the richest and strongest. If Wakemane calls for war, other Talyulu subclans will follow. Talene and Kepe are the strongest groups within Wakemane; both had the right to speak on the tee ground and others would listen. Their strength to lead Talyulu was proven by their lines of pig stakes. Recently the Nenele lineage have been growing strong. Before, they sat and listened while the Talene and Kepe kamongo spoke. Now Nenele kamongo are seeking to make their own line of stakes. 27

Lambu recalled his triumphs by pointing to the places where his mark and that of his father stood. This second testimony gives a picture of how particular lines of stakes changed on the Irelya ground. The testimony not only demonstrates admirably the meaning and function of pig stakes in the operation of the tee at Irelya. More significantly, it demonstrates how the history of the tee among participating subclans of APULINI/Talyulu is very much part of the history of the changing fortunes of participating groups. This account would need to be tested against those from other kamongo inside and outside Wakemane subclan, but it gives clues as to the historical meaning and significance of the tee and its usefulness as a means of charting the history of participating kamongo families and clans. This he expressed most clearly by saying: “Their [Talene's] strength to lead Talyulu was proven by their lines of pig stakes.”


So far we have argued that tee grounds are historic sites in a number of ways. We have shown that in the exchange events which bring to a climax each cycle of the tee, kamongo are standing both in the centre of a current network of exchange and in the shadow of previous achievements by kamongo from their clan, subclan, lineage or family. When they come to have their hour in this public arena they are not only conscious of what other kamongo are achieving in competition with them at that exchange, but they also are just as keenly seeking to equal or better the exchanges that went before on this ground. And we have seen that the tee grounds have rich mementos of these prior achievements in the trees and shrubs planted to commemorate great past kamongo and their deeds, and in lines of pig stakes. When a rising kamongo seeks to “leap over the pig stakes” of his fathers he demonstrates how these stakes are a record of - 289 both current transactions and past achievements.

In these ways we are reminded that past and present intertwine and intersect on the grounds and that traditions from the past are brought to bear on current tee transactions. But we have also suggested that the grounds, since they are places where famous ancestors planted trees by which their deeds would be remembered, are sites of great significance for the history of their owner groups. This was made real to me by the testimony Lambu gave concerning casuarina, beech and chestnut trees on the Yokopatimanda and Lenge grounds. There are two strands of traditions which are of relevance here: one about the ancestors who first cleared and planted a ground and the other about the ancestors who first made the tee on that ground, often leaving behind a set of trees to commemorate that event. A study of these kinds of traditions about grounds reveals much about the internal history of the clans and subclans associated with them.

A pilot study among the clans of YAKANI phratry in November and December 1971 revealed a wealth of detail about tee grounds as historic sites in the evolution and expansion of these groups from their original birthplace at Lenge. Even from an exploratory survey much evidence was revealed. The details of evidence and argument are in Appendix II, while Appendix I has an outline of the genealogical relationships between major clans and subclans in YAKANI phratry. My task here is to draw major historical strands from that detail in order to demonstrate how these grounds are in a real sense historic sites of great strategic and political value for their owner groups. 28

Investigations into traditions about the founders of ceremonial grounds and the initiators of the tee within YAKANI territory reveal three important phases in the history of this phratry, each phase centred on traditions about particular grounds and manifested in the links between grounds and events commemorated at these places. These phases are: first, the origins and foundation of the YAKANI people and their initial spread from their place of origin at Lenge; second, the sequence of foundation of grounds as part of the processes of internal growth and fission within YAKANI; and, finally, the more recent diffusion of the tee through the clans and subclans of this phratry during the last 100 years. Each of these stages in the growth of YAKANI and the multiplication of its tee grounds will now be examined in detail.

The progenitors of Apulini and Yakani, i.e. Apole and Leo, first originated or settled at Komaimanda rock. It was at Komaimanda that these progenitors bore Alpulini and Yakani. YAKANI history began when Yakani moved to Lenge and bore three sons and one daughter. (See Appendix I below for more detail.) At Lenge, the birthplace of these offspring of Yakani and hence the place of origin of YAKANI phratry, the site of the fertility shrine grew around sacred women-stones. 29 Over a - 290 number of the first generations of YAKANI history key men were born in or close to Lenge and then gradually began to disperse from their homeland. These key men were the founders of YAKANI clans. In the testimony of Timali clansmen like Lambu (noted at the beginning of this paper), Ipuwapa, the son of Timali, is claimed as the founder of the Lenge ceremonial ground. This may have been at a time when the Timali were emerging as a clan and asserting their rights over the place of origin against the Langape people who were, according to genealogical reckoning, in a more senior position. But in the first phase the Langape ousted the Kalia people from Yokopatimanda ground (after Kalia, the founder of that clan had planted his casuarina trees on its eastern edge), then moved across the Lai river to the north-east and began clearing the sites for later kamapi.

This period of foundation was one of tensions at the centre around Lenge and of movements out from there as part of the process by which major clans emerged as identifiable and corporate groups whose founders staked out areas which later became clan territories. In this early period the founders and their families did not move far away from Lenge and the population seems to have been thin on the ground. This is a common idea in the testimonies of many YAKANI informants about the period of clan foundation.

This phase of the foundation and the first spreading out from Lenge, which covered six generation steps from Leo to Timali, could well have lasted for quite an extensive period of time. It is conceivable that there were breaks between each of these six major genealogical steps which are now bridged over for the sake of having a continuous and living rope of descent from Leo and Yakani down through the ages to contemporary YAKANI/Timali clansmen. A degree of certainty should be more possible once archaeological investigations can be carried out. One clue to possible antiquity is the evidence of layers of occupation and settlement well below current garden sites revealed in a survey of road cuttings in the vicinity of Lenge in August 1971. 30 Another is the botanical evidence of forest clearance about 2000 years ago at Lake Birip several miles to the east of Lenge near the Enga Highway. 31

Further clues about the possible antiquity of this first phase in the history of settlement at Lenge are supplied by Meggitt. He argues that one way in which Enga informants explained to him a shift in the ecological and cultural landscape around Lenge was in terms of a myth. According to this tradition, the land to the west of Lenge was inhabited originally by forest demons who set fire to patches of the forest to flush out the game they were hunting. They would then leave the land to lie idle and deteriorate. Lower down the Lai valley to the east of Lenge the original Enga ancestors were farmers who burned the forest to make gardens and then tended the soil, so that today it remains productive. - 291 These early ancestors are thought to have moved gradually up the Lai until they and the demons fought a battle near Lenge for control of the higher valley. For a long time they could not advance beyond this point. When eventually some (perhaps even some founding ancestors of YAKANI clans) did so, they were unable completely to make good the damage the demons had done to the land further west. I am unable to relate this important tradition directly to YAKANI founders because I have not found any ties between them and it. Further investigation may reveal those ties (Meggitt 1974: 85). But the impression remains that the establishment of Lenge as a homeland, and the spread into areas in which other major kamapi close to Lenge were established as focal points by founders of the YAKANI clans, may well have been a gradual, piecemeal and complex process, perhaps stretching over a number of centuries.

We move through time to the next stage and here the pattern begun around Lenge is repeated at what seems a faster rate and many times over. The details of this history are recorded in Appendix II. It is about the multiplication of ceremonial grounds by more recent ancestors. Together with these there is a history of fission, warfare and the establishment of new clan and subclan territories further up the ridges (particularly to the north and south) of Lenge. In this process one subclan may establish a hold on a strategically placed ground, only to be challenged by expanding neighbours. The ecology of what is now YAKANI phratry territory and the patrimonies of particular clans and subclans within it, reveal much. Strings of two or three grounds, each further away from fertile garden land in the terraces and fans closer to the Lai and Ambum rivers, point to a history of competition for better ecological zones and a progressive push into new territories in higher, less fertile, regions of these valleys. 32 The history of the founding of a number of these grounds by kamongo within the territories of the major subclans reveals this kind of pattern. Quite often the most vigorously disputed grounds are situated close to the most fertile garden zones.

When dealing with remembered founders of grounds and those ancestors who first initiated the tee on these kamapi we have moved out of the chronological region marked by clan founders like Langape, Timali and Kalia closer to the present, a period spanning, at most, probably six generations. This activity increased particularly from about the 1850s onwards. The last phase, whose beginning is marked by the first of the great tee kamongo, really covers the decades from the 1870s onwards. 33 Once the tee began to filter into YAKANI clans its diffusion was quite rapid and just as the second phase marked a quickening of the processes of spreading settlement and clan formation, this third phase marked an even more rapid process of social and political change.

How do we explain these two important historical movements revealed - 292 by YAKANI traditions about the tee i.e. the rapid expansion in the number of grounds opened up in the second phase and the rapid diffusion of the tee system through YAKANI clans in the last century? One explanation is apparent from the traditions and that is the demographic one. While it seems that the first settlement in Lenge and the foundation of the major clans in their territories was a lengthy process involving small, scattered, pockets of population, the second and third phases give an increasing sense of crowding, competition for land, warfare and pushing outward. These movements can have resulted only from an increase in population and a rising demand for cultivable land. Why a demographic increase? The process of expansion and growing competition for grounds and garden land may have begun soon after Timali's lifetime, about 1720-1750 or earlier. This could quite properly have been the time when the effects of the introduction of sweet potato were beginning to be felt. One thing this new crop effected was a gradual growth in population; another was the evolution of open field garden systems which probably required more space than the methods used for the previous staple crop, taro. 34 The effects of these changes could well have built up over a number of generations, but may then have been concentrated into those in which kamapi multiplied up the ridges.

These demographic changes may explain the multiplication of grounds, but do they provide an adequate explanation for the rapid adoption of the tee exchange system? From the YAKANI and APULINI 35 evidence it seems that what occurred among established clans was a change from localised homicide compensation ceremonies to more integrated and large-scale tee exchange cycles. One way of explaining this significant change in the style and scale of exchange events is to say that it was an effect of the growth of clans and subclans to a situation of greater stability than was possible before. This new sense of corporateness was made possible by an increase in population. In turn, this created a situation of heightened intergroup rivalry and competition for resources and a growth and extension of intergroup alliances.

The critical distinction between the earlier compensation ceremonies and the new tee cycle was stated by Kepai of Irelya in the testimony already quoted:

In the times of his ancestors . . . they had a form of exchange called tee also. This was a compensation payment made by one group to another after death in warfare . . . At these earlier tee men would perform these pig exchanges at their men's houses, not in public on the ceremonial grounds.

In other words, this earlier ceremony was both in response to death in warfare and a private small-scale event, whereas the new custom required peace for the networks to be open for exchange and it culminated in a public display. To operate it required a growth in communications, an - 293 increase in the politics of co-operation among kamongo, an expansion of food resources and the ability to mobilise labour for the public exchanges. The tradition about the rapid growth of Yama's sugar cane, mentioned in Kepai's testimony as the sign for the beginning of the exchange system, may indicate an increase in food resources as a contributing factor in the shift to public exchanges.

