PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     29th April 2024        

Context: Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister recently criticized United States President for suggesting that his uncle was consumed by cannibals in New Guinea during World War II.

Papua New Guinea

  • About: In the southwestern Pacific, encompasses the eastern half of New Guinea and its offshore islands.
  • Capital: Port Moresby                                                              
  • Bordering country: It shares its only land border with Indonesia to the west and it is directly adjacent to Australia to the south and the Solomon Islands to the east.
  • Terrain: The terrain is predominantly mountainous, but there are low-lying plains in southern New Guinea.
  • Torres Strait: It is also known as Zenadh Kes, is a strait between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea.
  • Economy: Copper and gold are the main mineral resources of the island.

Korowai Tribe

  • About: It resides in the Indonesian province of Papua on the western side of the island, with a population ranging from 2,000 to 4,000.
  • Treehouses: Their notable feature is the construction of remarkable treehouses, which are significant aspects of their culture and lifestyle.
  • Limited Commodities: The Korowai have minimal possession of modern commodities like cotton clothing, contributing to their distinctiveness from Western culture.
  • Practice of Cannibalism: Historically, the Korowai gained global attention due to allegations of cannibalistic practices, although the extent of this practice remains debated among anthropologists.
  • Perception and Stereotypes: Anthropologist noted that aspects like their treehouses and alleged cannibalism often reinforce Western stereotypes of "primitive" societies.

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