The Tambul people live at Mt. Giluwe. They live at the border of Southern Highland Provinces and Enga, Western Highlands and Southern Highland Provinces. Their traditional dress, face and body painting, singing, and dancing is a mix of these provinces.
Tambul’s traditional “bilas”, or body ornament, includes an elaborate and impressive headdress made of bright colours and bird feathers. The faces of the men are painted with red and yellow stripes, giving them a fearful and warlike expression. Their songs and dances resemble war cries.
The most well-known Tambul tribes are the Yano, Sipaka and Kaniba. The Yanos are well-known for their courtship songs. These songs contain two meanings, one often being sexual. These courtship songs are common among many Highlands cultures. Kanimba is well-known for its “Box Contract,” a drama that tells the story of Tambul’s first contact to the Westerners.
Tambul people are well-known for their large “Moka”, an ancient method of wealth transfer in which one man gives gifts to another and the latter reciprocates with bigger gifts. Men gain respect in their community by giving more than they receive. The size of a man’s pig-related wealth will determine his status in the community. A bigman, or village chief, is someone who has made a significant amount of money from pigs. To sponsor a large Moka ceremony, the men borrow goods from their clan.
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