Another reason is found in one of Lambu's observations. He said that in the old days before Kepa began the new form of tee there were very few pigs compared with the size of herds in more recent decades, and that bridewealth payments consisted of exchanges in rope belts rather than pigs and pearlshells. 36 Again there is here the suggestion that a shift to the exchange system was made possible by better resources, better communications and demographic change. An extension of garden areas and an increase in food resources for pigs and people came from the introduction of the sweet potato. Evidence about the increased contacts between clans and subclans through the opening of new networks is found in the diffusion in this period (particularly in the last decades of the nineteenth century) of the ritual objects required for bachelor purification rites. It was a phenomenon which had a relevance beyond the YAKANI territories in many parts of the Enga region. The increase in power and wealth which came to MALIPINI neighbours in the Ambum valley through gaining such sacred plants has already been noted in the evidence from their historic poem about those achievements. 37

So much for the changing resource base and improving communications but equally important, as Lambu and the praise poem suggest, was a growth in wealth: in pigs, pearlshells, feathers, oil, stone axeheads, salt and pigments for personal decoration. The increase in the size of pig herds would have corresponded with the increase in human population, since both grew from the salutary effects of the introduction of sweet potato. What of other kinds of wealth? It was through the cyclic mechanisms of the tee that these trade items were channelled into the economy of Enga clans and it was through the manipulation of the flow of goods that kamongo extended their network of allies or “holders of the way” and won names for themselves on their tee grounds. Other than pigs, salt and, possibly, some axe stones, all the other items used in tee exchanges came from outside Enga territory and, in some cases, from great distances away. 38

It seems, from investigations carried out in the Highlands to the east of Enga Province, that an increase in the flow of these trade items began during the last decades of the nineteenth century, perhaps as a result of European control and “pacification” on the coast and the introduction of new items into existing coastal trading networks. The evidence found so far suggests

- 294
a major increase in the scale of trading from the coast into the Highlands after about 1890 . . . Not many new goods found their way into the region . . . in the main the ‘boom’ was in traditional goods, such as shells, plumes and other valuables . . . In a sense, this seems to be evidence of an innovation wave passing inland from the coast along the trading strands, generated initially by new goods at the coast, but transmitted inland through an increase in more traditional forms of trade (Brookfield 1971: 332-3). 39

This influx of goods may thus have provided more wealth for an extension of the tee from clans further east into those of YAKANI phratry. Obviously the tee itself provided an essential mechanism for attracting those new goods into the clans of this phratry.

A discussion of the flow of trade goods may seem a long way removed from an exploration of traditions about the multiplying of tee grounds and the rise of great tee kamongo. Yet these grounds and what occurred on them not only showed that they were historic sites with respect to the tee, but also they gave evidence and posed questions which assist in the study of historical growth and change among their owner clans and subclans. The YAKANI material gives a useful model for this kind of investigation.


So much for the YAKANI traditions. Overall, we can conclude that the tee first came into some clans of this phratry in the 1870s. This tallies with the evidence that Yama of the Talyulu-Wakemane subclan initiated the custom at Irelya. 40 Further east, the SIKINI/Waimbau clan of the Wagime River headwaters claim a tee initiator belonging to an earlier generation. This is Pauwune. Their tradition tells of how he began the custom:

One day Pauwune went to the bush to hunt for possums for a special feast. As soon as he arrived in the bush he climbed a very tall tree to look around the various places nearby.
As he was looking around he saw some leaves of a sugar cane among the trees. While looking at the sugar cane he became very excited and was wondering about it, because this was very thick bush and so there should not have been any sugar cane growing there.
Then he climbed down from the tree and began to dig at the roots of the sugar cane. He saw, as he dug, that it had grown on top of a spiny anteater, which lived under the ground.
He caught and killed the anteater, cut the sugar cane and returned to his home. At his house he cooked the animal and ate it. After eating it, the next morning he started on a journey towards Wabag.
On the way to Wabag, close to his home, there was a mountain. 41 There he heard the sound of some people speaking. They said that - 295 Pauwune was a troublemaker and a man who made the tee. He went closer to the voices and there he saw some colourful birds. 42 These birds were talking about Pauwune. When he went closer to where they were, the birds flew away but left behind two of their eggs in some fern leaves. He took up the eggs and returned home.
As soon as he arrived back home, Pauwune saw a brown pig come into his house. He found a rope and tied up this pig by its leg and waited for its owner to come to find it and claim it. He waited for several months but no one came to claim the pig. Since she was a sow, Pauwune borrowed a boar from a neighbour to mate with it. After a time the sow bore offspring. When these grew up Pauwune began to exchange these pigs in a tee. Pauwune was the man who began the tee for the Waimbau clan of SIKINI. 43

Informants gave two versions of this tradition. The second variant contained most of the elements of the above, without the details of the sugar cane and anteater. 44 It was therefore briefer and in it Pauwune was depicted as travelling homeward from Wabag to Saposa over the mountain trail. Informants from SIKINI/Palinao clan, also present at this interview, agreed with the two versions recited by the SIKINI/Waimbau clansmen. 45 The Palinao clansmen also claimed that their ancestor (of the same generation as Pauwune) made the tee with him. Later, members of the SIKINI/Yopo clan, who reside further east in the Wagime valley, told me that they were not taught a tradition similar to that about Pauwune. The tradition which Yopo clansmen were taught was not the property of one or two clans, so they claimed, but was something of wider currency than that.

Briefly paraphrased, this tradition is as follows:

Near a man's house, is a lake. A man takes a stick and with it he stirs up the water of this lake.
When he stirs the water a pig comes out of the lake. Men eat this pig and if they become hungry again they go to the lake and stir it up with the stick and pigs come out again.
It was with the pigs that came from this lake that men made the tee. 46

A number of important ideas about the history of the tee are apparent in this kind of tradition about the origins of the tee in particular regions.

First, there is the issue of themes and images in the tradition. There are parallels between the images in the two versions of the Pauwune tradition and the tradition about Yama beginning the tee for the APULINI/ Talyulu people in Irelya. Suppose we accept Pauwune as an initiator of the tee among the SIKINI clans of Saposa. His action may have taken place one or more generations earlier than both that of the YAKANI founders and of Yama of APULINI. My pilot study among the YAKANI was over by the time I was told of the Pauwune tradition. Later I questioned a number of informants among other eastern clans, - 296 but they were not able to recite traditions similar to the one about Pauwune.

What are of interest are the parallels in theme between the Pauwune and Yama traditions, even though the generations of the protagonists may not be parallel. A number of clans and several tributaries of the Lai river separate the two owner clans, SIKINI/Waimbau and APULINI/Talyulu. But informants who were kamongo and descendants of kamongo at Irelya recited for me the network of allies, “holders of the way”, whom they and their fathers had. 47 Significantly, some of these networks were spread along an exchange route, which traversed the high ridges above the south bank of the Lai. The names of the two main tee roads are Sambe kaita and Yalu kaita (see Map B (Figure 2)). 48 It is conceivable that the tradition commemorating the coming of the tee into SIKINI and APULINI could have been passed along the tee route by generations of allies. This view needs to be substantiated by traditions held by other ally clans along these tee roads. These include some YAKANI clans.

Second, there are issues raised by the image of the eggs of the birds in the Pauwune tradition, and possibly by the stick by which the water is stirred in the SIKINI/Yopo tradition. In each case these items have powers by which pigs, probably the most universal source of wealth and status in the tee, are drawn into the hands of kamongo. They seem, therefore, to play the role of what Enga participants call tee take.

Here is an outsider's description of tee take among clansmen from Yaramanda, near Wapenamanda:

. . . the natives . . . brought along some very interesting articles used in connection with their pig festival, the tee . . . These articles are objects of divination which are said to have been placed on earth by the ghosts. They are used only by the rich men, kamongo, in the tee. Just before a kamongo goes to the tee . . . he opens a small bundle wrapped in bark cloth to have a look at his . . . tee take for omens as to how he will fare at the tee. His . . . tee take may have been inherited from his forefathers or purchased with a red skinned live pig. 49 The term . . . tee take seems (to be used) for a wide range of objects such as formations of quartz crystals, native iron, body stones and other out of the ordinary objects. After he has heard how the tee is progressing and the time is drawing near for his debtor to pay off, the kamongo sacrifices a pig to a ghost, first rubbing the pig down the back with his hands and praying to the ghost for his aid in getting the debtors to pay off. He kills the pig, puts aside some of the blood, and then steams it in a ground oven. Opening the . . . bundle, he removes the quartz crystal and smears some of the blood on it. He then places the blood smeared crystal on top of the mounded oven. He takes out another tee take tied on the end of a bark string and - 297 holds it over the crystal. Then he interprets what happens. If only a few bugs or ants or flies are attracted by the blood on the crystal, then he will receive only a few pigs in the tee; if many, then he will receive many pigs. If the tee take held over the crystal begins to swing back and forth, he interprets that as a sign from the ghosts that his debtors are going to pay off.
Having seen the way the wind is going to blow, the kamongo ties up his bundle . . ., puts it in his little shoulder bag, and waits for the pig to steam. When done, he removes the cooked pork, puts some in his shoulder bag with some sweet potato he steamed along with the pork, and from then on doesn't speak a word to anyone. He eats no other food than the pork and sweet potato and does not speak until his debtor has placed a pig rope with a pig on the end of it in his hand. Then his silence is ended . . . (Hintze 1954: 4).

Two other European observers of the tee among eastern clans have recorded similar evidence about tee take. 50 These observers independently bear out the contention that some details of the SIKINI traditions refer specifically to tee take. Perhaps the legends themselves may have been vehicles by which traditions and beliefs about tee take were transmitted from generation to generation. Because of beliefs about their power and the secrecy associated with them, I was unable to collect very many data on tee take. But in a number of clans informants were willing to recite nemongo (ritual spells in a poetic form) called tee take nemongo, which in the past had accompanied rituals like those described above. 51 From these and other oral testimonies associated with these rituals I have formed a number of impressions about this aspect of the tee.

As one observer suggests in his description of the ritual objects and their functions, and as is born out by informants' commentaries on the tee take nemongo which they recited, these form an important part of the heritage of kamongo families. This seems true not only among clans who have participated in the tee exchange; it may also be true for all families. In one testimony it was suggested that there was something like a corporate tee take owned by a group of brother clans as part of their heritage. 52 That other groups did not refer to this tradition is no proof that it was not more widespread.

