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Dangerous visions: the cassowary as good to think and good to remember among the Anganen.


The Anganen of the Southern Highlands Province, in common with many other Papua New Guineans, hold a special place for the cassowary in their imagination (e.g., see Bulmer 1967; Gardner 1984; Gell 1975, Healey 1985, 1991; Herdt 1981; Tuzin 1997), The Angenan regard the cassowary as a unique creature due to its ambiguous and excessive qualities such as the wanton violence of adults. The Anganen fascination with them remains despite the fact that almost no one could remember seeing one since the 1970s and that few claimed to have ever owned or exchanged one. At best, men said that these creatures were popular with their now dead fathers and grandfathers. In classically Levi-Straussian (1966, 1969) fashion, the cassowary is good to think for the Anganen, particularly in relation to one definitive characteristic of masculinity, the propensity for violence. This concerns legitimate and strategic violence through the linking of cassowaries to warfare. It also pertains to the capacity of men to act seemingly irratio nally and immorally in certain contexts. What concerns me here are contexts that involve the most cherished of relationships men share, those between men conceptualised as brothers. Anganen ideology stresses that co-equivalence, mutuality, sharing and support typify fraternity, ideals not always easy to maintain of course, and it is the linking of cassowaries to instances when such ideological values are not met that interests me.

I establish this link through a discussion of men's oral histories of clan fission. Agnates' greed in failing to share cassowary meat is often cited as the reason why individuals leave to take up residence elsewhere. I elaborate on this fraternity-cassowary connection through considering rawa, the main ethnographic focus of the paper. Rawa is the Anganen version of the agonistic form of exchange that so captivated Mauss (1951, cf. LeRoy 1979). Rawa occurs between individuals in relations conceptualised as fraternal who have failed to settle a dispute. It is known as resis in Tok Pisin as it involves the competitive killing of animals, ideally cassowaries. Victory is achieved when the opponent does not respond to a killing. However, in three of the four events Anganen men could remember in some detail, rawa was terminated with both protagonists equal. By this time the precipitating cause of the dispute was apparently irrelevant.

Like the cassowary they kill, the Anganen regard rawa men as having unique psychological states that drive them to engage in excessive violence, even if this is displaced through the frenzied slaughter of animals. This state motivates them to use animals in ways deemed irrational in other circumstances. Rawa men throw animal blood and uncleaned intestines at each other while yelling the most offensive of insults, before discarding the slaughtered beast's carcass as if it were rubbish. Under no circumstance may the carcass be properly prepared and cooked for human consumption until after the event. The Anganen regard the active stage of rawa as one of widespread danger to others in the community, and women, together with some men, are too scared to witness it. In many respects the ambiguities of this period resemble the ritual danger often associated with liminality (cf. Turner 1967, 1969, 1974). I follow a Turnerian line by treating rawa processually in order to see how, as practice, it not only engenders th is danger but ultimately re-establishes the grounds for mediation by others. Between the clan fission narratives and rawa, I consider the general attributes the Anganen assign the cassowary as this enables me to see why the Anganen appropriate this creature in this period of danger when brother fights brother.

The Anganen say that the Australian colonial administration prohibited rawa sometime in the 1970s and that it is now a thing of the past. The accuracy of this claim does not concern me. Rather like the clan fission stories in which the cassowary features in explaining what happened some time back then, my interest lies in how the cassowary aids a sense of Anganen historical consciousness. Hence my claim that they are not only good to think but also good to remember. Despite the notable resurgences of warfare, cassowaries are linked to a fundamental change--the Anganen attitude to pacification. As I (1994, 1999) argue elsewhere, colonial domination was emasculating for Anganen men, with their forced exclusion from being warriors the key to their being rendered 'like women' as they put it. While gift exchange (and these days bisnis) dominates male conceptions of the desired self, there is no doubt that part of the fierce chauvinism Anganen men have still includes their capacity for violence. It is how the disa ppearance of the cassowary, in part through the banning of rawa, resonates with this emasculation that is the focus of the final ethnographic section of this article.


One notable aspect of Anganen social structure is that a single named clan may be found in anything up to ten locations ranging from south-east of Mendi township to Nipa. They maintain exogamy among those with the same clan name and those with the same name recognise they were one group 'long ago'. The territory of the numerically largest clan section is seen as the clan's origin place and theoretically all those with this name have claims to land there. In many cases there are narratives that act as historical charters for how these groups came to be so widespread. Some stories are seemingly mundane such as widows taking their young sons to their own natal places and remaining there, but a number feature problems with sharing cassowary meat. The common storyline is as follows. A small group of men, perhaps a subclan, came home in the middle of the day to find their agnates consuming cassowary. (1) In anger at their agnates' behaviour, the men of this subclan leave, chastising their brothers for selfish immor ality and announcing they would no longer stay with men of this calibre. They depart, going to relatives' or allies' places where they take up residence, have sons who have sons, all of them enjoying life with their new coresidents. Only later are relations between the originally feuding subclans repaired, but having strong ties and full land ownership in their adopted territory, they see no reason to return. (2)

I collected no narrative of the failure to share pork causing groups to split despite the obvious point that pork is consumed much more frequently than cassowary meat. When pressed on why cassowaries feature so much in these stories, some would elaborate that there is too little meat on a cassowary for all to receive a share, with some adding that it is usually larger clans that break up for whatever reason, meaning that there are more men to feed. Due to the prominence of female labour in pig production and the fact that cognates and affines share pork in most cases (Nihill 2001a), pork does not have the immediacy of association to masculinity and patrilineal descent that cassowaries do. Specifically male labour in the form of trading and tending the birds is a feature of cassowaries. Thus cassowaries may have the potential to say something about fratemal relations, and the difficulty of maintaining them, with a gravity that pork lacks. (3) Before expanding upon this issue, I elaborate on the specific meanin g of the cassowary for Anganen in the next section.


The Anganen mainly procure cassowaries through trade with those to their south such as the lowland Foi of Lake Kutubu. Usually this involves older birds and only rarely have they obtained chicks to rear. Because of this there is a lack of knowledge based on production in comparison with those Sepik and Highlands communities where cassowary hunting is an important male activity and young birds may be imprinted upon humans until they turn feral. Thus no one mentioned the androgynous anatomy of the creature (Gardner 1984) that may be a factor in the gender ambiguity of cassowaries in the Sepik and some fringe Highland cultures (e.g., see Gardner 1984; Gillison 1993:328; Herdt 1981:133-7; Juillerrat ed. 1992; Tuzin 1997:81). Rather, cassowaries are symbolically 'male' in Anganen.

