Also known as: West Nakanai

The Lakalai are a subgroup of the Nakanai, who live on the north coast of New Britain. The name "Lakalai" is sometimes considered patronising, and for this reason, the Lakalai are sometimes known as the West Nakanai - however, "Lakalai" is dominant in the literature. Historically, the Lakalai worshipped ancestors and other spirits of the deceased. The most influential of these spirits was Sumua, who lived in the volcano that overlooked Lakalai territory and controlled its forces.

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Traditional Culture(1885-1910)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 162-197, 165, 179-181
Nature god(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 162-197, 183-184
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 171-172
Goodenough (1955), pp. 28
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 184-188
God(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 162-197, 183-184

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 182

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 171-172, 184
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 28-29
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 165, 183
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 162-197, 165, 183
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 184-186

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 186

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 465
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 162-197
Chowning & Goodenough (1965)
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 459

Mana

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

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Valentine (1965)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Valentine (1965), pp. 187-188
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 27-28
Chowning (1965), pp. 476
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 434-435, 455-457, 468-469

Rites

Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 25
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 447
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 24-25
Scarification Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 25
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 25
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Goodenough (1955), pp. 24-25
Social Environment +
Population 3000 (Source)
Valentine (1961), pp. 7
Valentine (1965), pp. 187-188
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Chowning (1965), pp. 476
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Chowning (1991), pp. 141
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Chowning (1991), pp. 141
Kinship system Iroquois (Source)
Chowning (1991), pp. 141
Polygamy Monogamy preferred, but exceptional cases of polygyny (Source)
Chowning (1991), pp. 141
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Chowning (1991), pp. 141

Conflict

Conflict within communities High (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 462-463
Conflict between communities of the culture Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 412, 449
Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 24-25
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 24-25
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 413
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 4780.2 (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 3
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Friedlaender et al (2007), pp. 1
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)
Valentine (1965), pp. 184-188
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415, 441
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415
Goodenough (1955), pp. 24
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415, 441, 442-443
Goodenough (1955), pp. 24

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415, 441, 442
Water-based gathering Major (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Chowning & Goodenough (1965), pp. 415, 434

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Chowning (1978), pp. 298
Goodenough (1955), pp. 24
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 3

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -5.4 (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 3
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 150.4 (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 3
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Woodhead et al (1998), pp. 1643
Island Size (km²) 36600.0 (Source)
Coates & Peckover (2001), pp. 8
Maximum elevation (meters) 2440.0 (Source)
Coates & Peckover (2001), pp. 8
Post Contact History(1910-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 4-5
Jebens (2010), pp. 5
Valentine (1961), pp. 11
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 5
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 5
Valentine (1961), pp. 11

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Present, but did not survive to the present-day (Source)
Jebens (2004), pp. 121-127
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 4-5
Immigration Absent (Source)
Chowning (1997)
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 5

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 3-4
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 3-4
Chowning (1997), pp. 92

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Jebens (2010), pp. 3-4
Air travel Present, local only (Source)
Kinch & Burgess (2009), pp. 69
Sea port Present (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (New Britain) (2014)

Loss of Autonomy

Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Chowning (1966), pp. 4-5
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Institutional religious syncretism Low (Source)
Jebens (2004), pp. 121-127, 130
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Jebens (2004), pp. 127
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.

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

Chowning, A. & Goodenough, W. H. (1965). Lakalai Political Organization. Anthropological Forum, 1 (3-4), 412-473. DOI: 10.1080/00664677.1965.9967206

Chowning, A. (1965). Lakalai Kinship. Anthropological Forum, 1 (3-4), 475-501. DOI: 10.1080/00664677.1965.9967207

Chowning, A. (1966). Lakalai Revisited. Expedition, 9 (1), 2-15. Retrieved from http://www.penn.museum/documents/publications/expedition/PDFs/9-1/Chowning.pdf

Chowning, A. (1978). Changes in West New Britain Trading Systems in the Twentieth Century. Mankind, 11 (3), 296-307. DOI: 10.1111/j.1835-9310.1978.tb00660.x

Chowning, A. (1991). Lakalai. In T.E. Hays (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Chowning, A. (1997). Changes in Housing and Residence Patterns in Galilo, New Britain, 1918-1992. In J. Rensel & M. Rodman, Home in the Islands: Housing and Social Change in the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Coates, B. J. & Peckover, W. S. (2001). Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago: a Photographic Guide. Alderley, Queensland: Dove Publications.

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

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

Encyclopaedia Britannica (New Britain). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/EBchecked/topic/411183/New-Britain

Friedlaender, J. S., Friedlaender, F. R., Hodgson, J. A., Stoltz, M., Koki, G., Horvat, G., … & Merriwether, D. A. (2007). PLoS ONE, 2 (2), e248. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000248

Goodenough, W. (1955). The Pageant of Death in Nakanai: A Report on the 1954 Expedition to New Britain. Philadelphia University Museum Bulletin, 19 (1), 19-43.

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

Jebens, H. (2004). ‘Vali Did That Too’: On Western and Indigenous Cargo Discourses in West New Britain (Papua New Guinea). Anthropological Forum, 14 (2), 117-139. DOI: 10.1080/0066467042000238958

Jebens, H. (2010). After the Cult: Perceptions of Other and Self in West New Britain (Papua New Guinea). New York, NY: Berghahn Books.

Jenks, A. E. (1905). The Bontoc Igorot. Manila: Bureau of Public Printing. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/bontocigorot01jenkgoog#page/n8/mode/2up

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

Kinch, J. & Burgess, E. A. (2009). An Assessment of the Trade in Hawksbill Turtles in Papua New Guinea. TRAFFIC Bulletin, 22 (2), 62-72. Retrieved from http://www.environmentportal.in/files/Hawksbill.pdf

Roberts, S.H. (1927). Population Problems of the Pacific. London, England: Routledge and Sons.

Valentine, C. A. (1961). Masks and Men in a Melanesian Society: The Valuku or Tubuan of the Lakalai of New Britain. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Publications.

Valentine, C. A. (1965). The Lakalai of New Britain. In Lawrence, P., & Meggitt, M.J. (Eds.), Gods, Ghosts, and Men in Melanesia (162-197). Sydney: Halstead Press.

Woodhead, J. D., Eggins, S. M., Johnson, R. W. (1998). Magma Genesis in the New Britain Island Arc: Further Insights into Melting and Mass Transfer Processes. Journal of Petrology, 39 (9), 1641-1668. DOI: 10.1093/petroj/39.9.1641