I also gained the impression of an even more central function for this heritage of nemongo possessed by kamongo families. Some informants conveyed to me the idea that the status, power and wealth of a kamongo were not simply a matter of the pigs and shells which he had at his disposal; nor a matter of the strategically important alliances he established through his marriage; nor the gardens and dependents he could command to support, care for and feed his many allies at public gatherings. All of these were substantial, external, signs of his wellbeing - 298 but were rooted in his inheritance of something more powerful. That was the inheritance of important nemongo which were transmitted to him by his father, grandfather and earlier ancestors. These he learnt, treasured in secret and used to great effect at critical points in his career as kamongo. Without these he would not possess the power necessary for him to be rich, to be a man with a name. A father worth his name would ensure that he taught his son the most important nemongo in their family heritage before he died. This was more important to the son than the transmission of material wealth. In a word, kamongo were essentially men of knowledge, holders of nemongo, not merely men of wealth and status. 53

This relates to another impression about the ritual basis of kamongo economic and political status. The ritual objects, the rituals and the nemongo connected with the tee take, all emphasise the major contention with which this paper began—that the events which occur on the stage of tee kamapi during any particular cycle are not only vital links in the chain of the current exchange, but are also events which commemorate and build on past events on these ceremonial grounds. But here the tee take incorporate the past in another way. Kleinig, in his detailed description of the tee take rituals which he learnt about from eastern kamongo, sums up this network of men and spirit participating in the tee:

To ensure that he will have a successful tee, that he will receive many pigs and shells, the agent will invoke the aid and blessing of the spirits of his departed ancestors, and those of his tribe. This indicates that the tee is esteemed very important by the participants else there would be no sacrifices and no connecting of the tee with the worship of spirits. For though the tee is primarily an economic and business institution, it is also closely bound up with the religion of the Enga . . . . For by means of sacrifices, which the participant makes to the departed of his tribe, particularly to his parents or elders, he helps the spirits and provides himself with strength and success in this life, and the higher he gets in his tee transactions the greater praise and recognition will be his and his tribes' in this earthly existence, and he will have assured for himself still greater honour after his death. In his lifetime he thus assures for himself power and success — (given by the departed) — and likewise in the hereafter — (given by people living on earth: sons and relatives). Thus when the long line of the tee ceremonies reaches a certain point, the kamongo . . . together with fellow kamongo from his tribe, will prepare to carry out a long established and highly respected form of spirit worship . . . This ceremony is known as tee take (Kleinig n.d.: (13-14). 54

The nemongo including those of the tee take, so carefully transmitted from father to son, are clearly both the means of effective communication with the spirits of the powerful departed and the source of a - 299 kamongo's power and wealth. And the achievements of a kamongo in the present flow from his current transactions and from the power which comes to him from those of his forebears who achieved great things in past tee. As with so many aspects of Enga life, past and present blend in a community of men and spirits.

The Pauwune legend belonging to the SIKINI has shed light on the religious roots of tee traditions and on kamongo as men of power and knowledge, which they receive from previous generations. This tradition, which commemorates Pauwune as the first tee kamongo of SIKINI, raises a final historical issue. It is related to the two already discussed but is larger and far from being solved.

Early kiaps and missionaries in the Enga area came to know the famous Kepa, a man of YOPONDA phratry from Walya, who acted as a guide for Taylor's patrol. 55 They saw him and his clansmen as middlemen between Melpa-speaking people of the Hagen region and the eastern Enga. Kepa and other key middlemen living in the Minyamp valley were bilingual in Melpa and Enga and played a significant role in the flow of trade through this trunk route.

As well as being a key middleman in the ebb and flow of trade, Kepa rose to prominence in the eyes of Europeans, and perhaps Enga, as the kamongo who mediated between the Melpa moka and the Enga tee (Sackschewsky 1970: 66). Because of the key role of men like Kepa, Strathern 56 and Meggitt 57 have proposed that the tee (tied closely to trade in valuables, especially pearlshells) could have grown out of, or been borrowed from, the moka, and that it could have spread into and through Enga country from south-east to west. Certainly the evidence supplied from informants near Wabag, and in the Wale-Tarua area to the north, supports the case proposed by Meggitt, that after the coming of the Europeans, the tee community spread rapidly west and north of Wabag, to incorporate clans beyond Laiagam. 58 What occurred in recent decades could well have been a continuation of a previous historical diffusion of the cycle from east to west.

In a small way the tradition about Pauwune supports the proposition in that he belongs to an earlier generation than the first YAKANI tee kamongo, or Yama of APULINI. The lapse in time between the adoption of the tee by an eastern clan and its adoption by clans near Wabag may indicate a movement from east to west. A systematic investigation would need to be modelled on the pilot study among YAKANI clans, but carried out in phratries placed in such strategic positions on various tee routes as north of Tambul and around Walya on the Kola kaita, in the eastern edges and the centre of the Saka region, in Kompiam and Yalis on the Kopone kaita, among clans around Wapenamanda and in one or two points along the Sau valley as well as among some of the clans on the Sambe and Yalu kaita. (See Map B for these routes.) Such an investiga- - 300 tion could provide data for plotting the historical movement of the tee through Enga clans.

There are other fragmentary indications which suggest that both eastern and central Enga look to an eastern origin in this custom. Many informants speak of Kola as not simply the area in which the current cycle begins. Nor do they see it only as the place from which alternative cycles come; rather, they perceive it as some kind of birthplace for the custom. In the case of eastern Enga, Kiomanda (Mt Giluwe), which stands in Kola territory, is seen as a place of origin for all customs. 59 Sometimes the tee is included among the customs originating from that sacred, fertile place. APULINI informants from Irelya looked to the Saka as the place from which their ancestors acquired the tee. 60 If these traditions could be collated and checked the impression of diffusion from east to west could be tested.

In reviewing the YAKANI evidence we have already suggested that the adoption of the tee may have coincided with a critical phase in clan growth and economic change. The collection of evidence about the history of events on particular tee grounds should prevent investigations of the larger issue coming up with too neat a pattern of large-scale adoption from east to west.

There is another issue — it concerns the internal dynamics of the diffusion of the tee through Enga communities. All the Enga clans which I investigated, scattered through most of Enga Province, had common to them a tee institution or its equivalent, i.e. an institution in which exchanges took place. A number of informants within the tee community stressed that before the coming of the tee cycle into their clan, their ancestors already had another tee concerned with compensation payments for death in battle and homicide. 61 There is a suggestion in this kind of testimony, that a new, more elaborate exchange cycle was being adopted, but that the name for the pre-existing institution was retained. This pattern is apparent in the yae pingi exchange cycle practised by some Kandepe-speaking clans in the south of Enga Province. 62

When I visited this region in July 1972, much effort was being spent on preparations for the dance festivals with which this cycle culminates. There was much discussion about this institution. Among clans on the eastern bank of the Lai (Purari) valley north of Kandep government station a small-scale festival takes place. By contrast, clans in the Marient valley and those closer to Mendi engage in an elaborate five-year cycle in which large corporate festivals take place on ceremonial grounds where longhouses are built. These Marient valley people, unlike those closer to the Kandep government station and those further north, are bilingual in Enga and Mandi. Though I did not engage in systematic investigation at the time, I was given the impression that the elaborate yae pingi cycle had spread into Enga country from the Mandi-speaking region to the south. - 301 Again, if this were a custom brought in from outside, it was, like the tee, incorporated into a pre-existing exchange institution and given an Enga name.

There is a fine report by an observant kiap of a death compensation ceremony in September 1952 among two groups in the Wage valley west of Kandep. His description points up the contrasts between this kind of ceremonial and the tee practised by eastern Enga. It also tallies with the preparatory rites for the large-scale yae pingi which I witnessed in the Marient valley 20 years later.

Apparently there had been a fight a few months before between the Yambali and Kuali groups. The trouble had started over the ownership of a pandanus tree and in the ensuing combat five Kuali and four Yambali had been slain. The fight had originated between a subgroup of the Yambali (who dwell further north) and the Sambail subgroup who were related to the speakers (Kei subgroup). The latter had helped the Sambail during the fight and had lost two of their number. Now they were on their way to collect some pigs as compensation.
We pressed on with the journey and our line strengthened as various natives joined us on the way. Soon we could hear the chanting of many voices and we travelled over an apology for a track which was evidently kept in poor condition as a means of defence . . .
A large band of armed men had gathered and the influx of our followers almost overcrowded the ceremonial ground. I counted over three hundred men and youths, all decorated for the occasion and each one holding a six foot bow and a bundle of arrows. They were not hostile to our party because we could see a number of native women were also present.
In the centre of the ground stood a small tree with a wooden fence encircling it. The area around the tree for a radius of six yards was cleared and our party was given pride of place. A score of the Sambail subgroup began stamping around the tree, brandishing their weapons and whooping loudly. They continued in this manner for some time then at a given signal they ran shouting to the stockades at one end of the ground. Passing through three of these stockades they halted at a native hut on top of a small hill. Here a number of pigs' carcasses were being laid out on the ground. For a considerable time the head men of the Sambail divided the meat so as to give a share to the subgroup of the dead men and also some to the other subgroups who had helped in the recent fight.
When all was ready, men and youths slung the sides of pig on their shoulders, and fell into line near the ceremonial tree. They stretched the length of the ground in order to give the onlookers a good view of the number of pigs that had been slain altogether. Standing at the - 302 end of the line were a few women holding live pigs. The head men then gave speeches boasting of their prowess in battle and explaining that the pigs were not large because the other subgroups had been impatient . . . Then they retired once more to the stockades.
Some time later . . . individual parties were offered recompense. A small band of men and women emerged carrying sides of pig on their backs; one or two women carried small live pigs. They approached the ceremonial tree and raced around it a few times with the usual yelling and shouting. Then they formed a line in single file and a head man would explain why each pig was being offered.
It turned out to be a touchy political situation, some delegations obviously thought that the offerings were too small because majestically, their leader would turn to his followers, make an angry statement and then all would leave the ceremonial ground in a huff. Their hosts would angrily retort to their receding backs that this only meant all the more pig for they themselves to eat. A few delegations, mouths obviously watering at the sight of so much pork, accepted their share readily and hurried away. 63

Why a process of borrowing and welding into existing institutions has taken place for the tee pingi is a central historical issue. Perhaps these institutions fulfilled the functions of the existing exchange institutions more completely and so they were borrowed at first along trade routes, through trading partners who were bi-lingual. Perhaps, because they fulfilled needs for building alliances between groups and bringing peace out of war, they were incorporated in such a way as to become Enga institutions. Thorough historical investigation of evidence from oral, ethnographic and linguistic sources is still required to reach some solution to this question of borrowing. 64

Meantime, though the tee may now be going through deep internal strains as it incorporates the products and changes brought by Europeans, it still remains for many older Enga their most central and characteristic institution. Any historical or ethnographic study of Enga from Laiagam eastwards, which did not take account of the tee, would be gravely deficient. Maua, who died (perhaps in his eighties) in October 1972, was considered by many Enga to be the greatest and best tee kamongo in recent generations. When I sat in his house and spoke to him in January 1972 he was already a sick and weary old giant. He said of the tee that it was like a great river which flowed out of the past through the lives of Enga. His image defines exactly how the tee is bound up with Enga history.