Where the Anganen are similar to other communities is in their recognition of the unique characteristics of cassowaries, especially in contrast to the domestic pig. (4) The Anganen call cassowaries menja. Despite the importance of compound terms in the region (e.g., see Sillitoe 1979:xiv), the Anganen were bemused when I inquired if this was a combination of men, 'pig', and ya, the generic term for bird. For the Anganen, cassowaries are birds, but they largely treat menja as a unique category, contrasting its peculiarities with birds and pigs alike. It is a bird that neither flies nor builds arboreal nests, with its weight far exceeding that of birds in general. It also lacks feathers, especially in contrast to the resplendent bird of paradise. These characteristics help give rise to the novelty of the cassowary in Anganen thinking, but it is its behavioural features that truly mark its significance.

The Anganen look on cassowaries' feeding habits with disgust. The bird is a copious eater and consumes its own faeces. The Anganen say that, again unlike birds which have been observed as possessing social structural aspects such as gender roles and kin groups sharing 'houses', the cassowary is a very singular figure. They account for this in terms of the penchant for excessive violence of adult birds. Older birds must be caged at all times to avoid them attacking each other, or pigs, dogs and humans. As others (e.g., Gardner 1984:141; Healey 1985:156) note for elsewhere in Papua New Guinea, the cassowary is the epitome of solitude. It is the image of the asocial in Anganen. Its feeding habits and extreme violence are in turn linked to its characteristic irrationality, a point that some elaborate to the extent of noting its small head to body ratio when compared to pigs.

As Marilyn Strathern (1980) argues for Melpa, the Anganen do not have a nature-culture dichotomy. Rather the opposition of significance is wild, kera, and tame, kumapi. The Anganen see most birds as having characteristics that could be interpreted as culture such as the gender, domestic and familial dimensions noted and their capacity for talk. They remain wild nonetheless, as the particularity of these characteristics is not shared by the Anganen themselves. Tameness is a socio-centric, relational phenomenon. Thus others may be human, but if they do not share language, food, and exchange forms the Anganen recognise and value, they remain wild like birds (see Nihill 1999). The cassowary's wildness in conjunction with this characteristic irrationality and violence are keys to the meaning the creature has in Anganen.

The transformation from wild to tame is integral to the Anganen understanding of the world. Children are born kera, being governed by the biology of feeding and defecating, and are incapable of proper social interaction through talk and reciprocity. Socialisation is thus the transformation of kera into kumapi. Animals like pigs and dogs are also tameable. They can be taught to respond to their owner's call and thus 'share' language with people to a small extent. They may also be fed the food of their owners such as sweet potato that is emblematic of the concept of kumapi. This term literally means 'softness' such as the way cooking turns hard, inedible sweet potato into the daily staple. While the Anganen feed cassowaries food potentially fit for human consumption, this lacks the sense of sharing typical of that between humans and pigs and dogs. Indeed, feeding cassowaries may be a dangerous pursuit as hungry birds eagerly attack the food they are given. The Anganen do comment on the gluttony of dogs and pig s, but may compare it to that characteristic in children. Thus being ambiguously located between wild and tame, dogs and pigs are like children on the way towards socialisation, whereas older cassowaries are not.

I stress older cassowaries because, as Healey (1985:156) notes for the Maring, it is possible to imprint young chicks on their human carers, almost excessively so in comparison with pigs. However, with age they revert to this typical wild state. They are the antithesis of the socialisation of children, pigs, and dogs. (5) That is, it is not just that the cassowary typifies irrational and violent wildness, it epitomises the inversion of what the Anganen see as the proper achievement of tameness: the cassowary may go from tame to wild, whereas humans, pigs, and dogs should go from wild to tame.

As with the Maring and Manga (Healey 1985:158, 1991:239; Rubel and Rosman 1978:133), the cassowary has a strong association with warfare in Anganen. Like the neighbouring Kewa (MacDonald 1991:89-90), a dead warrior may be referred to as a slain cassowary. In battle men may blacken their skin similar to the cassowary's colouration. When presenting warfare compensation for the death of allies, they may decorate in this way and don cassowary plumes (Nihill 1996a, 2000). Where live cassowaries feature most in exchange histories is in warfare compensation, the living bird substituting for the death of that which it symbolises, the warrior.

Warfare is a form of rational violence for the Anganen, but the cassowary's inherent irrationality also succinctly depicts non-rational forms. One illustration of this is the, albeit rare, instance of what is called wild man behaviour in the Highlands (Newman 1964). (6) This is where younger men run amok, damaging property and attacking kin. These men are referred to as eya, 'mad' but also may be likened to the cassowary. Unlike an irresponsible young man who hears the talk of others but refuses to accept it, these men are said to be deaf and thus incapable of responding to the wisdom of others. As such, they feature a major dimension of wildness, the incapacity to share language. In many respects wildmen may be likened to those who engage in rawa who effectively mirror the cassowaries potential of going from tame to wild, albeit in a culturally prescribed manner.


Events where disputes trigger competitive exchange were common in what Franklin (1968) calls the Mendi-Pole language subfamily. (7) Ryan (1961:251-63) describes the Mendi mashogenja. Unusually, it may be used to establish a truce between enemies, whereas comparable events in this region concern disputes between individuals within alliances. (8) In mashogenja, men amass wealth including shells and containers of tree oil in addition to animals. Victory goes to those who amass most, but the animals are not deliberately killed. Lederman (1985:183-4) discusses the competitive exchange of temol, and notes in one event, victory went to those who killed six cassowaries while their opponents preferred to give the birds away live to exchange partners. Reid (1978/9) describes what he calls 'cassowary races' in the early 1970s in, I suspect, more south-westerly Mendi communities than where Lederman and Ryan undertook fieldwork, If this suspicion is correct, these 'races' took place closer to Anganen, and they do seem hig hly reminiscent of rawa in Anganen. Reid notes that cassowaries were killed on such a scale as to greatly concern the Australian Administration about the economic waste involved. Kewa competitive exchange is also called rawa and is very similar to its Anganen namesake. (9) The major differences between Anganen and Kewa are the emphasis on cassowaries rather than pigs in Anganen, and the fact that resolution in Anganen usually occurred before all stocks of animals were depleted. John LeRoy (1979) brilliantly interprets the Kewa event and his approach is highly influential upon my own argument. However, these differences are paramount and feature in my discussion.

