04 April 2004

Morobe Field Diary, November 1976: Demographics

The population figures of nearby villages I obtained from the kiap in Morobe [Patrol Post] follow:
Village   Total     Adults      Children    Adults outside province

Buso 108 24m 27f 23m 27f 3m 1f
Kui 333 81m 81f 88m 69f 8m 2f
Sipoma 294 84m 69f 69m 58f 12m 2f
Paiewa 276 69m 72f 70m 61f 4m 0f
Maiama 483

[The predominant local language of Kui & Buso is Kela.
Sipoma is the only village that speaks Numbami.
Both Kela and Numbami are Austronesian languages.
The predominant languages of Paiewa and Maiama are non-Austronesian (Papuan),
members Binanderean family.]

This confirms my impression that the eligible young men of this village far outnumber the young women.

More statistics: Two Sepiks are married into the village. They work at the timber co. and so are in the village mostly on weekends. Their children are too young to talk yet but will probably speak Nu. The fathers mostly don't speak Nu. but understand some. One Wain man recently married in -- also works for the timber co. -- no children yet. Two Kui women married in -- both speak Nu. and kids of both do also but I'm less sure about one family. One Kui woman doesn't speak Nu.; neither do her kids though they may understand it fairly well. One Morobe woman speaks Nu., her kids speak Pidgin [Tok Pisin] and their father speaks T.P. to them most of the time too. Also one Markham woman speaks Nu. as do her kids I believe; her husband is Nu. & away a good bit.

Next year one young Nu. is off to do 5th & 6th form at the new national H.S. at Aiyura (where SIL headquarters is), one if off to Sogeri H.S. near Mosbi [Port Moresby], 2 off to Kerevat in Rabaul (brother to 5th form; sister to 6th). One girl and 2 boys will go to Junior High in town. Some people working away from the village:

1 agricultural inspector (Jack S.)
1 malaria service mosquitologist (Tom S.)
1 development bank clerk (Kaukisa S.)
1 N.S.W. bank teller (off to Mosbi for training)
1 teacher at Kaiapit
1 NCO in PNG Army (Igam Barracks)
1 in forestry service (Bing Siga, in Aust. for training)
1 radio repairman in Lae
1 cattleman (half Nu., half Sepik)
1 machine repairman in Wau (half Nu., Peter)
1 policeman at Rabaul (Marawaku's son)
1 assistant kiap at Boana (__ Siga)
1 store clerk in Mosbi (__ Siga)
1 secretary at UniTech (Aga __)
1 medic at Morobe (Dei)
1 in fisheries (Lukas)
1 in transport co. (Panett)
1 teacher at Kui

In addition, Daniel/Siga said that everyone older in the village except his mother has gone to Yabem School (max. 4 years). Evidently they went thru in age cohorts: Abu Bamo's, then Giyasa's, then Yali's, then Siga's. The war disrupted people like Lukas, who claims he's had only about 1 year of school but has a well-respected business head.

NOTE: Blogger doesn't turn off the <pre> tag very predictably. It wouldn't wrap the paragraph after </pre>, so I had to force linefeeds. I initially tried the <table> tag, but blogger added way too much white space above it.

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