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The Dani, Papua New Guinea - Essay Example

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The Grand Valley Dani were the inhabitants of Grand Valley, New Guinea at the western highlands. The name Papua is derived from Malay “papuwah” meaning…
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The Dani, Papua New Guinea
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The Dani, Papua New Guinea

Download file to see previous pages... The irrigated land is provided freely for use by any member without prior payments or negotiations. Land ownership by an individual is rare since its vested in kins’ and only allocated in times of need. An individual may own the plantation but not the land. The heirs’ give the landowners gifts and offerings before using the land. Failure to do so will result in dispossession of the property by the landowners (Zimmer & Amakoshi, 2007).
Based on Zimmer & Amakoshi (2007) horticulture is routine by cultivation of sweet potatoes in large fields of valley bounded by ditches. Plantation is carried out year round where every family possess a portion of the harvest. The ditches assist in drainage of water during wet seasons and deliverance of spring water during dry spells. Additionally, they also serve as mulching basins. The ditches further prevent unwanted pigs form the farms. Other staple foods include starchy vegetables like yams, rice, wild sago, taro and breadfruit; supplemented by bananas, wild greens, mangos and coconuts.
Hunting is also practiced which provides meat from fowl, pigs, marsupials, cassowaries and turtles. Each household practice pig keeping. The pigs are only slaughtered and consumed during special occasions (Zimmer & Amakoshi, 2007). The community holds plenty of ceremonies and hence each Dani member receives pork every week. Domestication of pigs is highly significant that specific medical practices are carried out in order to assist them grow. The male pigs are castrated so as to control breeding and increase their sizes.
Every Dani member participates in food production. However, the members cultivate their farms using manual labor whereby they incorporate inferior methods and technologies. Sweet potatoes are planted as monocrops in the irrigated fields whereby the soils are dug using sharp poles. Their harvest is enormous whereby it supports a population-density of more than 400/square mile (Zimmer & Amakoshi, 2007).
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