Men such as Lambu of Lenge and his father Pendaiane before him, Maua of the Saka valley, and now, in recent years, Kepa of Walya were - 303 all tee kamongo, rich men of the tee exchange. A detailed study of their careers and the wider social contexts in which they worked and acquired a name, would reveal much about recent and contemporary Enga history of which the tee is so integral a part. 65 Each kamongo is to his close tee allies what many Enga call kaita miningi a holder of the way, or one who keeps the exchanges moving by friendship and negotiations and so makes these transactions and the movement of valuables possible. And each kamongo works within networks of holders of the way. This name for allies, and the images and meanings which it suggests, reminds us that kamongo and their friends are always key protagonists in the tee exchanges, but that they work together in this wider context of networks through which valuables, wealth, knowledge, power and new ideas flow from kamongo to kamongo and from community to community.

There are many different ways into understanding so complex an institution and its many diverse contexts and operations. In this study I have taken one, in that my evidence came from conversations with some kamongo and took place at tee kamapi, their ceremonial grounds where they, their fathers and ancestors had participated in tee events. For me these encounters with rich men at tee grounds revealed much evidence about the historical context of this institution, largely in terms of what occurred before J. L. Taylor's entry into these valleys opened the way for a new cluster of influences and ideas to enter their lives.

The oral sources shared with me by participants and men versed in the knowledge of the tee have yielded much about its precolonial history. In summary this evidence has revealed that tee kamapi and the great public exchange events transacted upon these arenas are in many senses historic. The grounds have in them many powerful reminders of past tee exchanges and the achievements of kamongo in the past. Kamongo worthy of their names and of the support of their clansmen and allies are actively aware of the heritage of historic knowledge about past tee which they have inherited. In the drama of the final exchanges, the knowledge plays an active part particularly as each kamongo aims to improve upon past achievements, and “leap over his fathers' pig stakes”. There is always a check upon hollow or brash claims to such achievements in the knowledge of other clansmen and kamongo present, and in the commemorative markers planted by those who in the past were acclaimed for having themselves leapt over other pig stakes. And markers were left also by those founders who first cleared the ceremonial ground and first brought the tee to it.

But closer study of traditions about the tee grounds within one phratry opened the way to charting and understanding much about the internal changes and history of its member clans. The spread of tee grounds out from Lenge, the struggles over the ownership of these grounds, their more recent multiplication up the slopes from the Lai River valley floor - 304 and the spread of the tee exchange system through these communities, all tell much about the socio-economic history of these clans. Much evidence for that complex history comes from that initial inquiry into the tee grounds of YAKANI phratry. Its fuller interpretation waits upon parallel investigations in other phratries placed strategically along key networks of trade and exchange and on evidence from other sources, particularly linguistic and archaeological studies.

There are many implications from this study for the growth of the history of communities in Papua New Guinea. Oral traditions and testimonies, such as these about some aspects of the tee, have much to teach us of value about Enga precolonial history. They show that significant changes were occurring over many generations among these mountain dwellers and that they inherited, borrowed, adapted and refined a very complex socio-economic system around which much of their lives revolved. But there are two further implications which this study demonstrates, and which are of central importance to historical understanding: these traditions belong in a living culture and they are specific to a central indigenous institution within that culture; much understanding of what I was taught about the history of the tee came from visiting grounds and speaking with clan and subclan kamongo in those specific places. This suggests to me a way in which history may grow. By recovering what, for the people, are key institutions and seeking out the traditions specific to those in the places where the events unfolded, we may be able to write a history which grows from these rich sources and reflects their character. The people who carry traditions and knowledge in their lives and hearts are in this sense holders of the way into the past and, perhaps the present, for students of this country's history.


The field work upon which this article is based was supported by the Vilas Foundation and the Ford Foundation through the Program in Comparative World History of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Part of this research was supported by a grant in aid from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, New York, and by grants from the Research Committee of the University of Papua New Guinea. My thanks to these bodies for this support. This article draws upon a research paper presented to the Department of History at the University of Papua New Guinea in August, 1973. During and since the preparation of that paper and the writing of my dissertation I have received guidance, support and encouragement from teachers and colleagues in Wisconsin, and from students and colleagues in Port Moresby. The knowledge and data upon which the paper rests were shared with me by men of knowledge in Enga Province. The major informants are acknowledged in footnotes. For this I thank them and hope that my interpretations of what they taught me, for which I am responsible, help people to understand Enga ways and history. My thanks also to Linda Allen and members of the Cartography Department at the University of Papua New Guinea for drawing the maps.

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Genealogical Framework Showing the Main Clans and Some Subclans of YAKANI Phratry
      LANGAPE Yawane  
          SIKINOWANE 66
        ANJINI 67  
LEO YAKANI   PALYIU Kema Kauko Yambetau Tauwea  
?       Kauko  
APOLE (APULINI)     Yambetau  
    WATIPA SANE Wamakae Pyawale Tunduwae Ananditae Yapamekini  
    KOOA KOOWANE Waimatae Pakapune Wanjini  
    (PIMALENGE) 68 TAMBUKINI KALIA Sikinowane Apuliniwane
        LAETA Mupa Nenae Makumini
          Nenae Makumini
        SAMBEYOKO Laekini

Clan names are signified thus LANGAPE; subclan names thus Yawane.

  • NOTE: This is a composite made up from a number of testimonies from clansmen from YAKANI phratry.
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Tee Kamapi in clans of YAKANI phratry

The ties between the diffusion of the customs of the tee and the history of participant groups are shown in the traditions about founders of tee grounds and initiators of the tee. This is illustrated by data gathered among some of the major clans of YAKANI phratry. 69 I wish to draw some conclusions about the recent history of the tee among these YAKANI clans. Consistent with the informants' views, this is a history of particular tee grounds and the kamongo associated with these grounds as the founders, planters of trees and bringers of the tee.

In the above paper we discussed the evidence concerning the foundation of the Lenge tee ground in the territory of YAKANI/Timali clan. (The traditions were that Ipuwapa was the founder of this ground; that his grandson Wambi planted trees there; and that Wambi's eldest sons Yandama and Kepa initiated the tee for Timali at Lenge.) Pyalyui and Kainambotepa are two clans which, like Timali, claim direct descent from Langape and an origin in Lenge territory as their homeland. Pyalyui was the brother of Timali's father, Wapukone, while Kainambotepa was Timali's brother. 70 These two clans, YAKANI/Pyalyui and YAKANI/Kainambotepa, are now centred around tee grounds on plateaux across the Lai River to the north-east of Lenge. (See Map C for these and other YAKANI tee grounds.)

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Informants claimed that these two tee grounds were founded by their ancestors about 80 years ago. In the case of the Pyalyui, two brothers Aimene and Pipini, founded the Ainamanda ceremonial ground and began making the tee separately from YAKANI/Timali clan at this new place. 71 The Kainambotepa informant, as the chosen spokesman for his group, stated that two ancestors, named Akaipu and Pokali, founded their tee ground at Tumbulama. 72 This ground is also on a plateau northeast of Lenge. Akaipu is reputed to have founded another three smaller grounds later, further up the ridges of the Lai-Sau divide, at Tongamanda, Yumbatesa and Paiyili.

Both these claims, that they made the tee originally with Timali clan at Lenge (in fact men of Kainambotepa clan claim that their kamongo have made the tee in both territories), and that the named ancestors subsequently brought the custom to Ainamanda and Tumbulama, are genealogically possible. Kepa and Yandama of Timali clan both belonged to a generation before either Aimene and Pipini of Pyalyui, or Akaipu and Pokali of Kainambotepa. In both cases the move across the river away from their original birthplace to new territories in the northeast had begun before their kamongo ancestors founded the new grounds. Pyalyui informants gave no explanation for their move. That does not necessarily mean that none has been handed down.

The YAKANI/Kainambotepa informants offered one explanation for their exodus from Lenge: a process of movement which had begun (as in the case of the Pyalyui) at least a generation before the foundation of Tumbulama by their ancestors, Akaipu and Pokali. Members of the group had been involved in conflicts with men of YAKANI/Palyui clan, whose territory bordered the Timali on ridges to the south of Lenge. This conflict reached a climax when a Kainambotepa killed a Palyui clansman. The solution was withdrawal to their new territory.

Though the evidence is fragmentary in these two cases, it suggests a close relationship between the establishment of tee grounds and internal changes and tensions within clans. A generation after Kepa and Yandama had introduced the tee exchange into YAKANI/Timali clan, kamongo from the Pyalyui and Kainambotepa felt perhaps that their groups, already settling in new territories, were now strong and rich enough to make the tee on their own and break away from Timali. With grounds of their own, they assumed a separate identity. On a larger scale we have here a similar situation to what occurred in the multiplying of lines of pig stakes on the Irelya tee ground. There, as families and lineages grew in wealth and power, so their kamongo would begin new lines of pig stakes. Here as a clan grew and expanded to a point of internal fission, two of its subclans broke away and their kamongo founded grounds in new clan territories. From this evidence I would therefore argue that traditions about founders, tree planters and tee initiators on - 308 particular tee ground, open the way for charting and understanding something of the internal history of clan formation and growth.

The history of YAKANI/Laeta clan's tee grounds presents a different set of insights into the ties between the tee and clan histories. One informant, Lapili of the Laeta-Mupa subclan, began his testimony about his group by stressing that the Laeta were a scattered people living in a territory which had shifting boundaries. 73 Lapili was stressing a theme dominant in Enga history until the imposition of foreign government and law. Colonial administration apparently arrested a political process in which ancestral rights to clan territories were maintained and asserted by warfare and in which the boundaries of these territories fluctuated according to the relative strengths of neighbouring clans. Meggitt discusses the ‘growth and decline of agnatic groups’ and chain reactions passing like ‘a shock wave’ along valleys as clans interacted with each other in these phases of growth and decline. 74 Waddell writes of flexibility of territorial boundaries and mobility of clans (Waddell 1973). Elsewhere I have characterised the precolonial history of Enga clans as being in a state of constant ‘tension between flux and solidarity’ (Lacey 1973: 91).

The traditions taught to Lapili and informants from other Laeta subclans about the foundation and fortunes of their tee grounds certainly impress upon the listener the checkered history of these groups. There are now three major subclans in YAKANI/Laeta: Mupa, Nenai and Makumini. A sense of the clan's history is best gained by considering the testimonies about each subclan separately.

