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Papua New Guinea Women Kill Males Babies to End War

 
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 01:15 pm
Papua New Guinea women kill males babies to end tribal war

Quote:
WOMEN in Papua New Guinea's Highland region are killing their male babies to end a tribal war that has gone on for more than 20 years.

Two women from the Eastern Highlands spoke of the slaughter to PNG's National newspaper during a three-day peace and reconciliation course in the region's capital of Goroka.

Rona Luke and Kipiyona Belas, from two warring tribes, said male infanticide reduced the cyclical payback violence infamous in Highlands tribal fights.

If women stopped producing males, their tribe's stock would go down and this would force the men to end their fight, the women said.

"All the womenfolk agreed to have all babies born killed because they have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them," Ms Luke said.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 3,850 • Replies: 30
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 01:26 pm
Kill people to end wars? We've been doing that for thousands of years, with mixed results.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 01:36 pm
It's somewhat extreme--but whatever works.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 01:39 pm
@Setanta,
Sounds somewhat like the Pitcairn Island scenario, from Nordhoff and Hall. The women killed off the men for the same kind of reason.
Bella Dea
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 01:48 pm
@edgarblythe,
Yeah, why don't they just kill off the MEN, not the babies?
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 02:26 pm
@Bella Dea,
bella wrote :

Quote:
Yeah, why don't they just kill off the MEN


they want to stop war ... they don't intend stopping all fun !
hbg
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 03:14 pm
@Bella Dea,
I'm with Bella on this one.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 03:26 pm
@edgarblythe,
Nordhoff and Hall weren't the most reliable sources, because they were, after all, writing novels. However, it is true that they were hewing close to the record, where a record was available. However, i had thought that the testimony of John Adams, the only survivor of the mutineers and the Tahitian men who had originally settled there in 1790, was that the men were all killed off in the strife which arose there in the 1790s, apart for himself and Ned Young.

I have not read Pitcairn's Island in many, many years--probably 40 years or more, so i will defer to your account. I just don't happen to remember it that way.

As an interesting side note, the Island was named for a midshipman of HMS Swallow, which made landfall there in 1767. The midshipman, Robert Pitcairn, was the son of an officer of the Royal Marines, John Pitcairn. The troops who marched on Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in 1775 were under the command of Lt. Colonel Francis Smith, but he rode with the main body, and the Marines and light infantry went on ahead under the command of Major Pitcairn. Therefore, although the sequence of events is in dispute, Major Pitcairn was in command of the Marines and light infantry who shot down the Americans at Lexington.

John Pitcairn received a mortal wound early in the battle of Bunker Hill just two months later, and was dragged from the field by another son, William, who had him rowed back to Boston, where he died within a few hours.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 03:45 pm
My memory could be faulty. I read the novel in the late 60s or early 70s. Here is a wickepedia account:

On arrival the mutineers made themselves rough leaf-shelters where the village of Adamstown now stands, but the tiny community did not settle down without friction and, indeed, murder. The Tahitians were treated more as slaves than as fellow human beings and their revolt led to the slaying of some of the mutineers and, finally, to their own deaths. By 1794 only Young, Adams, Quintal and McCoy remained of the male settlers, leading households of ten women and children.

I was sure Nordhoff and Hall told it differently, but I am ready to recant.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 03:47 pm
It isn't worth arguing about, EB. I read Nordhoff and Hall at about the same time, probably a few years earlier. I actually read all three novels for the first time in the 1950s, and then re-read them in the 1960s.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 04:01 pm
@Setanta,
I wouldn't argue it, either. But you have made me curious.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 04:40 pm
By the way, a man on HMAV Bounty, James Morrison, Bo'sun's Mate, wrote an account of the voyage and the mutiny, which was very censorious of Lt. William Bligh. It does not, for example, point out that Fletcher Christian has shipped three times with William Bligh on vessels to the West Indies, while Bligh was on half pay without a command. When James Cook was killed in Hawaii, Lt. Bligh, his sailing master, successfully brought Resolution and Discovery back to England; although each ship had its own commanding officer, Bligh was crucial as navigator for the little fleet, since Cook, as on his first two voyages, was sailing in unknown waters, and it required precise navigation to bring the ships safely home in waters for which there were no charts, or only Cook's notes. Bligh showed his superb seamanship again in bringing the loyalists of Bounty more than 3,000 miles in an open boat from the Friendly Islands (a gross misnomer) to the island of Timor in the Dutch East Indies.

After he returned home from Hawaii in 1780, the two captains did him the justice of reporting his excellent navigational skills to the Admiralty, but there was no command immediately offered to him, and being a Lieutenant, rather than a Post Captain, and being without influence, he was not given a command. Any man who commands a vessel, even a Lieutenant or a Midshipman, has the honorary title of Captain. A Post Captain is an officer who has the rank of Captain whether or not he commands a ship, and it is the rank just below Admiral. So Bligh was seven years on the beach on half pay (paying an officer half of his salary kept him "on the books," preserved his seniority, and allowed the Navy to call him back to service if he were needed). Because he was known to be a superb sailor, he was given command of several merchant vessels sailing to the West Indies. In the late 1780s, he did a favor to a local family, and took the "boy" Fletcher Christian along with him on three voyages to learn his trade. Without knowing this, one might assume that Christian was simply a hapless victim of Bligh's cruelty.

