During the day we had a couple of opportunities to chat with one on the guides / staff member at the lodge; he informed us that wages of $1 per hour for a cleaner or a guide is the norm here in PNG. Schooling needs to be paid for by parents and on average mothers have 4 to 5 children. Men have, as long as they are rich, 2-4 wives, in total up to 20 children. Husbands and wifes live apart, they have so called women and men houses. Children live with their mothers up to the age of 7 years and than boys move out to stay with their fathers to learn about a man's life.
At age 18 boys can go to a "Wig School" which lasts 18 month. Wig Schooling can be extended 18 month at a time, and the aim of the school is to teach about the Huli cultural ways but mainly to grow the boy's hair in order to cut it and make a wig out of it with the help of the wig master. Special blessed water is sprayed on the hair at intervals. It cannot be washed nor combed.
|The wigschool teacher|
According to the wig teacher: on the crown and top of the head underneath the mat of the hair it looks like a compost heap and is growing very well provided the man obeys the rules of the wig-school. Some of the men we met were on their 6th wig, saying this is the last and they will return into their village soon to become leaders.
|Sleeping position for wigschool students|
Only 5% of all young males visit Wig School. I guess modern life style takes over, even in Papua New Guinea. In the past, ALL young boys would go to Wig school.
Daughters are sold for 30 pigs to their prospective husbands. The father of the bride will receive x Amount cash, the mother of the bride will receive half of that cash amount and she receives honours because she breastfed her children.