The belief in witchcraft holds a significant place in the cultural fabric of many communities in Papua New Guinea. When an important or young person dies under mysterious circumstances, the relatives and tribesmen often seek answers and justice.
Tribal Fighting in Papua New Guinea: Unveiling the Causes and Seeking Peace
Tribal fighting has long been a common occurrence in the Highlands regions of Papua New Guinea, often stemming from various reasons deeply rooted in tradition and belief systems.
In this article, we will explore some of the major causes of tribal conflicts, shedding light on the disputes over land, witchcraft-related suspicions, and issues concerning women and girls.
Additionally, we will delve into the movie ‘Ples i Bagarap,’ which portrays a true story of tribal fighting and the pursuit of peace in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.
Causes of Tribal Fighting in Papua New Guinea
One of the primary triggers of tribal conflicts in Papua New Guinea is disputes over land.
Different tribes lay claim to specific territories, often leading to clashes when boundaries are contested or encroached upon.
In the pursuit of power and resources, tribes may engage in battles to assert their ownership, resulting in violence and long-standing feuds.
The belief in witchcraft holds a significant place in the cultural fabric of many communities in Papua New Guinea.
When an important or young person dies under mysterious circumstances, the relatives and tribesmen often seek answers and justice.
In such cases, individuals with supposed supernatural powers are brought in to identify the cause of death, with the relatives of the deceased paying a high price for their services.
Unfortunately, these practitioners may exploit the situation, falsely accusing innocent individuals of causing the death. Such false accusations can escalate into violence and ignite tribal conflicts.
The Movie ‘Ples i Bagarap’ is an explicit example of tribal fight relating to witchcraft suspicions.
Women as Precious Commodities
In certain parts of the highlands, women and girls are highly valued by their brothers and tribesmen.
If a woman is subjected to abuse, such as physical violence resulting in bruises, cuts, or broken bones, her male relatives often retaliate on her behalf.
This retaliation can spiral into tribal fighting as the act of defending the honor and well-being of women becomes intertwined with larger conflicts between tribes.
The Movie ‘Ples i Bagarap’– A Tale of Tribal Fighting and Peace Making
The movie ‘Ples i Bagarap’ provides a compelling narrative centered around tribal fighting and the journey towards peace among the Kamano and Kafe people of Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.
Based on a true story, the film reveals how a misunderstanding and a tragic death triggered a violent conflict.
In the story, a businessman in the community passes away, and his death is wrongly attributed to poisoning by another tribesman following an argument over their respective land boundaries.
In reality, the deceased had succumbed to cancer. Desperate for answers and justice, the tribesman and relatives of the deceased hire a supposed magician, paying a significant sum of money to uncover the truth.
The magician, motivated by personal gain, fabricates stories and falsely accuses the man who had argued with the deceased over land as the culprit.
These lies manipulate the emotions and beliefs of the people, ultimately leading to acts of violence and the eruption of tribal fighting.
The film serves as an educational tool, shedding light on the destructive consequences of misinformation and the dangers of blind faith in supernatural powers.
It encourages viewers, particularly those residing in the highlands regions of Papua New Guinea, to watch and learn from the story’s lessons.
Tribal fighting in the Highlands regions of Papua New Guinea arises from a complex interplay of factors deeply ingrained in cultural traditions.
Disputes over land, suspicions of witchcraft, and the protection of women are among the major causes that often escalate into violent conflicts.
However, the movie ‘Ples i Bagarap’ provides a valuable opportunity for reflection, highlighting the consequences of misinformation and manipulation in tribal societies.
Share the movie to educate the local out in the rural communities of the highlands regions of Papua New Guinea.