Lapili stated that his great-grandfather Andamane founded the Yatulama ceremonial ground on a plateau near the northern bank of the Ambum River, just west of its confluence with the Lai. Andamane took the precaution of founding another Laeta kamapi, named Lyomanda, on the ridges above Yatulama to the north. In the time of Lapili's father, Wapena, the Laeta-Mupa subclan consolidated their position at the top of the ridges in the Ambum-Sau divide. Here Wapena established the Pakau ground in a strategic position on the edge of the montaine forest. At Pakau both Wapena and his sons Piopena and Lapili made the tee in recent decades. So, during two generations, the Laeta people established a string of three tee grounds through their territory stretching from near the Ambum up to the mountains to the north of the valley floor.

Yatulama lies in a border region close to what is now claimed to be Kalia clan territory. The history of the tee at Yatulama and Lyomanda, as told in Laeta-Nenai traditions by Pandakane of that subclan, reflects the tension between the Laeta and Kalia clans of YAKANI phratry in that border territory. 75

Pandakane said that his grandfather Milyi was the first kamongo of the Laeta-Nenai subclan to make the tee on Yatulama ground. Milyi - 309 began a custom which has continued in his family for three generations. Since Yatulama and Lyomanda were established as grounds by Andamane of Laeta-Mupa subclan, it seems likely that Milyi was among the first tee kamongo to perform the exchange. Since Laeta trace their origins back to Tambukini, a contemporary of Langape (see Appendix I for these links), and Kepa of YAKANI/Timali clan belonged to Milyi's generation, we cannot dismiss Pandakane's tradition that his grandfather made the tee first for the Laeta people.

When it was time for Pandakane to follow in the footsteps of Mokai, his father, he had only one opportunity to make the tee with his kamongo father. After that event Mokai died in a battle with Kalia clansmen. When I visited the Yatulama ground in October 1971 I was struck by the youth of the trees planted around its border. Yatulama informants supported the story told by my interpreter, Rupaina, a member of Kalia clan in Wakumali. Rupaina told how in the time of his father, Yakopena, men from Kalia attacked and burnt Yatulama ground, so the original trees planted by Andamane and other kamongo from Laeta clan were destroyed. The trees which I saw were planted only after the early kiaps had come and investigated the case. Yatulama was restored to the Laeta and a trench was dug and planted with casuarina trees just south of the ground, to mark this border.

The Laeta-Makumini subclan has an even more checkered history than the other two Laeta subclans. 76 They hold some interesting traditions about their origins and the first attempts of their founder-ancestor Makumini to establish claims to territory on the north bank of the Ambum. According to the testimony of Lyandame, accepted by other men of Laeta-Makumini subclan as a man of knowledge, Laeta moved from his homeland in Lenge and bore his third son, Makumini, at Par, which is now the heartland of the Sambeyoko-Laekini subclan. Meantime, Makumini men became involved in a dispute with men of KUKUNE over a hunting dog. 77 They fought and the KUKUNE were pushed north into the Sau valley. The territory which KUKUNE originally occupied, on a razorback ridge between the Lai and the Ambum rivers, is now part of the Kalia territories at Wakumali. It still bears the name Kukumanda. 78 The Kalia also claim to have been involved in the expulsion of Kukune from this territory. 79 They may have expelled the Makumini at the same time. At present there is a KUKUNE/Wakumali clan residing in the northern reaches of the Sau valley towards the Wale River. 80

From a LAETA/Makumini point of view, the subclan had a difficult time establishing a hold on territory now occupied by the Kalia and Sambeyoko clans. Lyandame's and other testimony about the tee reflects the continuing conflict over territory. Lyandame's grandfather, Lapya, established the Tapokomanda ground up the ridge, north of Yatulama - 310 ground, together with Sambeyoko clansmen. He also planted trees there. These were cut and destroyed in a Sambeyoko foray in Lyandame's lifetime. He won back Tapokomanda and himself planted new trees there. Lyandame was born probably in 1910, so this replanting may have occurred in the period around Taylor's arrival in Wabag. More recently Laeta-Makumini subclan retaliated against the Depau subclan of Sambeyoko.

Rupaina, my interpreter, supplied relevant testimony here, when we were surveying Sambeyoko and Laeta territories in October 1971. In a typical Enga fashion, he maintained dual clan membership. 81 Rupaina maintained ties with his relatives in Sambeyoko territory near Par and may have grown up there. When he was a child he and a close relative were on the ridges to the north of Sambeyoko-Depau ground, named Kuamanda. Warriors from Laeta-Makumini subclans invaded the area around the ground, burnt houses, uprooted gardens and stripped and burnt the beech trees bordering the ground. Later they were repulsed, the ground recaptured and new beech trees planted.

These three streams of tradition about Laeta — those from the Mupa, Nenai and Makumini subclans — give substance to Lapili's statement that they have been a scattered people with uncertain and fluctuating territorial boundaries. This picture is made real by a consideration of traditions about some of their principal tee grounds. The YAKANI/Laeta evidence also shows that the establishment and occupation of tee grounds played an integral part in the growth of clans and subclans as viable corporations. This is borne out by the strategic placement of grounds in defensible sites in this mountainous country. It is also suggested from evidence in early patrol reports that many grounds were surrounded by ditches and palisades. 82 The Laeta traditions also support this view in that grounds like Yatulama, Tapokomanda and Kaumanda were all sacked. Finally, that grounds like these were strategically placed, surrounded by defences and sacked in warfare, is better understood when we recall what events occurred on them. Once the kamongo felt that their subclans or clans were strong and wealthy enough to participate as a unit in the exchange, then it was on these grounds that they competed and won, for their group and themselves, names as tee kamongo. Tee grounds were worth defending. Once they were lost, their owners had no stage upon which to display their power and wealth.

There were other circumstances in which particular tee grounds became historic and symbolic centres of dispute between YAKANI clans. One of the most notable instances was the ground called Takemanda on a plateau to the north of the Lai-Ambum confluence; the other was Ipatamanda ground situated on a ridge to the south-east of Irelya. The complex and tangled history of controversy surrounding these two grounds will be sketched briefly.

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In an interview with Kumane of YAKANI/Sikinowane clan I was told that his father, Lepane, as a member of Sikinowane, made the tee at their traditional ground Yokopatimanda. 83 He also established a new subsidiary ground across the rivers at Takemanda. Here both father and son had made the tee. The ground had, when I saw it, all the signs of its recent foundation. The beech trees were much younger than those on Yokopatimanda. Further investigations revealed that, while Takemanda now lay inside Sikinowane clan territory, it was claimed by subclans of both Laeta and Kalia clans as part of their ancestral territories. This history of claim and counter-claim to Takemanda was entangled in the history of Ipatamanda on the opposite side of the Lai valley.

Ipatamanda is situated in a commanding position on a ridge in the midst of Palyiu clan territory. The Palyiu hold Ipatamanda and Tapokamanda as their grounds. From Ipatamanda, which I visited in October 1971, and which has some very old beech and chestnut trees at its edge, I had a commanding view of the Lai valley below. Directly beneath this ceremonial ground was a stretch of casuarina trees most of which had been cut and burnt in a battle during the previous March. In the final pitched battles near Rakamanda settlement three outstanding kamongo had been felled. The Palyiu kamongo was buried at the edge of Ipatamanda ground.

In November 1971 at the lower Tapokomanda ground I interviewed some of the wise men of YAKANI/Palyiu clan. I was informed, on good authority, that Yokombi cleared and established the kamapi at Ipatamanda. 84 Later Kale planted trees at, and cleared, the lower ground at Tapokomanda. In the Palyiu-Kema subclan, the one within which the interview took place and which was centred on Tapokomanda, men were uncertain which of their ancestors first made the tee on either ground. They knew for certain that men like Soloni and Neanakae did perform the tee there. As far as they could recall, Palyiu (a brother of Langape, see Appendix I), had been born in the vicinity of Lenge. They also stated that some lineages of the Palyiu-Tauwea subclan had migrated into Kainambotepa territory near Tumbulama in recent generations. The Palyiu-Kema had other links across the Lai. Their recent ancestors had obtained a sacred plant from owners in the YAKANI/Laeta clan. So some Palyiu, while asserting that Ipatamanda tee ground was theirs, recognised that they also had ties across the Lai valley to the north-east.

Other clans of YAKANI also claimed they had a historical stake in Ipatamanda. The Sane and Koowane clans and subclans claim descent from Yakani, but not directly through either Tianga or Langape. (See Appendix I.) 85 Both claim that their founding ancestors were born at Ipatamanda, which is therefore their place of origin, and which is quite a distance south of Lenge, the birthplace claimed by all other YAKANI clans. Sane then designated for his sons a string of territories from - 312 Rakamanda east and south-east along the bank of the Lai. Koowane on the other hand chose for his sons homelands on the north bank stretching to the eastern border of YAKANI territory. Koowane subclans have territories spreading northwards up into the ridges of the Lai-Sau divide. Sane and Koowane accounts of the traditions about founders of the kamapi tie in with this picture of clan dispersion.

One aspect of the Sane clan account adds another chapter to the disputed history of Ipatamanda. Informants from Sane-Wamakai subclan stressed that while Palyiu had taken Ipatamanda from the Sane, their ancestor Teketeke had founded another ground, Ketomanda by name, just near Rakamanda. This action was contemporary with the foundation of Lenge ground by Ipuwapa of Timali clan, and with the activities of Yokombi of Palyiu clan at Ipatamanda. Further, an informant from the easternmost Sane subclan, the Yapamekini, stated that his ancestor, Nepone, changed the custom of tee from a homicide compensation payment to a cyclic exchange. 86 This change took place at Tawaleposa ground, the easternmost ground of Sane clan. The same Sane-Yapamekini informant had been taught by his elders that the Palyiu were interlopers into YAKANI phratry: that they had their origin in Takemanda (the disputed ground on the left bank of the Lai) and had migrated or been driven south across the river into Sane territory where they pushed Sane clansmen from their homeland and took hold of Ipatamanda.

These contrasting traditions about the ownership of Takemanda and Ipatamanda grounds again underline the central importance of ceremonial grounds in clan territories and histories. These contradictory testimonies come from independent sources as a result of questions about the names of grounds and their founders. The investigation has only begun, but the theme emerges clearly that traditions about individual tee grounds open the way into charting and understanding the internal history of the clans and subclans who have claimed these grounds. Bowers has used the proliferation of dancing grounds (pena) with their accompanying men's clubhouses, in the upper Kaugel valley, as an index of demographic change in that area of the highlands, particularly in the late 19th century. 87 It may be possible to modify and apply her methods to the traditions about tee grounds among Enga clans. This would help to give demographic substance to the sense of movement and change suggested by these traditions. The main trends in the histories of clans within YAKANI phratry drawn from this detailed evidence on the founding of grounds and the spread of the tee have already been discussed in the main body of this paper.

