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Analysis of Huli Clan of Papa New Guinea


The third-largest island in the world has admirable biodiversity and unique culture to over seven million people. Papua New Guinea is a permanent home to the Huli clan located in the Hela province and the southern part of the highland. Their culture is built strongly with the corresponding norms and beliefs, and they spend most of their time hunting and conducting agricultural activities. The clan claim that they are all from one descendant known as Huli, and they believe that Huli was the first to prepare and cultivate the land (Eric, 2021). The tribe uses the Ambua (Yellow clay) and Ochre (Red clay) to paint their faces and the lower part of the body, respectively.

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They usually have a norm of men wearing wigs, and they are considered to be the wigmen.The obsession with the wigs can be associated with the initiation rituals performed to boys at the age of 14-15 years, whereby they are sent to attend a session that primarily focuses on teaching these boys their roles in the Huli society (Eric, 2021). During the initiation ceremony, they are expected to nature their hair which will be used at the end of the initiation ceremony. The grown hair is later shaved to make a wig, and this process may continue seven times before a boy is allowed to marry.


Huli people greet each other by shaking hands and immediately ask about the wellbeing of the other party by uttering yuorait, which means how are you. After shaking hands, an individual can hold the hand against the chest to indicate a sign of strong friendship or respect. While addressing the chiefly regarded family, an individual is expected to bow before them (Ibiene, 2021). In the remote areas, the Huli clan sits on the floor while eating, and asking for more food after the two main meals may be considered offensive. In the presence of a mother-in-law, a son-in-law may be restricted in consuming some specific types of food. During a funeral, an individual is strongly prohibited from attending a house cry if not invited. The Huli people refer to a house cry as a period of actual death and the day of burial. Within this short period of a few days or weeks, the Huli people are expected to bring food and pay respect to the affected family.

Family and Marriage

In Huli, people share their income and even their belongings as a sign of being loyal to the tribesmen. In a family where one partner is infertile, a relative can donate a child to this couple, and they are expected to raise the child as their own (Eric, 2021). The aspect of donating a child is accepted to those families that have experienced a loss of a child. An individual who has reached and each of marrying has no control over who to marry. They are expected to marry a girl chosen by their family. Before marriage, one must undergo initiation rituals that prepare an individual for adulthood (Eric, 2021). Immediately, the individual is introduced to a scenario of supervised courtship occasions with a girl who is already predetermined. After a mutual understanding, a bid of bride price is settled by the use of pigs, kina shells, food, or even accepting money. The kinsmen escort the groom and his bride to his new residence, and that is when the marriage process becomes complete.


The Huli tribe has a unique form of religious beliefs in which they believe in the spiritual life of the dinini, dama, and Datagaliwabe. They believe that the dinini form of spirit is responsible for all dreams and usually leaves a person once death occurs ((Main, 2021). The antagonism between the woman and man in the Huli clan is strongly built by the dinini beliefs. The Huli society respects the long-departed ancestors, and they usually consider them the clan spirit (Main, 2021). The tribe considers Datagaliwabe as the high god who lives in the mountains and is in charge of the breach of the tribe’s kinship rules. The tribe does not sacrifice the pigs to the Datagaliwabe since he is omniscient and, therefore, is in charge of the wellbeing of the Huli society.

Work and Economy

The Huli fraternity mainly focuses on hunting, gathering, and conducting agricultural activities. The clan contains outstanding farmers who do not use modern technologies in their farming activities. They most cultivate sweet potatoes, but they are flexible in accepting other crops (Main, 2021). Recently, they have started growing cabbages, potatoes, and corns. However, some tribesmen have adopted a new way of life associated with urban life, and they have started having private business settings all around Papua New Guinea.

Power and System

In the Huli society, their form of social government is not tied to heredity. A chief is selected based on an individual’s aggressiveness in tackling an issue and how the person treats the tribesmen. A man’s influence on the people through the provision of thoughtful decisions and the application of naturally gained skills may land a person into harnessing power (Ibiene 2021). An individual can as well be selected to guide. Gamu and damba bi are occasions that require fees, and therefore, if a chief comes to solve these puzzles, he will be given some form of appreciation and, in this case, multiply his wealth.

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Eric, L. (2021). Exploring the Culture of the Wigmen. Marriage. Web.

Ibiene (2021). The Huli People of Papua New Guinea. Web.

Main, M. (2021). From Donation to Handout: Resource Wealth and Transformations of Leadership in Huli Politics. UNEQUAL LIVES, 335. Web.

Main, M. A. (2021). The Land of Painted Bones: Warfare, Trauma, and History in Papua New Guinea’s Hela Province. In Anthropological Forum (pp. 1-19). Routledge. Web.

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