Also known as: Dobuan; Edugaura

Dobu is one of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, near the eastern end of New Guinea. Supernatural belief on Dobu was magical rather than religious in character, and is described in detail in Reo Fortune's "Sorcerors of Dobu".

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Traditional Culture(1870-1895)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 94-95, 101-102
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 94-95, 101-102
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 178-188
Bromilow (1929), pp. 86
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 98-100, 178
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 98-100

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 88

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Actions while living are one factor in determining the nature of one’s afterlife (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 89-90
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Actions of others after one has died are the principal determinant of the nature of one’s afterlife (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 186-187
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 94
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 94
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 98-100, 216-233

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Benedict (1934), pp. 157

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 16
Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Benedict (1934), pp. 131

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 420
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 257
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 420
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 257
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 70, 115
Costly sacrifices and offerings Absent (Source)
Benedict (1934), pp. 142
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a local community, no larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Benedict (1934), pp. 131-132
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 51

Rites

Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 274
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 273-279
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 96f, 104f, 136f, 144f, 17f, 208f
Fortune (1932), pp. 273-279
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 96f, 104f, 136f, 144f, 17f, 208f
Fortune (1932), pp. 273-279
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 273-279
Social Environment +
Population 2000 (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 18
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 30
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Importance of Patrilateral descent Low (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50, 51
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50, 51
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Marital residence Ambilocal - with either wife's or husband's kin (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 51

Conflict

Conflict with other cultures Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49
Conflict between communities of the culture Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 30
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Conflict within communities Low (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 43
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49
Ethnologue (Map 17 of Papua New Guinea) (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 5191.4 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map 17 of Papua New Guinea) (2014)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 70
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 70
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50
Fortune (1932), pp. 69-70
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 50
Fortune (1932), pp. 69-70

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Fortune (1932), pp. 70
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Bellwood et al (1975)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Kuehling (2005), pp. xi
Benedict (1934), pp. 130
Ethnologue (Map 17 of Papua New Guinea) (2014)

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -9.8 (Source)
Kuehling (2005), pp. 6
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 150.9 (Source)
Kuehling (2005), pp. 6
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49
Island Size (km²) 7.4 (Source)
Daft Logic Area Calculator (2014), pp. 13
Maximum elevation (meters) 304.0 (Source)
Pritchard (1963), pp. 2
Post Contact History(1895-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Mixed / Neither (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 60-170, 206-230, 244-265, 116, 124
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Bromilow (1929), pp. 95-170, 206-230, 244-265,
Young (1991A), pp. 59-50, 51
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49-50
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 51

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49-50, 51
Bromilow (1929), pp. 95-170, 206-230, 244-265,
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Young (1983), pp. 9
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Immigration Absent (Source)
Young (1983), pp. 9
Language shift Low (Source)
Ethnologue (Dobu) (2014)
Foreign education systems Medium (Source)
National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea (2010), pp. 4, 33

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea (2010), pp. 33
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea (2010), pp. 33
Young (1983), pp. 9

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present but rarely used (Source)
National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea (2010), pp. 33
Air travel Absent (Source)
National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea (2010), pp. 33

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Young (1991A), pp. 49-50
Young (1983), pp. 4-5
Loss of political autonoomy Medium (Source)
Young (1983), pp. 4
Young (1991A), pp. 51
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Kuehling (2005), pp. 140-142
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Kuehling (2005), pp. 140
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Bellwood, P., Ayres, W. S., Clune Jr, F. J., Craib, J., Durbin, T. E., Young, F. A., ... & Green, R. C. (1975). The Prehistory of Oceania [and Comments and Reply]. Current Anthropology, 16(1), 9-28. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2740946

Benedict, R. (1934). Patterns of Culture. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Bromilow, W. E. (1929). Twenty years among primitive Papuans. London: The Epworth Press.

Brunton, R. (1989). The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Area Calculator. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Ethnologue (2014). Dobu: A language of Papua New Guinea. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/language/dob

Ethnologue (Map 17 of Papua New Guinea). (2014). Papua New Guinea, Map 17. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/PG_17

Fortune, R. F. (1932). Sorcerers of Dobu: The social anthropology of the Dobu islanders of the western Pacific. London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kuehling, S. (2005). Dobu: Ethics of exchange on a Massim island, Papua New Guinea. Adelaide: Crawford House Publishing

National Research Institude of Papua New Guinea (2010). Papua New Guinea District and Provincial Profiles. Retrieved from http://www.nri.org.pg/research_divisions/cross_divisional_projects/Web%20Version%20Profiles%20Report%20140410.pdf

Pritchard, P. W. (1963). Geological reconnaissance of Goodenough, Fergusson, and Dobu islands, Papua. Australia: Bureau of Mineral Resources Geology and Geophysics.

Young, M. W. (1983). The Massim: An introduction. The Journal of Pacific History, 18(1), 4-10.

Young, M. W. (1991A). Dobu. In T. E. Hays (Ed.), Encyclopedia of world cultures: Volume 2 Oceania (pp. 49-52). New York: G. K. Hall & Company