luluai

Kuanua: ‘luai-ne’.

In some areas, genuinely powerful leaders were chosen to be luluais, but in others, villagers apparently nominated powerless men on purpose. There are also at least two known cases of female luluais, both appointed in the 1950s: Hirihaka'au of Tontiana, Tairora people, EHP, (Pataki-Schweizer 1987) known to patrol staff as ‘our lady luluai’ and to Tairora as nambatu Matato after a famous pre-contact Tairoa fight leader (Watson 1970), and Deimanka Balamb, South Wahgi people, WHP.

Etymology: Kuanua, ‘chief’, from luai-ne ‘first’; see Tryon (1995, part 4, pp. 78-79, 536-537).

See original Mihalic entry.

Lower Waria luluais at Bubu village, Annual Report for New Guinea 1924-25

Noun forms

  1. Government: government appointed village head man during colonial times, typically an older man who was a prominent village elder. tultul, waitpus


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