BUKAWA people


WHAT IS THEIR PHILOSOPHY OF LIfE

"THE VAULT OF HEAVEN IS SOLID LIKE A THATCH"

Before the first arrival of the Europeans, Bukawa tribe’s understanding of the world seldom extended beyond its immediate neighbors with whom they traded and fought. They saw the coast nearby their villages as the center the universe, and believed that anyone who traveled further the territories they knew, had to climb the vault of heaven which was "solid like a thatch".

WHERE BUKAWA PEOPLE LIVE


The Legend Of The Two Brothers

The people of Bukawa who live in small hamlets on the northern coast of New Guinea have a myth about a certain woman who had no husband to protect her. One day, she left her daughter alone and a stranger came and killed the child and buried the body. The woman had a dream that revealed the whereabouts of the grave and she recovered the body carrying it in her bilum (string bag) from village to village until she found a place to bury it. As per local believe every woman and man needs to be married, even the dead once. And the mother managed to convince a young boy to do so.

Later she visited the daughter's grave and parting some coconut fronds she found salt water flowing from the grave with fish swimming in the water. The woman took some water and a small fish as food for her family. The results were miraculous. Overnight, her new son-in-law grew to manhood. However, his brother was envious and wanted the same. On the following day he went to the girl’s grave as well. Instead of taking a small fish, the foolish man seized the large eel-like. Immediately, the ground quaked and water thundered forth from underground, forming the sea and separating brother from brother.

The legend’s conclusion was that this was why some people were black and others white.