The Anganen see rawa as 'like warfare' and 'fighting between brothers'. While it is not exclusively agnates who undertake rawa, the Anganen extend the term amenu ('same sex collectivity') to include coresidents and close allies, even if they are not members of the same patrilineal group (see Nihill 1996b). In the four cases I collected in some detail, there was no ambiguity that the two protagonists were of a common amenu even though only one case concerned agnates. The Anganen description of rawa is quite simple. It is a specialised reaction to a dispute that cannot be resolved through mediation. It features the displacement of hostility away from direct physical confrontation through the slaughter of animals. Loss, oma ('death') occurs when a protagonist cannot or will not continue the slaughter. In actuality, however, it seems that the contest is usually terminated through the intervention of others before 'death' occurs. As mediation failed previously, it must be something emergent from the events that f acilitates its resolution, a point I will return to after elaborating what rawa is.

Rawa refers to the time period, the acts that take place during this period, and the perceived states of the protagonists. Such periods, acts, and states are categorically unique. As a culturally conceived psychological state, rawa is like anger, frustration, anxiety and obsession, indeed it is all of these simultaneously. It is regarded as a total disposition, and this accounts for what is, in conventional terms, the irrational actions of the rawa protagonists. The men with rawa are simply not bound by everyday reason. (10)

Rawa is an extremely rare occurrence. I collected only four cases that have occurred since the first took place in all likelihood in the 1950s. (11) Here I shall only concentrate on one of these, the most recent (occurring in the early 1970s). In order to convey the extraordinary character of rawa and its pronounced processual quality, I divide the event into four more or less distinct phases: precipitation, the active phase, resolution, and aftermath.

Phase I. Precipitation


Pandalepe is an Ongulamuri man from Tundu village and Victor a Ronge man from Kambari. The two hamlets are only a few minutes walk apart. Although they belong to two different clans, the relationship between the two men and their respective groups was good and emphatically regarded as fraternal. Members of the two groups stress their unity and pride themselves on the harmony between them, generally settling the few disputes that occur between them quickly. However, shortly before the event that precipitated the rawa there was a dispute when a Ronge man's pig destroyed an Ongulamuri man's garden. While the pig's owner should pay compensation, this is contingent on the gardener maintaining adequate fencing, and on this occasion there was heated argument over these points between the two parties. While the dispute did not actually involve Pandalepe's garden or Victor's pig, both spoke at some length and heatedly crossed words with each other. The dispute was eventually settled and the matter generally forgotten, but it is possible the antagonism between the two men remained. As such it may have been a factor that led to the rawa.

The Precipitating Event

It was the Saturday after 'Pay Friday' and a number of younger Ongulamuri, Umu and Ronge men were gathered at Sek, another Ronge village, playing cards. The game had gone on for some time and some of the men had lost most of their money. Matters were becoming tense and came to a head when Pandalepe accused Victor of cheating. Victor immediately and aggressively denied the accusation, countercharging that Pandalepe was a 'rubbish man' who had to resort to such lengths because he could not really compete. The two continued to trade insults, and soon began to threaten violence, despite the attempts of other card players and spectators to intervene and defuse the situation. Pandalepe grabbed an axe and attempted to strike a pig foraging nearby (even though it did not belong to Victor). He missed but uttered 'na rawa yapu pu' ('my rawa skywards/upwards do'). The challenge was accepted by Victor in the same manner, and then both men stalked from the scene. The rawa had begun.

Rawa has a pronounced moral ambiguity. To insult a 'brother' and to ignore attempts of close kin to arbitrate are improper, and to randomly and maliciously attack another's pig is reprehensible. However, to control one's anger so as to not engage in outright physical violence against another man is praiseworthy. In a convoluted way, the actions of Victor and Pandalepe were a breakdown of fraternal morality while simultaneously constrained by it in the control they exercised. Moreover, especially in a setting where the actual truth over the cheating accusation is all but impossible to ascertain and given the likelihood both men will have some support from close kin, both men were understood to initiate the competition to demonstrate their own moral worth as neither cheats nor false accusers.

The very utterance 'my rawa skywards do' not only marks the commencement of the rawa but also is the point of dissociation of the protagonists from the conventional realm in which the dispute originated and into a domain where different social action is possible. High-low is a very pervasive dichotomy in Anganen thought. It is a major index of difference and contrast, here the counterdistinction being between the new ambience of rawa and the 'low' mundane world from which the protagonists are now detached. The words themselves have great power. They do not simply reflect but actually help constitute the meaning context and the processuality of the event. The notion of 'doing' is active and constructive. The words only have relevance in the first person, immediately locating the individual overwhelmed by rawa as distinct from those around him, the members of the community who wish to see reconciliation.

Phase II. The Active Period

The forthcoming rawa quickly became public knowledge, generating a great deal of excitement and concern. It took a number of weeks for the two men to amass cassowaries and pigs in a quantity they felt confident was sufficient for victory. Victor and Pandalepe committed a large amount of wealth in order to procure cassowaries but others, mainly their close agnates, also assisted. Eventually the two men agreed on when the event should take place.

As it neared, one young Ongulamuri man who was resident at the Ronge village of Sek, his mother's place, retired to this house as he was 'too scared' to come out until after the contest. All of the women of the community were very afraid and most also hid in their houses. Although many men neither hid nor actively assisted with the staging of the event, many saying they were 'very sad', they nonetheless witnessed the event when it occurred.

On the day the rawa took place, Victor (and his supporters) gathered their animals at Kipera, the most westerly Ronge village, while Pandalepe (and his supporters) did likewise at Tundu, only a few minutes walk to the west of Kipera. A large crowd, those of the community who were not too scared to be present and visitors from elsewhere, gathered to see the spectacle. The killing began. Victor initiated the slaughter with a cassowary. Subsequently Pandalepe responded in kind. If Victor killed a big pig, then Pandalepe killed a big pig. If Victor slaughtered a cassowary, then Pandalepe did the same.

The animals were killed in the standard manner, crushing the skulls of pigs and wringing the necks of cassowaries. Each man killed his animals on the outskirts of the opponent's village. However, the animals were not butchered in the normal way. The animals' throats were cut, and they may have been disembowelled, but the entrails were not cleaned, nor were the bristles of pigs singed off or the cassowaries plucked. The actual flesh was left untouched. The carcass was then carried by the killer into the opponent's village, where he may endeavour to drape the entrails inside this man's house and throw blood on his possessions or himself. The killer would also shout insults: 'Drink blood, drink this blood, you drink your sister's waluma (womb or menstrual blood), you drink your mother's waluma.' Or: 'Eat this, or has your sister's vagina filled you up?' Or: 'Arimbu (rubbish man) have these guts, eat these faeces, eat my faeces'. With that he withdraws, discarding the carcass as he goes, returning to his village to await a similar performance from his opponent. The contest continues, and even if others have helped to provide animals, they cannot reclaim the carcass until after the event.

