The Mafulu eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The Mafulu.
down to the ground, with a fireplace about 2 feet wide extending down the centre of the building from one end to the other, and having an inclined floor on each side, and especially to the curious apse-like roof projections in front of these houses (Dr. Haddon calls them “pent roofs” [17]), Sir William’s figure of which is, like that of the Chirima villages, identical, or nearly so, with that of a Mafulu house.  But Sir William’s description of the physique of these Mt.  Scratchley people and other matters make it clear, I think, that they belong to a type different from that of the Mafulu, though they must be next door neighbours of the Fuyuge-speaking people.  Dr. Seligmann, in commenting upon this description of these people, expresses the opinion that they are Papuo-Melanesians. [18]

The natives in the region of Mt.  Musgrave and Mt.  Knutsford, as described by Mr. Thomson, [19] appear, at all events so far as dress is concerned, to be utterly different from the Mafulu.

Dr. Seligmann states that Dr. Strong has informed him that the southern boundary of the Fuyuge-speaking area is the Kabadi country, [20] and he had previously referred to Korona, immediately behind the Kabadi and Doura districts, as being within the area, [21] and, indeed, the Geographical Society’s map shows the Fuyuge area as at all events extending as far south as Korona.  I do not know how far inland the Kabadi and Doura people extend; but I may say that the Mafulu Fathers expressed grave doubt as to the extension of the Fuyuge area so far south as is indicated by the map.

If the Fuyuge area does in fact reach the Kabadi boundary, and if my notes on the Mafulu people are, as suggested, broadly descriptive of the natives of the whole Fuyuge area, there must be a very sudden and sharp differentiation, as the Kabadi people are apparently an offshoot from Mekeo, [22] with apparently other Papuo-Melanesian blood (especially Roro) introduced. [23]

The contour and appearance of the country in the actual Mafulu district of the Fuyuge area is strikingly different from that of the immediately adjoining Kuni country, the sharp steep ridges and narrow deep-cut valleys of the latter, with their thick unbroken covering of almost impenetrable forest, changing to higher mountain ranges with lateral ridges among them, and with frequent gentle undulating slopes and wider and more open valleys; while, interspersed with the forests, are small patches and great stretches of grass land, sometimes thinly covered or scattered with timber and sometimes quite open and devoid of trees. [24] And this condition continues, I was told, over the greater part of the triangular area above referred to.

Plates 1 and 2 give, I think, a fair illustration of what I mean, the steep contours and thickly wooded character of the foreground and nearer middle distance shown by Plate 1 being typical Kuni scenery, and the more open nature of the country displayed by Plate 2 and the comparative freedom from forest of its foreground being typical of the higher uplands of Mafulu. [25]

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The Mafulu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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