The term Mafulu is the Kuni pronunciation of Mambule, which is the name, as used by themselves, of the people who live in a group of villages within and near the north-westerly corner of the area of the Fuyuge-speaking people, whose Papuan language, so far as ascertained, appears, subject to local dialectal differences, to be the same, and may, I was informed, be regarded as one common language throughout the Fuyuge area.
The Fathers of the Mission have adopted the name Mafulu in a wider sense, as including all the people with whom they have come in contact of the Fuyuge-speaking area; and, though my investigations, which form the subject-matter of this book, have been conducted only in the neighbourhood of Mafulu itself, I was assured that, so far as the Fathers have been able to ascertain, all these Fuyuge people not only have similar languages, but also are substantially similar in physique and in culture. My observations concerning the Mafulu people may therefore, if this statement is correct, be regarded as applying, not only to the inhabitants of the portion of the north-westerly corner of the Fuyuge area in which the Mafulu group of villages is placed, but to those of the whole of the north-westerly portion of the area, and generally in a greater or less degree of accuracy to those of the northerly and north-easterly parts of the area, and possibly the southerly ones also.
The boundaries of this Fuyuge-speaking area can hardly be regarded as definitely ascertained; and the discrepancies, even as regards the courses of the rivers and the positions of the mountains, which appear in the few available maps make it difficult to deal with the question. The area, so far as actually ascertained by the Fathers of the Mission, roughly speaking, covers, and seems to extend also some distance to the south