The active phase of rawa is a densely woven series of words and deeds, all of which require attention as none is self-explanatory. I was given little exegetical elaboration on what these acts mean apart from being aggressive. Rawa is extraordinary, and although these deeds and words may ultimately be reconciled with the cassowary and its use in this agonistic event, I will approach this complexity of meaning through considering its specific dimensions. I begin with the slaughter and apparent redundancy of the carcass, before moving on to consider the insults.

From the perspective of conventional Anganen economics, the use of animals in rawa is irrational. In other contexts the Anganen waste very little of cassowaries or pigs. Cassowary bones may be used as knives or arrow heads, and their plumage as decoration. All the meat, including the cleaned entrails and blood, is exchanged or shared with others for consumption. This consumption is seen as highly nutritious, and the exchange, sharing and eating of all too rarely available types of meat is thought to foster positive sociality. Cassowaries and pigs are killed in rawa but not properly butchered, cooked, exchanged or eaten, with the carcasses discarded as if rubbish during the active phase. The rawa men use only blood and uncleaned entrails but do so anomalously, with the 'gift' hostile and possibly polluting. Unlike the positive functions associated with meat and animal blood in other contexts where wealth can alleviate hostility, the use of animals in rawa actively encourages ongoing hostility by prompting the opponent to retaliate.

Rawa is an extreme case of a theme common to intensely political events in Anganen where meat is presented in such a way that it is not immediately food (Nihill 2000, 200 la). In addition, it gets much of its meaning through the paradoxical reformulation of amenu. As I (Nihill 1 996a) argue elsewhere, fraternity is a relationship based on sharing and equivalence, but rawa creates an alternating inequivalence between the protagonists. Rawa is the Anganen version of what Bateson (1958) termed 'symmetrical schismogenesis'. In purely material terms, it would seem the second man's response simply cancels his opponent's previous slaughter. This is not the case, as should the first man not continue the slaughter he 'dies' irrespective of numerical balance. All killing and all responses thus issue a challenge. Overt inequivalence now articulates amenu.

It is the unique state of the rawa man that permits men these actions. In Burridge's (1969, cf. Le Roy 1979:28) terms, the rawa man is 'divine' in opposition to the audience or those too scared to attend who are 'moral'. The latter term refers 'to the normative interrelations of men and women bound in community' (Burridge 1969:xviii-xix). Although Burridge stresses that non-reciprocity underpins the divine, response in rawa is reciprocity of sorts, but it is emphatically not one of the conventional moral order to which amenu relations are integral.

The peculiar use of animals dominates the active phase. Although shells and money were used to purchase animals for the protagonist to kill, they have no significance in the active phase itself. The movement from life to death is crucial as it is not sufficient to simply amass more wealth than an opponent: the protagonist must kill the animal and discard its carcass. Obviously, although to break shells or to destroy money would likewise amount to economic irrationality, there is no parallel to this transformation with non-animal forms of wealth. It is something specific to cassowaries, and pigs to a lesser extent, that renders them appropriate. John LeRoy (1979:21) highlights what animals stand for in the Kewa rawa, though here domestic pigs rather than cassowaries are the principal item:

[pigs] share a domestic existence with men on such an intimate basis that they seem quasi-human. The displacement of anger from man to pig thus conforms to a cultural logic. Domestic pigs are like village men, and more specifically in rawa they serve to represent the amoral man, the opponent. The pig is a kind of metaphorical or substitute enemy. It is quite possible, however, to follow another line of reasoning which places additional emphasis on the fact that the rawa contender customarily kills his own pigs rather than someone else's, for example his opponent's. What the rawa challenger does is not metaphorically kill the other; he deliberately injures himself by destroying his own possessions...Here the 'logic' is that a pig does not stand for the opponent but for the self. Killing one's own pig becomes, in the context of rawa, a symbolic (metonymic) suicide.

Animals killed in rawa are surrogates, and their deaths the substitutes, as symbolic representations, of the protagonists. Like Kewa, pigs are symbolically equated with human beings in Anganen and this accounts for their prominence in exchanges such as bridewealth or mortuary compensation (Nihill 1989, 1996a). This may account for the inclusion of pigs in rawa, but not the Anganen preference for cassowaries. The violent, antisocial character of the cassowary is crucial to its centrality in rawa, aptly reflecting the protagonists for which they act as substitutes. The wildness of the cassowary parallels the conceived psychological state of the overwhelmed man capable of acts of irrational and violent destruction of wealth. Unlike the metonymic 'whole man' (cf. Levi-Strauss 1966:204-6), the self of proper sociality symbolised by the pig, the cassowary, by contrast, represents the autonomous but aggressive 'wild' man.

LeRoy's quotation appears to be contradictory in terms of who the animal slaughtered is identified with: its killer or his opponent. In the Anganen rawa, it is both self and other, and perhaps this is the most potent paradox of the event. The slaughtered animal stands for both its slaughterer and his opponent, with its killing both redirected anger and self-deprivation. The grounds for the identification of the animal and its killer is relatively straightforward. Although others may assist a man in provisioning the event, the animals killed in rawa are emphatically associated with the protagonists. A protagonist's supporters, mostly close agnates, are motivated to assist because of the desire to help a brother, that is through conventional motivation. They do so, however, through sacrifice as they have no right to claim any ownership while the active phase is operational. Moreover, the slaughtering and conventional misuse of the carcass is also understood in terms of 'work', a process whereby self becomes in vested in product.

The identification of the killer's animal with his opponent is less obvious. Part of the way this comes about is based on the central premise of how a man would achieve victory: through 'killing' the opponent when he does not reply to the previous slaughter. However, the key to the co-identification of animal with its killer and his opponent stems from the notion of the social individual, that is, he is largely defined through the social nexus of which they are part. The amenu form of relatedness defines rawa. Whatever the actual social relation between the two rivals, be it based on agnation, coresidence or political alliance, rawa is a 'fight between brothers'. Fraternity is equivalence and co-identity, 'brother' is a reciprocal term of mutuality. This furthers the paradoxical quality of rawa. To attempt to 'kill' a brother through killing animals is not only a denial of his identity, but simultaneously a denial of one's own. Symbolically, a dead brother is the death of self in any context (as expressed, f or example in the laments or the self-mutilation by severing finger segments upon the death of a close agnate). Rawa is the metonymic death of both. The dead cassowary ultimately represents the slain brother/self, as well as the brotherless, fratricidal individual, and in Anganen thought these amount to a total paradox.