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TABLE 1: Some Tee Founders of YAKANI Phratry
  WAMBI(F) 1810-1840 LENGE LAMBU 1900
  YANDAMA 91 1840-1870 LENGE KUTINGINI 1920
  KEPA(T) 1840-1870 LENGE LAMBU 1900
  WAPENA(F/T) 1890-1920 PAKAU LAPILI 1924
  OLYA(T) 1900-1930 KAUMANDA TAUWONE 1930
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  • SHEPHERD. E., 1971. “Akmana: A new name in the continuing story of New Guinea Exploration”. Pacific Islands Monthly 42:40-49.
  • SPECHT, James and HOLZKNECHT. Hartmut, 1971. “Some Archaeological Sites in the Upper Markham Valley Morobe District”. Records of the Papua and New Guinea Museum, 1:53-73.
  • STRATHERN, Andrew, 1969. “Finance and Production: Two Strategies in New Guinea Highlands Exchange Systems”. Oceania 40:42-67.
  • —— 1971. The Rope of Moka: Big-Men and Ceremonial Exchange in Mount Hagen New Guinea. Cambridge, University Press.
  • TAYLOR, James, 1940. “Interim report on the Hagen-Sepik Patrol, 1938-39” in Report to the League of Nations on the Administration of the Territory of New Guinea for 1938-39. Canberra, Government Printer, 137-49.
  • —— n.d. Hagen-Sepik Patrol Report 1938-39. Sydney, International Training Institute Library, typescript.
  • TUCKEY. G. A., 1946. Patrol Report No. 3 of 1945-46: Wabag. Wabag, Provincial Archives, typescript.
  • VANSINA. Jan. 1968. “The use of ethnographic data as sources of history” in T. Ranger (ed.) Emerging Themes of African History. Nairobi East African Publishing House, 97-124.
  • WADDELL. Eric, 1972. The Mound Builders: Agricultural Practices, Environment, and Society in the Central Highlands of New Guinea. Seattle, University of Washington Press.
  • —— 1973. “Raiapu Enga adaptive strategies: structure and general implications” in H. Brookfield (ed.) The Pacific in transition. Geographical perspectives on adaptation and change. Canberra, Australian National University Press, 25-54.
  • WATSON, James, 1976. “Pigs, Fodder and the Jones Effect in Postipomoean New Guinea”. Ethnology 16:57-70.
  • WESTERMANN, Ted, 1968. The Mountain People: Social Institutions of the Laiapu Enga. Wapenamanda, Kristen Press.
  • WEARNE. G. R. G., 1949, Patrol Report No. 2 of 1949-50: Wabag. Wabag, Provincial Archives, typescript.
  • WIRZ. Paul, 1952. “Die Enga. Ein Beitrag zur Ethnographie eines Stammes in nordöstlichen zentralen Neuginea” Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 77:7-56.

