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Trobriand Islands: History and Culture

Trobriand Islands are located closely to the coast of Eastern New Guinea, and people living there have unique traditions different from other nations. Over the years, the Islands were influenced by neighboring countries, and, according to the Trobriand Cultural sketch, they only received independence in 1975. The population’s lifestyle includes fishing, gathering, and doing other manual labor. People on the islands wake up early to finish their daily routines by the evening. The work of men and women is often separated, and, in this point, it might be compared to my society.

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Villages on the Trobriand islands have approximately the same daily tasks, which completely differs from my society. After breakfast, “women gather water as men sit on the front porch, chewing betel, a nut that has roughly the same stimulant activity as coffee” (251). Children usually play outside early in the morning while adults are getting ready for the day’s gathering. Everybody is busy during the day, and in the mid-afternoon, villages become alive again. Teenagers usually take part in dancing and singing in the centers of villages, and they usually have fun. Families on the Trobriand islands are supportive and always ready to help each other. Such values are closely related to the family formation in my society. Full-fledged relatives often divide responsibilities and try to work in a team.

“Evening is a time to visit and gossip, work at crafts, chew betel, and relax” (252). The local population believes that it is dangerous to stay outside at night, so all citizens are asleep by midnight. Such lifestyle differs from the one people have in my society as we are always in a hurry and might change routines every day to decrease the number of monotonous works. The society I live in is fast-changing, and people are trying to follow all modern trends to be successful in life. An intense flow of people in huge cities does not stop even at night.

The main occupation that people on the islands are engaged in is gathering edible fruit and caring for the family members. The Trobriand Islands are far from our society in regard to the diversity of affairs. However, its population still has the same family values as we do, and it helps indigenous people of the island exist and pass on their traditions to children. Women are working to increase the islands’ economy by creating skirts and bundles from banana leaves. “They [women] inherit trees from their mothers and sisters, and often men plant banana trees for their wives, expressly to create their wives’ wealth. Men are depended upon such wealth” (262).

The creation of these skirts and bundles helps women to become a vulnerable part of the community. A strong desire to develop new skills is common to my society, and people work hard to receive a better position in the community.

Being responsible matters on the Trobriand Islands, and people there take their work seriously. Other civilization had a great influence on the islands and tourism began to develop. Indigenous people supported this idea and managed to build a good place for foreigners (Alexeyeff, 2016). Preservation of traditions is one of the main tasks of the population, and the adherence to all traditional orders attracts tourists and improves the lives of local people.

Reference

Alexeyeff, K. (2016). Touring Pacific Cultures. ANU Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 30). Trobriand Islands: History and Culture. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/trobriand-islands-history-and-culture/

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