The themes of the irrational though extraordinary character of the protagonists, the simultaneous destruction of self and other, are also found in the gross insults, ero le, which accompany this aggressive use of blood and entrails. Insults are self-evident to the listener, but derive, as Turner suggests for visual symbols, from the explicit linking of the social and the biological. These profanities are not passive reflections of the meaning of rawa, but like the phrase 'my rawa upwards do' that initiated the event, help constitute it.

I will consider the 'gift' of the uncleaned entrails and the 'invitation' to 'eat these faeces, eat my faeces' first. With feasts, women take the entrails for cleaning, and, together with blood, greens and sometimes vegetables, these are cooked in bamboo tubes. The cooked result, known as gris (Tok Pisin, 'grease'), are regarded as a highly nutritious delicacy. Through counterdistinction, this conventional meaning of gris underscores the extraordinary deployment of the uncleaned guts in rawa which remain foul, polluting and agonistic. The insult moves from the suggestion of eating the cassowary faeces of the entrails to that of the protagonist, vividly connecting man and bird and suggesting that rawa men, like cassowaries, are shit eaters. This image in itself is a powerful representation given the horror with which the Anganen regard the bird's eating habits. Faeces are highly polluting and thus the insult is an attack on the opponent. Equally, however, human exuviae may be used in sorcery to attack the pers on from which they come (Nihill 2001b). The idea of giving one's own faeces to an opponent that is endeavouring to 'kill' you is irrational and potentially a displaced suicide through an emphatic sense of self-in-product. The insult points once again to both self and other. Moreover, as LeRoy (1979:10-1) notes, good thoughts are in the head but the Kewa say that frustration and anger move to the guts. The Anganen also regard such emotions in this embodied form, and thus the uncleaned entrails may represent the inner state of the rawa man endeavouring to give it back to its cause.

When the men throw blood during rawa, the opponent is 'invited' to consume it because he 'eats his sister's or mother's waluma'. Eating is a key concept in Anganen thought. The verb stock na translates as 'to consume' in a broad sense, namely to not only take in substance but also to transform, indeed perhaps destroy, substance. 'Eating' is also a common euphemism for sexual intercourse (Nihill 1999, 2001a). For example, this metaphor is common in bawdy songs sung by unmarried women (such as 'invitations' to young men to 'come and eat my sweet potato'), and also commonly occurs in myth (see LeRoy 1985 for the case in the nearby Kewa). The transformative dimensions of eating may be positive for people, as nutrition or with coitus resulting in children, but this is not always the case. Sickness, for instance, is often seen in terms of the consumption of human bodies by extraneous agents such as sorcerers or spirits. Similarly, sex may lead to pollution.

This insult clearly links eating to sexual intercourse and the notion that consumption may be destructive. Waluma is prototypic female substance, with its power ambiguous. As 'womb blood' it is female reproductive substance that forms the foetus when bound by semen for the Anganen (see Nihill 1989, 1999), but once it leaves the body during menstruation, it is considered highly polluting, especially to men. Taken literally, for a man to consume this polluting substance is both a sign of insanity and an act of deliberate self-destruction. The destructive inferences of the insult go beyond this. The eating-sex metaphor suggests the opponent may engage in incestuous relations with his mother or sister, the first possibility all but unthinkable, the second far less so (e.g., see Mimica 1991; A.Weiner 1992) but deemed immoral all the same in Anganen. Waluma is a crucial aspect of marriage, being the key to the rationale for bride-wealth and the subsequent exchanges it initiates. All such exchanges are fundamental for the articulation of Anganen social structure (Nihill 1989, 1996a). Incest would deny extra-clan kinship and deny that deemed most fundamental in the significance of women. Rawa thus may suggest the destruction of a man's brother and that which critically defines the femininity of his sister simultaneously. Indeed, in many respects, the sacrificial slaughter of the cassowary/'brother' is an analogue of brother-sister (or mother) incest. As elsewhere in Papua New Guinea more generally (e.g., see J.Weiner 1982), siblingship is the basis of Anganen society (Nihill 1996a). It is almost beyond the imagination for a man to be 'without' brothers or sisters. Like the solitary cassowary figure, such a man is the epitome of asociality.

The 'maleness' of the cassowary succinctly reflects the intensive male focus of rawa, a point reinforced by the almost total absence of women as witnesses to the active phase. This absence is commonly explained by the general sadness and fear women experience at this time, but the Anganen go further when noting that women are most vulnerable: 'during rawa, women fall in the river and drown'. The conventional social order is one of an overall complementarity though not equivalence between men and women and things male and female encoded in the analogy male:female::high:low. In rawa, the contesting men's rawa goes skywards, the 'upwardness' distinguishing them from the rest of the community. While this instils distance between the rawa contestants and other men, its ultimate reference is the distance between the protagonists and women through a magnification of the opposition conventionally established. Any form of distance, be it spatial, social or symbolic heralds possible danger in Anganen, and in rawa the intense masculinity of the protagonists is graphically distinguished from the femininity of mundane sociality. This is the essence of the rawa cassowary. The domestic pig reflects gender complementarity. Indeed specific pigs are usually most identified with their female caretakers. Pigs figure most in exchanges based on relations between men mediated by women (affines, men and their matrilateral kin), while histories of these exchanges do not feature cassowaries to any substantial degree. As Healey (1985, 1991) argues, the cassowary in Maring is the opposite of the gender complementarity of the pigs. The particular mobilisation of the cassowary as a signifier of masculine excess in the Anganen rawa radically separates male and female: that women are afraid and prone to 'fall in the river and drown' reflects the intensity of this opposition (even though I could find no particular case of women drowning in the four events for which I have information). Gender relations are dangerously ambiguous in rawa, an ambi guity manageable in the physical absence of the female residents of the villages of Ronge and Ongulamuri territories during the active phase of the event. (12)

The onset of the active phase of rawa sees men undergoing the kind of desocialisation of the cassowary once imprinted upon humans, namely from tame to wild, with the latter also a strong and frequent image of danger in Anganen. The Anganen rawa man emerges in the image of the cassowary as the solitary, kinless, irrational, violent being of masculine excess. Symbolically, the cassowary, its gross eating habits and rampantly violent nature, and its foul entrails and blood thrown at the opponent, crystallise the rawa man and the danger of their actions into a single entity. Ultimately this is why the cassowary is far more appropriate than the pig in rawa. The role of the pig can accommodate much of the meaning of rawa, but never to the same extent as the cassowary, and hence the overwhelming preference for them in the Anganen events.