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1   For instance, Brennan 1970: Bulmer 1960; Meggitt 1958, 1965a; Waddell 1972; Westermann 1968.
2   Elkin 1953: 162-3. Elkin quotes from Taylor's Hagen-Sepik patrol report, but it is not clear from this quotation just where it was that Taylor witnessed these events. Elkin is of the opinion that one reason for Enga resistance to the patrol in the Wabag area could have been that pigs meant for the tee were taken by police.
3   The stakes referred to here are mena limando which will be discussed later. Because the Tilyapausa (called Tilibus by Taylor) people took out the stakes this meant that the final display had been completed at this ceremonial ground.
4   Meggitt 1974 is the most recent study of the tee.
5   For instance, the Administration banned all large assemblies in 1944-45 to prevent the spread of dysentery through the Enga region. This ban affected the conduct of the tee. See Tuckey 1946, under ‘Native Customs’. Later kiaps were of the opinion that concentration on the tee was a barrier to involvement in public works and cash cropping. See Wearne 1949, under ‘Native Affairs’. For one missionary's views see Kleinig n.d.:1-2, 23-4.
6   For instance, the testimony of Imbuni Mulyia from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irelya, February 1972 shows the ambivalence of one man who had been an important kamongo.
7   These include the following: Bulmer 1960; Bus 1951; Elkin 1953; Elkin 1953; Kleinig n.d.; Meggitt 1974; Wirz 1952:42-7.
8   Meggitt 1974.
9   Some kamongo refer to some tee cycles by special names like Lyunguwana tee, Uaa buingi tee, Mamaku tee to signify that they have special characteristics. One tee in the 1950s was called atiapa tee (from the tok pisin expression hariap! meaning ‘Hurry!’) because luluais and police intervened and told participants to complete the cycle rapidly. (Testimony of Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu clan, given at Irelya, February 1972.) The above paragraph is a simplified sketch of the main features in each cycle, a bird's-eye view of the flow of valuables along the main exchange roads through the mechanisms of the major transactions: saandi pingi, mena tee pingi and mena yae pingi. The complexities of individual exchange links in the total network of a particular tee would require a monograph to unravel and explain. The studies cited in note 7 above and Meggitt's more recent writing are only a beginning. No detailed, full-scale ethnographic analyses have yet been attempted. There are obvious parallels between the tee and other exchange cycles in Melanesia. Some of these have been studied in detail. See, for instance, Malinowski 1961 and Strathern 1971.
10   Testimonies of Akomana from LUNGIPINI/Sau clan given at Yaiposa, January 1972; of Sakatiasa from LUNGIPINI/Yakau clan given at Yaiposa, January 1972 and of Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu given at Irelya, February 1972.
11   Testimony of Akomana from LUNGIPINI/Sau clan given at Yaiposa, January 1972. See also Bus 1951:821.
12   Testimony of Kala from YOPONDA phratry given at Walya, November 1972.
13   Testimony of Busa from MALIPINI/Kombane clan given at Lyandaumali, January 1972 and at Irelya, March 1972. Based also on discussions held with Busa and his son the Rev. Waka Busa at Wakumali, January 1974.
14   Testimony of Yopelyatane and Rupaina from YAKANI/Kalia clan give at Wakumali, October 1971. See also Sackschewsky 1970:66. ‘Excellent studies could be undertaken on the key personalities in the tee such as: Lambu from Lenge, who formerly exerted the most control in the Wabag area before he was baptized as a Seventh Day Adventist, Kepa of Walya who co-ordinated the tee of the Enga with the moka of the Hageners, Maua who influences the movement of the tee in the Saka Valley, and Kipungi, Timuni and Tambai in the Wabag area. . . . Biographical studies on these men and the way in which they co-ordinate the tee through the kambuingi (clan meeting) would be a valuable contribution to the understanding of Enga organisation.’
15   Testimonies of Kambau from YAKANI/Timali clan and Rupaina from YAKANI/Kalia clan given at Lenge, November 1971.
16   The ties between the YAKANI aeatee anda rites (sometimes also called pokalye anda) and the tee cycles and the links between these fertility rites and those celebrated by APULINI clans at Irelya have been explored in Lacey 1975:111-156.
17   Lambu said in his testimony that his father, Pendaiane, had taught him that a clansman worth his salt should be able to recall accurately the names and deeds of all forefathers back for the previous five generations. It is significant that Ipuwapa belongs to the sixth generation before Lambu.
18   This date has been estimated by a technique based on an average generation span in recent precolonial times of 30 years. It is meant only as a guide and estimate for comparison and not in any way as a system of absolute dating. See Lacey 1975:26-30 for an explanation of this method.
19   The significance of these traditions about ‘the time of darkness’ has been discussed in some recent papers. See Blong 1975; Blong and Mai (in press).
20   The possibility occurred to me of employing methods of dendrochronology to assess the age of these large tree stumps as a means of checking a relative chronology based on genealogies. I discussed this in correspondence with Dr Susan Bulmer, of the University of Papua New Guinea. Despite the lack of clear tree rings (because of the lack of marked annual seasonal changes) and the need for more closely defined and correlated changes in material culture, it may be possible to conduct a dendrochronological investigation as part of an archaeological study in the future. This kind of integrated local inquiry has been conducted recently in the upper Markham valley using stands of coconut trees. (see Specht and Holzknecht 1971:3-73.) In the meantime I became practised in guessing comparative ages of pai (chestnut, castanopsis acuminatissima), tato (beech, Nothofagus sp.) and yawale (casuarina, casuarina oligodon) trees based on the girth of their trunks and planted at various tee kamapi. These visual guesses often allowed me to pursue quite fruitful inquiries about those who were claimed to have planted them.
21   This was the claim made by Rupaina of YAKANI/Kalia clan and others present at this interview.
22   Lambu said that kiaps witnessed this and some of his previous tee at Lenge.
23   For the sake of clarity I have substituted kamongo for Elkin's term ‘agent’ in his text, and standardised his Enga orthography.
24   Testimony of Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irekya, February 1972.
25   Kepai does not discuss here the reasons for the change from one form of exchange to another. This issue will be explored later.
26   At the time of the interview Kepai had only two daughters and no sons.
27   This model describes only the growth of power of various subclans, lineages and families over the generations; it does not take account of the decline of any groups. A more balanced study would need to encompass such cases as well as these ones of success and growth.
28   It would be useful for the reader to familiarise himself with the details of the Yakani tee kamapi found in Appendix II before proceeding with the more general arguments in this section of the chapter. Map C shows the major YAKANI tee ground.
29   Lenge as a place-name has a number of meanings. Here it is being used in two senses. First, it signifies the centre of the YAKANI phratry territory, its homeland (yuu tenge). At some period in the early history of the phratry the sacred grove containing the women-stones and the ritual house was built at the place of the stones (now sited just below the south-east corner of the kamapi). But Lenge has a second meaning here. It is the place-name for the most important segment of YAKANI/Timali clan territory. This territory includes both kamapi and groves as well as garden lands and is dissected by the Enga Highway. The possession of both grove and kamapi within Lenge has given Timali clan precedence over other YAKANI clans. Lenge (spelt Lenki in Government records) has also been a point at which government officers take censuses and collect taxes.
30   Conducted jointly with P. W. Brennan of Wabag Lutheran Church. A report was lodged with National Archaecological Site Survey held at the University of Papua New Guinea.
31   See Flenley 1967 for this evidence. Powell 1970:199-20 sums up these findings: ‘Flenley's . . . evidence that reduction of forests, probably due to human activities, started about 2,000 years ago at Lake Birip . . . and about 1,600 years BP (inferred age) at Lake Inim [further west in Enga Province] . . . give intimations of the presence of fairly large populations in the area at that time.’ Bulmer 1975:29-33 has a date of 12,000 ± 350 BP for hunting and gathering activities of Yuku in the Baiyer River region on the eastern border of Enga Province. All these dates suggest that the early stages of YAKANI genealogies may have been considerably telescoped.
32   Waddell 1972 is a detailed study of land use patterns and agriculture technology in these different ecological zones within the Lai valley further east.
33   For estimates of these dates for YAKANI tee kamongo see Table 1 which accompanies Appendix II below.
34   This view parallels that put forward by Bowers 1971:22-3. She argues in this way: ‘In high altitude valleys, 7 000 feet and more above sea level acquisition of sweet potato and its incorporation into existing agricultural systems as a field crop may have opened up new land categories and even whole new valleys for colonization and occupation. This may have occurred rapidly. At rates of forest recession in the very recent past in the high altitude areas of the Weastern and Southern Highlands with which I am familiar, the current vegetation distributions could have developed in a few hundred years. . . .’
‘Traditions of movements in past generations can probably be found among most Highlands peoples. But, at least in high altitude valleys of the Western and Southern Highlands, these movements were not all random. They indicate that sparsely inhabited areas were filled up, and high altitude valleys previously empty of human inhabitants were colonized. Although it is recognised by the people that some kin groups have become extinct, they themselves believe there has been rapid expansion. . . . ’ There is a continuing debate about the timing and effects of what has been called the ‘ipomean revolution’ in the Highlands. For a recent statement by one of the major contributors see Watson 1976. Although YAKANI territory lies at slightly lower altitudes than the high valleys to which Bowers refers, the traditions bear out the main trends in her argument. Two studies of land use patterns in the open field system of sweet potato cultivation among Laiapo clansmen further to the east, near Wapenamanda, can be found in Waddell 1972:42-50 and 1973.
35   Particularly the testimony of Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irelya, February 1972 discussed above. See note 34.
36   Testimony of Lambu from YAKANI/Timali clan given at Irelya, February 1972 discussed above. See note 25.
37   One significant piece of evidence to emerge from a recent study of the ‘time of darkness’ traditions about the effects of a major volcanic eruption is the tradition that an increase in soil fertility followed this ash fall and that the tee may have begun in eastern clans about the same time. See Mai (in press).
38   The quite substantial body of oral testimony which I collected on precolonial trade goods and trade routes supports this contention, as does the work of Hughes on similar trading networks among the neighbours of the Enga further to the east. See Hughes 1973, 1977.
39   This is based on investigations by Hughes, who later wrote specifically in terms of the major trading item in highlands trade, sea shells, in these terms: ‘The shell trade grew greatly during the first 30 years of this century and was probably in effect a diffusion wave of traditional wealth objects made possible by pacification on the coast and in part due to the devaluation of old wealth forms there by new forms introduced by whites’ (1973:105).
40   Testimony of Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irelya, February 1972. Yama was a comtemporary of Kepa from YAKANI/Timali clan.
41   The path going over this mountain and leading from the Wagime valley towards Wabag is one of the well-known precolonial trade routes. This theme in the legend may be underlining the close relationship between the tee and trade.
42   The zoological classification of this bird, called lae, is not known, but it does play a significant role as a guide in a number of traditions. For instance, in one tradition, about the coming of the sacred sangai plant, the hero is drawn to discover these plants in a tree trunk by the call of lae birds. (Testimony of Pupu from MULAPINI phratry given at Mulitaka, February 1972.)
43   Testimony of Ango from SIKINI/Waimbau clan given at Saposa, January 1972. The text was translated by Johny Andoi, a teacher at Irelya.
44   Testimony of Yaka from SIKINI/Waimbau clan given at Saposa, January 1972.
45   Testimony of Mulia from SIKINI/Palinao clan given at Saposa, January 1972.
46   Testimony of Kotalyo from SIKINI/Yopo clan given at Yokosa, August 1972.
47   Particularly testimonies by Kepai, Kapini and Imbuni Mulyia from Talyulu-Wakemane subclan of APULINI phratry given in February 1972.
48   As has already been suggested above, these kaita are trade routes as well as tee roads. (Map B shows these tee roads.) One informant from a YAMBATANI clan in the Tale-Wagime valley revealed how his ancestors had acquired a sacred sangai plant from allies in the SAKALINI phratry in the Silunki region far to the west, because they had engaged in trade with them, a trade which involved the exchange of axe blades for salt. Another YAMBATANI informant told how his ancestors transmitted details of the Sambe kaita and Yalu kaita trade routes through the medium of legends. (Testimonies of Yuma from YAMBATANI/Yana clan and Taiyo from YAMBATANI/Winau clan given at Poketamanda, August 1972.)
49   These ritual objects in the tee take were also called nikikapa (literally ‘sun egg’) i.e. ‘eggs of the sun’. Nikikapa have a special religious significance for some Enga groups according to Meggitt. in writing of the activities of the originating sky beings he argues: ‘Occasionally a married couple came from the sky and had sons who, after adventures involving cannibalism and parricide, begat the founders of present-day phratries. . . . Other sky men arrived carrying “eggs of the sun”, stones from which their wives or children sprang. Such stones are now the residences of phratry and clan ancestral spirits’. Meggitt 1965b:107. While the stones referred to by Meggitt are probably the women-stones or their putative offspring which inhabit sacred aeatee anda or yainanda groves, it seems probable that the smaller versions contained in the tee take bundles are in some ways related to the larger sacred stones.
50   Bus 1951:818-9 gives the following anecdote: ‘I was told that old Yanda and his sons were acting like recluses in preparation for their tee. It had now come into their sphere of interest, as it was being held by a clan from which they expected some pigs. To make sure that everything would develop as they wished and trun out successful, they had to observe certain restrictions. Yanda, the old man, and about half a dozen of his sons and sons-in-law retired to the old man's house and stayed there for five days. During these days they were not allowed to speak to anybody else. Amongst themselves they could speak quietly, and especially the old man took the opportunity to instruct his sons about the old traditions handed down by their forefathers regarding the tee. They also observed certain food restrictions. The sweet potato . . . which is their ‘daily bread’ in everyday life . . . was not eaten. Bananas, corn and sugar can be taken, but when not much of such food is available . . . they have to go hungry.’ ‘During these five days they thoroughly clean the yard in front of the house, and with sticks and twigs make a square on the ground. They then sit around the square and watch a little spot inside it. If a small insect e.g. an ant . . . enters the square it counts for one pig that they will receive during the tee. A red insect indicates a reddish or light-coloured pig, a black insect promises a blak pig. If they find a small piece of bright white sand in the square, they know they will receive a shell during the tee. While looking for such objects, they keep a magic formula in mind. The old man, who is one of my best friends here, could not be persuaded to tell me that formula, for fear the spirits would punish him if he did so.’ See also Kleinig n.d.:13-15. His evidence will be explored below.
51   For instance the testimonies of Saka from AIYELE/Kutaipi clan given at Laialama, February 1972; Pisini from YANAITINI/Piau clan given at Kundis, August 1972 and Imbuni Mulyia from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irelya, February 1972.