Morrison's testimony is disputed by statements made by other members of the crew at the time of the courts marshal, and William Bligh enjoyed a good reputation in the Navy at the time, and was not derided by the public as is so often alleged. Bligh was one of the captains against whom sailors muntinied at the Nore in 1793, but he was not the only one, and careful research of his log books and the Navy's records for the time show that not only was he not an excessive disciplinarian, he actually was far less likely to have men flogged than were other captains. Edward Edwards, who commanded HMS Pandora, which went out to Tahiti to collect the mutineers after Bligh returned to England was by far a crueler, more vicious man, and yet his conduct was not considered unusual at the time. He had a wooden round house constructed on the deck of Pandora to imprison the mutineers when they had been collected (many had not mutinied, and were cleared at the courts marshal), chaining them to the walls of the round house. Inevitably, it was called "Pandora's Box." Edwards' ship foundered on Australia's Great Barrier Reef on the voyage home, and four of the mutineers drowned while still chained in Pandora's Box. All of them would have died, if a midshipman and bo'sun's mate had not defied Edwards and swam back to the sinking ship to release the men in Pandora's Box.

Bligh served with Parker's and Nelson's fleet at Copenhagen (1801), where he was favorably noticed by Lord Nelson. He also served with the fleet before Cadiz at the time of the battle of Trafalgar (1805), although i do not know that he was actually involved in the battle. Lord Nelson thought highly of William Bligh, which is a considerable recommendation, as Nelson was well known to be solicitous of the common seaman's welfare, and without compromising discipline, would investigate complaints of cruelty on the part of Royal Navy officers, if the sailors approached the subject in a non-mutinous manner. It is no exaggeration to say that Nelson was universally loved by the sailors of the Royal Navy, and it is highly unlikely that he would have known an officer for more than 20 years an be deceived about his character.

But Morrison's account was used by a gentleman named John Barrow to write a book about the mutiny in 1831 (the mutiny itself took place in 1789--and given the events of the French Revolution, it was soon driven from the public's mind even after Bligh had returned to England and the courts marshal took place). Barrow seems to have used Morrison's account uncritically, and seems not to have checked any other accounts, even though there is a wealth of information about the voyage and the events leading up to the mutiny. Morrison began keeping a written record (in the testimony of other "loyalists" who survived the open boat journey with Lt. Bligh) soon after the voyage began, and witnesses said he was a malcontent and a troublemaker even before the rest of the crew became discontented. Nordhoff and Hall came across this book by Barrow some time around 1930, about a century after it had appeared. They used this source uncritically, and apparently dismissed accounts which contradicted Morrison. Of course, they were writing novels, and Morrison's account made for a dramatic story.

After the motion picture Mutiny on the Bounty was made with Charles Laughton portraying the cruel and diabolical Bligh, and Clark Gable portraying the noble and long-suffering Christian (according to the Morrison/Nordhoff-Hall account). This was reprised in the 1960s motion picture with Trevor Howard as Bligh, and Marlon Brando as Christian. It was long considered definitive (? ! ? ! ?), even though subsequent reviewers have come to realize it is less accurate than either the 1935 movie or the Nordhoff-Hall books.

Bligh continues to be casually slandered by most authors who take up the offer, and is the victim of character assassination in the accounts in print and online from Pitcairn's Island. The islanders have good reason to portray their white ancestors as victims, and relying upon the information there about Bligh would be a mistake. Personally, i think that many months of living on Tahiti, with little or no work to do, and half naked women everywhere, and always willing, simply left the crew unprepared to return to ordinary Royal Navy discipline. If the Admiralty had not attempted to do the voyage on the cheap, and and sent Bligh out with a Marine guard, it is unlikely that there would have ever been a mutiny.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 06:03 pm
I have long considered Bligh a great seaman, one of the best of all time. I also have never really understood the mutiny sufficiently, except, it seemed everyone should have a piece of the blame.
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 06:29 pm
A few years ago I saw a documentary about life among some tribes in Papua New Guinea.
The documentary stressed the bad treatment and excessive work women suffered, and said that some times women killed their male babies as a get-back on men.
Perhaps "stopping tribal wars" is a new alibi.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 07:17 pm
Now if we can read about this, would we not think that the men in the tribe are also aware of it? And, assuming they would not like it, would there not be some solution?
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 07:27 pm
@Foofie,
I don't get the feeling these guys read a newspaper on a regular basis:

http://www.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,6376834,00.jpg

I also get the impression that the men are away a lot throwing spears at each other and not bothering to check up on the domestic front.

All very sad.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 07:32 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

I don't get the feeling these guys read a newspaper on a regular basis:

http://www.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,6376834,00.jpg

I also get the impression that the men are away a lot throwing spears at each other and not bothering to check up on the domestic front.

All very sad.


It might ultimately show that women can wrest society from the hands of men?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 07:58 pm
Interesting concept; kill the boys before they end up killing. That's a very good way to eliminate their tribe/culture in one generation.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 08:05 pm
@Foofie,
I think studies have proven that women and the formation of families are the civilizing factor in the world. When men are thrown together without women they just throw blunt objects at each other and try to drink themselves to death (check out the founding of Jamestown and the first Australian colony). So maybe these women are on to something. It's just incredible to me that so many women could give birth to a child and then ends it's life. They seem as wacky as the men in their pursuit of violence and death.

In parts of China and India where they have been using abortion to cull out females are now facing the problem of too many men, and it is leading to an increase in violence and general mayhem. They will also have to deal with a wife shortage. Maybe they can go over to New Guinea and pick up a few of the excess women in twenty years.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 08:07 pm
@Green Witch,
one might wonder if these children are conceived of love, or violence and oppression...
 

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