Ultimately rawa is an apocalyptic vision--the small-scale of the fission narrative of not sharing cassowary meat writ on a cosmic scale. As I (Nihill 1988a, 2000) argue for other dimensions of Anganen exchange, rawa encodes a number of aspects found in classic accounts of ritual. The men's rawa 'going skywards' initiates a liminal-like period of frenzied slaughter and shameful deeds not permitted in other contexts through generating unprecedented licence. The essence of rawa is paradox and anomaly: through the abuse and misuse of animals; 'exchange' that is not really exchange; 'brothers' who are effectively not really brothers fighting towards metaphoric death; men motivated by their own sense of morality but jeopardising the community through their actions. The anomaly of rawa generates danger, evoking Mary Douglas' (1975) argument that those things which are beyond classification or fall between classificatory boundaries may be deemed dangerous and polluting (see also Turner 1969:95). In Burridge's (1969) terms, the community is 'moral', attempting to interpret events in conventional, mundane terms, while the protagonists are 'divine', beyond the confines of conventional logic and morality. It is the interface of these two orders that make rawa, the time period, the actors, and the acts unique as 'the kind of powers attributed to them symbolise their ambiguous, inarticulate states' (Douglas 1975:102). It is the structural ambiguity, anomaly and paradox in the clash between the mundane order and the extraordinary realm of rawa that gives rise to the power of rawa manifest in the heightened emotions of all in the community and the multiple expression of danger definitive of this form of agonistic exchange in Anganen. As Turner (1974:273) puts it: '...symbols and metaphors found in abundance in lirninality represent various dangerous ambiguities...since the classifications on which order normally depends are annulled or obscured--other symbols designate temporary antimonic liberation from behavioural norms and c ognitive rules', a succinct statement of what rawa in Anganen is all about.

The internal dynamic of rawa, its 'symmetrical schismogenesis', potentially has no bounds, with hostility engendering more hostility (see Bateson 1958:187-97). However, it seems that rawa as practice has the potential to eventually give rise to conditions for its own termination and the resumption of social relations. Here rawa seems reminiscent of ritual where the dangerous paradoxes and ambiguities of liminality generate the potential for the transcendence. It may be the case that the metaphorical fight to the death is more the ideology of rawa than its practice, as in three of the four cases I collected the competition ended with no man 'dying' through failure to respond to an opponent's animal slaughter with others intervening before this took place. As rawa follows the breakdown of arbitration, the matter is not one of straightforward mediation, but something emergent from the processual expression of the event.

Phase 111. Resolution

The following is a rendition of a speech of a man who intervened after both Pandalepe and Victor had killed a large number of cassowaries and pigs in equal amounts.

Look! look at this [pointing to the pile of animal carcasses]. This shows you [two] are ama-yal (big men). You have killed many cassowaries; you have killed many pigs. This is enough. The rawa causes much sadness. We all have great sorrow. It is time to end the rawa. You are brothers. We do not want to see our brothers rawa. End the rawa.

Along with much of the audience, those men supporting the contestants readily agreed with this statement. Victor and Pandalepe were more reticent, but without the support of others, there was little they could do. Eventually they accepted the decision. The rawa was over.

The man making the speech was a Ronge man with an Ongulamuri mother, thus linking him as kinsman to both Victor and Pandalepe, a position of strength based on the fact that his argument may be seen as impartial by all in attendance. This alone is not sufficient to explain why he was successful. Why were his words accepted by the audience and then Pandalepe and Victor at this stage of the event? At first, the description of the protagonists as big men itself seems anomalous. Rawa men seem the antithesis of big men, not so much for the aggressive quality of their actions, but in their irrational use of wealth. There is no doubt that the reference to big men is in part strategy to help persuade the men to stop. Had he called them rubbish men, then this would have further fuelled their anger and frustration. Moreover, as I (Nihill 1994, 1996a, 1999) argue, despite the moral condemnation of human wildness, it also has its attraction for men (see also Clarke 1973:206). The greatest status men can get is to act in w ays that are beyond the emulation of others (Nihill 1988a, 1988b, 1996a, 2000). Rawa is beyond the emulation of nearly all of the community--the Anganen remember only eight men as undertaking it. Despite the negative conditions it generates, the autonomy of rawa men is beyond the vast majority of Anganen men (and all Anganen women) who witness the event or hear of its happening. Rawa men have lasting notoriety and thus, by this stage of rawa when the man intervened, the claim to big man status is not unfounded.

Despite its ambiguity, in the act of 'throwing away' valuable animals, both men endeavour to demonstrate their own moral worth. This is why animals must be slaughtered, and why to claim for the disputants the status of big men prior to or in the early stages of the active phase would be meaningless. It is something about rawa as practice that facilitates intervention, but the question is what?

While the protagonists' actions are intended to maximise opposition through alternating disequilibrium, in doing so they create the possibility that those witnessing the event see equivalence in their actions. With this equivalence comes the potential for reestablishing the baseline for fraternity. This is not only in the material terms of dead animals, but also through the morality, albeit ambivalent, that motivates rawa men to act. Rawa establishes a sense of mutualism through animal slaughter. On the level of Taussig's (1987:366) 'implicit social knowledge', those witnessing the event experience the motivation, meaning, and transformational power of cassowary sacrifice. Following Marilyn Strathern's (1968) account of popoki in Melpa, LeRoy (1979) argues that rawa men seek the sympathy of the community. However, my sense of Anganen rawa men is that they seek respect, and for many in the audience the dominant emotion moves from trepidation to admiration as the event unfolds. Thus the audience witness men dem onstrating their morality through successive animal sacrifices rather than simply claiming it as was the case before the event began.