52   Testimony of Tiwalikini from WAOUNI/Pupukini clan given at Pesalakosa, August 1972. Meggitt, in a personal communication in August 1973, informed me that he had heard of tee take being imported into some Enga clans from the Sepik through middle-men in the Maramuni. This evidence is consistent with the data which I collected about the importance of Maramuni middle-men in other forms of trade between Enga and Sepik peoples.
53   Especially the testimonies of Ambaipu from MALIPINI/Kamanewane clan given at Kundis, August 1972 and Philip Pato of MULAPINI/Tupimane clan given at Irelya, October 1972. Ambaipu pictures this special hertiage of knowledge and power as a precious garden ‘surrounded by a strong fence and cared for by father and son.’
54   Hintze 1950, writes about a similar kind of ceremony: ‘As we neared Alumanda we came across a group of men busily butchering a pig in front of one of their houses. The soft tones in which the men were speaking made me suspicious. Out of curiosity I had a peek through a door of the high pitpit fence. When my presence was discovered a group of men approached me. I asked them what they were doing, and they told me they were killing pig for the tee. I did not get the connection at the moment, because the time for killing pigs for the tee was a long way off, as far as I had been able to ascertain. (Later I found out that some of the natives sacrifice pigs to a ghost of some dead relative so that it will be with and watch over them as they journey to distant and strange parts to make the tee.)’
55   See, for instance, Foley 1945 ‘Native Situation’, Macllwain 1946, Wearne 1949 and Hintze, Freund and Burce 1948 and 1949. Kapini from APULINI/Talyulu clan of Irelya in his testimony of February 1972 claimed that when Kepa came first to their areas he told them that men of Hagen also had a tee system but that it involved far fewer pigs than the Enga tee. The Hageners called their exchange the moka. Foley 1945 wrote of Kepa's fame in these terms: ‘The Nenaini tribe centred around Walya are by far the most advanced in the district. They are what one may term a “half caste” Hagen. Their tribal ground running from the head of the Minyamp to the Kunape river forms a block between the Hagen and Enga speaking peoples. A lot of them speak the Hagen dialect and visit that area regularly. Kepa the chieftain of the Yoponda clan . . . is a power in the land.’
56   Strathern 1969:46. 7 writes: ‘. . . Hagen was a centre for dispersion of shells eastwards . . . and possibly westwards to the Enga area as well. Hageners obtained their shells via the Nebilyer Valley from trade routes running through Mendi in the Southern Highlands. They exchanged pigs and stone axes for the shells. . . . Early observers among the Enga had the impression that shell valuables were much less plentiful than in Hagen. The Enga also lacked direct access to stone axe factories and were dependent on trade links with Hagen to obtain these. The one resource which they possessed and which was scarce elsewhere was salt-spring areas, and packs of Enga salt were exchanged for Hagen shells, axes and pigs. The same goods were involved in tee exchanges. The Enga's need for pearl shells and axes may thus explain why there was such a definite linkage of the tee with the Hagen moka system near to Walya and Tambul south of Mount Hagen. . . .’ While evidence found by P. W. Brennan of precolonial stone axe industries in the Saka region and quite extensive data given me by informants about stone sources in the Kamongo river near Pompabosa just southwest of Wapenamanda call for some modifications in details of this argument, it still stands as an important general hypothesis about the ties between maka and tee systems based on trade.
57   The details of Meggitt's argument are to be found in 1974:87-8. As in the case of Strathern's hypothesis, some details in Meggitt's argument may need to be modified in the light of detailed field investigations. In summary his view is: ‘. . . I believe that the Enga tee was created by men, Big Men (kamongo) of the eastern [clans], who were able to exploit the fact that their clan controlled the trade routes connecting sveral resource areas occupied by people with rather different but compatible ceremonial exchange systems. By shrewdly using their position as mediators between these systems they could combine elements of them to develop a novel exchange arrangement that not only helped to maintain the trading relations on which they depended for their supplies of valuables but also enabled them to enhance their political power and social prestige in their own communities’.
58   Testimonies of Busa and Saka from AIYELE/Kutaipi clan given at Laialama, January and February 1972.
59   For instance, the testimonies of Nanau from LYOMOI/Tasukini clan given at Imangapausa, June 1972 and of Wanjo from YAMBATANI/Winau clan given at Saka Pumakosa, June 1972. These assertions about the tee were made along with those about other central cultural institutions.
60   The testimonies of Kepai and Kapini from APULINI/Talyulu clan given at Irelya, February 1972. By implication, when considered with what they said about the traditions concerning fertility rituals, they could have been referring to Kola.
61   For instance, the following cited such a change: Lambu from YAKANI/Timali clan (November 1971); Lenapene from YAKANI/Sane clan (December 1971); Kepai from APULINI/Talyulu clan (February 1972) and Kinyio from DEPE/Lyalakini (June 1972).
62   For a brief description of this exchange system among the Kandepe see Eckert and Thomas 1970:195-6.
63   Dwyer 1952 under ‘The Land and Its People’. This kind of meticulous detail is characteristic of Dwyer's patrol reports. They display a great interest in local customs. Since he was largely responsible for establishing Laiagam as a patrol post, his reports are invaluable historical records for the western Enga in this period. I have not been able to establish which phratry or phratries are implied by the group names he used here.
64   Vansina has suggested a model for such a systematic investigation which may be adapted for these cases. See Vansina 1968:97-124. The methods required for a study of the diffusion of fertility rites would need to be adapted and applied to the study of these borrowed exchange systems. The tee institutions were, of course, not the only ones which Enga borrowed from their neighbours. See Lacey 1975 for discussion of borrowing and adaptation of others.
65   This contention is supported by the writing of Elkin 1952, Saskschewsky 1970 and Meggitt 1974.
66   Some Sikinowane clansmen claim that their founder was the son of Langape's second wife rather than a son of Wapukone and a brother of Timali and Kainambotepa.
67   Anjini's father seems to have been a friend of Langape's who migrated to and died in the Sau. His son, Anjini, was then adopted and settled by Langape in Kwimasa next to Yawane and Kutipatai.
68   Tambukini was born at Kilyendisa near Lenge. He was the son of Tianga's sister (pimalenge). Some informants, particularly from Kalia clan, claimed that Tambukini was the younger brother of Tianga, rather than his sister's son. The consensus seems to favour the latter interpretation.
69   The broad genealogical ties between the 14 major clans and some of the subclans of this phratry (which I surveyed in a pilot study in November and December 1971) are sketched in Appendix I. Fifteen of the 34 informants interviewed supplied valuable evidence on the adoption of the tee by their ancestors. Their findings on tee founders among YAKANI clans are summarised in Table 1 at the end of this Appendix.
70   Appendix I shows these genealogical ties.
71   Testimony of Ipalyone from YAKANI/Pyalyui clan given at Ainamanda, December 1971.
72   Testimony of Itaie from YAKANI/Kainambotepa clan given at Tumbulama, December 1971.
73   Testimonies of Lapili and Piopena from YAKANI/Laeta clan given at Yatulama, November 1971 and later expanded by Lapili at Wakumali, August 1972.
74   Meggitt 1965a:49-84, esp. 82. In the latter he argues: . . . Central clans simply have nowhere to send their extra members. In the recent past they solved the problem by destroying weaker neighbours. Thus a continual redistribution of arable land accompanied the changes that occurred in the size and political strength of groups. Often this took the form of a chain reaction. As one clan expanded at the expense of another, this pressure was transmitted like a shock wave along the valley until it was absorbed by a clan of more than average strength. A clan receiving pressure from two directions simultaneously apparently had little hope of surviving, and its neighbours expanded to fill the empty space left by its destruction. Then, when the reverberations of this conflict subsided, new pressures were set up as clans began to expand elsewhere in the valley, and the whole process was repeated. Perhaps this ebb and flow model is too neat, but it certainly highlights the roles of competition for gardenland and changing demographic fortunes in the history of clans and their complex land tenure patterns.
75   Testimony of Pandakane from YAKANI/Laeta clan given at Yatulama, November 1971.
76   Testimony of Lyandame from YAKANI/Laeta clan given at Yatulama, November 1971.
77   This tradition was told to me by men of the Laeta, Sambeyoko and Kalia clans of YAKANI. It bears some resemblance to the famous SAMBE-KUNALINI tradition about a dog collar (yana koi) explored in Lacey 1975:95-101. Perhaps these traditions which centre on the importance of hunting dogs belong to an early phase of Enga settlement history when hunting played a much more significant role in their economy than it seems to now.
78   Kukumanda means ‘the mountain of Kukune’ and in November 1971 YAKANI/Kalia clansmen sold this land to the Administration for it to become part of the grounds of the Wabag Hig School.
79   Testimony of Yopelyatane from Kalia-Apuliniwane subclan who reside in Aipipasa on the same ridge just to the west of Kukumanda. His testimony was given at Irelya, October 1971.
80   Testimony of KUKUNE/Wakumali clansman given at Lyandau-mali, January 1972. The fact that the clan name records the place-name, Wakumali, seems a good indication that these clansmen have preserved a record of their original homeland many miles to the south.
81   In Rupaina's case it was an identity tying him to both Sambeyoko and Kalia clans of YAKANI. Another prominent case was that of Imbuni Mulyia. On his father's side this man was an APULINI/Talyulu clansman, while on his mother's side he was a member of APULINI/Sikita clan. This meant that Imbuni was moulded in two strands of sangai traditions and that he claimed land in two clan territories. Another interesting case of dual identity was that of Asu, who was a member of SAKALINI phratry by descent, but in warfare he moved into is mother Yatimi's territory in KUNALINI and became the head of this lineage and a most valued informant about KUNALINI traditions and history. Rupaina's ancestor Alunki migrated out of Sambeyoko-Laekini subclan territory around Par (possibly because his gardens were not prospering in his homeland) and settled in Wayamu to the south across the Ambum and Lai rivers to the south-east of Irelya. Later Alunki cleared and planted trees at the Wayamu kamapi.
82   The following are good examples of these early observations of fortified kamapi. Moloney 1949 ‘Native Affairs’. Writing of the Sau valley he recorded the following: ‘A state of permanent enmity exists between all the large groups and this restricts the movement of the people to their own small areas. A few “safe” roads are located high in the ranges well away from the hamlets and these are used when a man has sufficiently serious business to take him to a group any distance away. . . . The best fortifications yet seen in the Wabag Sub-District were found on the divide between the Sau and Lai Rivers. As well as the usual stockade, there were ditches about fifteen feet deep with a single small log being used as a bridge. At night this log is taken away. Along the top of the stockades dry leafy branches had been fastened. The rustling of the leaves would give away anyone attempting to climb over the top and he would meet with short shrift from the warriors in the nearby guard house. The connecting roads between houses were deep trenches with crude duckboards along the bottom. . . .’
Dwyer 1952 ‘Roads and Bridges’. Writing of areas to the west and south-west of Wabag: ‘Approaches to ceremonial grounds were wide and clear for about twenty yards in many cases but these were compensated for by the erection of large wooden stockades sometimes three deep.’ Butler 1954 ‘Native Affairs’, reports the decline in the number of these fortified kamapi in the Ambum valley over the previous two to three years because of the effects of enforced ‘pacification’. The stockade type of fortifications . . . are now evident in very few places and all new houses have no more than a pig fence around them. The only stockades seen on this patrol were of a much earlier vintage than the houses inside them and it appeared that the stockade was not kept in regular repair and in a short time would be gathered for firewood.’ Kaleala in Ambelaum 1973:14 mentions the existence of fortifications (lome anda) near kamapi in the Wapenamanda area. Since the ruins of these fortifications still exist, and there are suggestions that they are quite old, it would be profitable to have an archaeological survey of them.
83   Testimony of Kumane from YAKANI/Sikinowane clan given at Takemanda, November 1971.
84   Testimony of Minakasoo from YAKANI/Palyiu clan given at Tapokomanda. November 1971.
85   Testimony of Neaka from YAKANI/Sane clan given at Rakamanda, November 1971 and of Pokau and Ketane from YAKANI/Koowane clan given at Pototope, December 1971. As will be seen from the genealogical sketch in Appendix I these clans claim their origin in brothers of Tianga and sons of Yakani, i.e. Watipa and Kooa.
86   Testimony of Lenapene from YAKANI/Sane (Yapamekini subclan) given at Tawaleposa, December 1971.
87   Bowers 1971:22-25 puts the following case: ‘Whatever the value of . . . early traditions may be in indicating that the population of the area which is now Kepaka clan territory was sparse, at a time possibly not more than 250 years ago, the later history of Kepaka clan is clearer and can be verified by inspection of their ceremonial dance grounds. Until about 1870, the main body of the Kepaka was served by a single sacred ceremonial dance ground Puluwa. Puluwa is not only the most sacred of all Kepaka dance grounds, it is also thought to be the first, the “mother” of all dance grounds in Kepaka and neighbouring Sipika clan territory as well. The ornamental vegetation of the dance ground proper and of its sacred grove consists of exotic trees and other plants. . . . No other dance ground in Kepaka clan territory contains such ancient ornamental vegetation. . . . In 1962 Kepaka clan had seven dance grounds, including Puluwa. In addition, three others had been established, and later, abandoned.
At some time around 1870 the double dance ground, Kolta Pena, was cleared on a narrow spur across the ravine from Puluwa. . . . At around this same time, toward the last quarter of the 19th century, the dance ground Malupulu was built on a foothill. . . . During the period 1920-1935, several new dance grounds were cleared on Kepaka land. Kolta Pena spawned the dance grounds Suwake Pena and Polarupulu Pena, both in an upslope direction. . . . A kin group of Kolya section founded Takuna Pena – again upslope from Puluwa. . . . As late as about 1957 the dance ground Gaka Pena was built. . . .
Thus there appear to be two main periods of dance ground establishment among the Kenaka: the first around 1870 and the second 50 to 65 years later. . . .
. . .if current dance ground utilization can serve as a useful index for estimating past population, the population of Kepaka clan territory around 1870 might have ranged between 222 and 417 persons, with the intermediate estimates of 315 and 405 being more reasonable. A growth rate in the entire valley of about 1.5 per cent per annum from 1870 would be sufficient to bring up the population of Kepaka clan territory to upward of 900 by 1940. . . .’
For a more detailed study of her demographic argument see Bowers 1968:228ff. Strathern 1971:37-52. discusses issues about some major moka pena belonging to Melpa groups around Mount Hagen.
88   See Lacey 1975: 26-30 for a discussion of methods used to arrive at these estimates of relative chronology.
89   Date of birth was estimated from data collected about age at the time of J. L. Taylor's entry into the area in 1938, together with data about ages of children and marriage.
90   signifies an ancestor who is remembered as one who founded a kamapi and sometimes as one who planted trees at that kamapi.
91   signifies an ancestor who is remembered as the one who introduced the custom of tee exchange to the kamapi. Sometimes for more recent ancestors it signifies one who is known to have made the tee, though he may not necessarily have been the first ancestor to have done so.