Clarke's (1973) analogy of wild man behaviour as theatre is appealing, though I cannot endorse his (1973:2 12) argument that this behaviour is 'make believe'. Certainly the licence given to rawa men allows for substantial innovation, but the Anganen take the active phase very seriously indeed. Nonetheless, the theatre analogy is useful, as the audience responds to rawa as a form of practice. This is why rawa must be performed as ultimately it is creative, generating meanings that the audience appreciate and in doing so enabling them to both think of intervention and act in terms of it. These men rightly experience fear and sadness, they observe the irrational use of animal wealth, and they eventually see balanced killings as equalising, that is, they sense an equivalence, the foundation for brotherhood itself. They know the contest must end, and thus consciously wish to intervene when the situation allows it, that is, when the protagonists have killed their animals and show every sign they intend to continue to do so. It is true that one or both could refuse, but this would then render them unambiguously immoral in the community's eyes. Perhaps by now they too see their opponent as of moral worth. Perhaps also the exhausting business of treating heavy animal carcasses in this way may help motivate them to end, irrespective of any cathartic value the killing and insults may have. Furthermore, just as the phrase that a man's 'rawa skywards goes' marks the shift from the conventional, and the verbal insults power rawa's liminality, expressions such as big man and brother help make and mark its end. These words carry great rhetorical weight precisely because they belong to the conventional order, and when the protagonists recognise them then they too have ceased to be the overwhelmed men of rawa, but men of the conventional social order as well. Here is another similarity to ritual: although not formally instituted as discrete social roles, rawa is like a rite of status elevation, as the men who risked themselves and their community are now 'big men'.

Phase IV. Aftermath

The rawa was over with both sides equal. It was in the afternoon, so all agreed to meet the next day. The men began to butcher the animal carcasses early in the morning, while the women and children collected greens and washed the entrails in the river. The men who had provided the pigs and cassowaries killed the previous day reclaimed them. They did their own preparation and invited who they pleased to come and receive meat. Everyone came, including those who were too scared to leave their houses previously. Men, women and children came. The animal owners wanted to make them happy. We gave meat to everyone. Everyone sat down and ate the food they were given. The two rawa men gave each other meat. Everyone was happy the rawa had finished and to be eating good food.

Both LeRoy (1979:15) and MacDonald (1991:192) state that rawa is not a means of setling disputes in Kewa, and in a formal sense this is the case in Anganen too. However, what is interesting about the rawa under consideration here (and this seems the case for the others as well), is that there is no further mention of the initial dispute that precipitated the rawa after it began. The act of rawa has rendered it irrelevant. Victor and Pandalepe now treat each other with respect. Their relationship is now as viable as any between 'brothers'. The re-establishment of the mundane structure of the everyday is also apparent in a number of ways. Conventional notions of ownership, organisational roles, and the true value of meat re-emerge. Those who materially supported a competitor effectively surrendered their wealth so the act of slaughter is synonymous with the protagonist and the desire to reclaim the carcass is obviously strong motivation for the provider to wish the rawa finished. Those who contributed to the j oint purchase of cassowaries should be consulted on the deployment of cassowary meat. What was so intensely associated with the protagonists may no longer be so due to the resumption of conventional ownership, and what was treated as rubbish is now highly valued.

Unlike the emphatic male bias of the active phase, there is now gender complementarity once again. The division of labour is the normal pattern. The offering of meat to those who were not involved is partially understood as compensation for the fear, sadness and possible misfortune the community experienced. The community has been reintegrated into a single moral unity, indeed it is strengthened through rawa, ultimately its final paradox (pace Turner 1969:169).

Rawa is thus the particular Anganen version of a metamorphosis of the cassowaries, from live to dead, from raw to cooked, and from filth to food. Cassowaries are killed, cooked and eaten, the final transformation of rawa, and communion results. Of course, this community is made up of women and children and people in a variety of specific relations, but the amenu, same-sex sibling relation, dominates the standard idiom of alliance and co-identification that the rawa once threatened but now reinforces.

Cassowaries are good to think, or better put, good to think to an extent. In Anganen, rawa borders on the unthinkable, the nightmare world of retrogressive self-destructive men who not only risk themselves, but others, the brother protagonist and the wider community as well. It alludes to fratricide and incest, and to non-gift exchange, things not unthinkable but not good to think all the same. The cassowary is the key symbol of this world of rawa, its obliteration the shift from this world to that of the moral community. This is what I mean by the cassowary as good to think to an extent, as it stands as self-referencing of the excess of which men are capable. As such, there is no need for detailed exegesis on why rawa is a time of danger, as it is as obvious as the irrationality and uncontrollable violence of the cassowary at its centre.


The Anganen say that the Australian Administration forced them to stop staging rawa and this is one reason why they no longer desire cassowaries, preferring cattle instead. While I could find no reference to this prohibition in government reports, the factuality of this statement is of little importance. It may be true as the Administration was highly sensitive to accounts of local unrest, and, in line with Weber's argument, wished to monopolise legitimate violence (e.g.,see Shiltz 1987), even that not directly aimed at human beings. What is most important is that the Anganen remember that this took place, and that the social and cultural guides all memory.

As I (Nihill 1994, 1999) argue, colonialism was disenfranchising for Anganen men, In their terms, Anganen men were rendered 'like women', a situation that largely persists today given that the Anganen see themselves materially disadvantaged in comparison to others such as those living in town or on the coast. While this emasculation has many aspects to it, a key dimension is that they were told that fighting must stop (and perhaps that rawa must end). Indeed, even when they resumed armed hostilities in the early 1980s, this was quashed under threat of incarceration or shooting by the police. Thus, despite the substantial changes since the early to mid 1960s when the Australians 'pacified' the Anganen, their own sense of their disempowerment largely persists. Anganen men are fiercely chauvinistic, with most ready to react if they feel they have been slighted in any way. This may have been direct physical violence or rawa previously, but these are no longer viable options, at least on the scale of warfare or t his competitive exchange. This link of the cassowary to warfare and rawa corresponds with their claim that cassowaries were much more popular in their fathers' and grandfathers' times, times of male violence, times when men were warriors. The absence of cassowaries thus helps mark the undermining of male prowess through colonial control. (13) It is this matter-of-fact claim that cassowaries, like warfare and rawa, are largely a thing of the past that is of importance for producing an Anganen historical consciousness. As such, cassowaries are also good to remember even if what their absence represents is not. Thus be it for the clan fission narratives featuring the cassowary or through the association of the bird with warfare and rawa together with their prohibition, this creature enables the Anganen not simply to have a sense of the problems of masculinity and fraternity, but also a sense of the past in the present.


Arguably the most famous single instance of the cultural significance of an animal is Geertz' argument concerning cockfighting in Bali: 'In identifying with his cock, the Balinese man is identifying...with what he most fears, hates, and ambivalence being what it is, is fascinated by--'The Powers of Darkness' (Geertz 1973:420). The Anganen rawa is similar. It is the articulator of the nightmarish vision of narcissistic, excessive masculinity, blood lust, and, despite the fear and sadness it generates, many witnesses are irresistibly drawn to its spectacle. As Douglas (1990) argues, the human-animal relation in producing meaning is a two-way concern: animals are not only good for thinking about humans, but humans are good for thinking about animals. The Anganen understand what they are capable of through the excess, irrationality, and violent maleness of the cassowary, and understand and remember the cassowary through the link to male actors as warriors and rawa men. The cassowary is good to think, standing for a sense of masculinity and the dangers it may harbour. The cassowary in accounts of clan fission and its centrality in rawa 'speaks' of a violence that is by no means good to think, namely the problems of the most important relations men share, fraternity. As the dominant symbol, the cassowary is good to think because it does not require further explication of why brotherhood may turn out this way. Moreover, following EilbergSchwartz (1990), fundamental metaphors also inspire action and indeed innovation. Anganen men adopt certain positions regarding warfare, its preparation and perhaps associated exchanges by featuring the cassowary, while being able to do and say the almost unimaginable in rawa. The cassowary is also good to remember, even if what it encodes, Anganen male emasculation at the hands of the 'pacifying' colonial presence, is not. The ethnographic cases I consider here, the fission stories and rawa--indeed the very Anganen imagery of the cassowary itself--are based on narrative. I am not concer ned over the historical accuracy of the clan splitting tales, nor whether my reconstruction of rawa is altogether correct. Memory is culturally, socially, and historically constructed as much as practice is. It is this, irrespective of--or perhaps because of--the unpopularity of cassowaries in contemporary Anganen exchange, that makes the cassowary good to think and good to remember.


The ethnography on which this paper is based comes from twenty five months fieldwork research generously funded by The University of Adelaide. I am most appreciative of the assistance of Neil Maclean.


(1.) These fission stories never include women even though, apart from pregnant women, there is no prohibition on their consuming cassowary meat. Pregnant women are excluded as the Anganen think that the undesirable physical characteristics of the bird such as its small head and bug eyes will be transferred to the child.

(2.) Anganen reckoning of land ownership is best illustrated by men being able to extend short term usufruct to outsiders without consultation with their coresidents. Sisters' sons retain residual rights in their matrilocal territory. The descendants of outsiders who have no kin link with their hosts may gain ownership rights by being 'bom to the land', that is, residing in their natal territory. Land ownership is discussed in greater detail in Nihill (1926:71-8).

(3.) Occasionally not sharing marsupial meat is also cause for clan fission. In fact, this makes a strong link to fraternity. The Anganen say that marsupials are the 'pigs of the ancestors' (Nihill 200 la). Just as pigs may substitute for persons in exchange (Nihill 1996a), then this identification symbolically conveys that those that do not share marsupials effectively do not share ancestors and thus are not truly one agnatic group. Cassowaries have no direct spirit association for the Anganen.

(4.) Bulmer's (1967) classic piece also includes the domestic dog as part of the relational triad along with cassowaries and pigs. I will not discuss the dog at any length as it does not feature in exchange.

(5.) Of course pigs may go feral. Large pigs are also seen as dangerous and may require permanent stying. However, unlike cassowaries, this is exceptional. However, large pigs are preferred for slaughter in rawa.

(6.) The Anganen also euphemistically extend the term cassowaries to refer to young men who are difficult to control and may commit immoral acts such as having sex with prostitutes in town or being highly prone to violence, for instance when drunk (see Nihill 1994). Although not the same as wild man behaviour, the Anganen also say that such men are wild through intoxication or sexual desire.

(7.) Sillitoe (1981) also describes the Wola showbez where animals are slaughtered but, unlike Anganen, the meat is slapped and oration is vital for deciding the moral right.

(8.) It may be the significant that Ryan undertook fieldwork soon after the Mendi were brought under Australian colonial control. In Anganen, the Administration also tried to settle warfare hostilities by forcing the party they deemed guilty to give compensation. This was called moga (moka) from Melpa ceremonial exchange as much of their policy for the Southern Highlands was based on earlier experiences further north. The Anganen recall this policy with bemusement, as enemies never gave compensation directly.

(9.) In south Kewa it seems that shell wealth and even trade store produce were also destroyed, see MacDonald 1991:92.

(10.) Although perhaps superfluous, it should be emphasised that I am speaking about a cultural and not a psychological phenomenon, although I would not deny that rawa has particular psychological effects in the form of the excited states of the protagonists and the fear or sadness those witnessing the event may feel. Obviously, even if assisted by others, a protagonist must materially provision the event, and this requires sound economic rationality. Indeed, despite the licence for innovation that the event offers, it is clear the protagonists are following a 'script' and thus, in the framework of rawa itself, their actions are rational. Similarly, the witnesses do so with a degree of anticipation.

(11.) As such, rawa should not be seen as an alternative to 'pacification' in the 1960s, a point further emphasised by the highly individual focus and the stress on brotherhood before, during and after the event. This is different from that argued for the 'cassowary races' described by Reid (1978/9) which only took place after the Australians succeeded in stopping the Mendi engaging in warfare. It may be possible that the Anganen imported the event from an area already under colonial control given that it has only been a practice from the later 1950s if my attempts at historical reconstruction have any accuracy. It may also be the case that rawa has taken on different connotations with colonial domination, a point returned to in the main text.

(12.) The Ongulamuri man resident at the Ronge village of Sek who also hid in his house during the active phase is also ambiguous. However, ambiguity does not necessarily lead to exclusion as evidenced in the man's speech considered below when resolution is discussed.

(13.) Jeff Clark (2000:16-23, 126, 136) links stories of the cassowary to a Wiru sense of history when discussing origin narratives. He argues these expressed Wiru relations with other Highlanders and later with the Australian colonists. What is interesting about these stories is the cassowary primarily stands for the other and not for Wiru. Although I (1994, 1999, 2001b) argue that the Anganen had a similar relation of dependence on outsiders such as Kewa forms of sorcery, ritual and wealth, and then the Australians, the argument Clark puts forward seems to suggest that this is far more intense than the Anganen situation. The cassowary as self in Anganen and other in Wiru may reflect this.


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Title Annotation:New Guinea
Author:Nihill, Michael
Geographic Code:8PAPU
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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