Mulia Dani [Muliya r. is a tributary (east of the Ilaga r., also a tributary) confluent into the Yamo (Rouffaer) r.]

{with the name of the /MULIA Dani/ cf. the name of the goddess /MULIA Satene/ in the Seram myth compared with (JD) praehistoric Jomon deliberately broken idols of a goddess}

JD = "Jomon Dogu"







"sun" [pp. 59-60 o "this visible universe" + p. 60 enegen "eye"]



sun’s heat, sunlight






"the power inherent in a fetish, amulet, or other sacred object ... due to the influence or presence of supernatural power granted by beneficent spirits."



"head men who organize and direct the ceremonial cycle of feasts and prestations."


kugi eekak

"shamans" [p. 77 kugi "spirit" + eekak "doer"]



practitioner of magic (iyaa "amazing" + kelo "old person")



"sacred objects" (kugi "spirit" + owak "bones", "framework")

p. 62 "the concept of mana throughout the Pacific would be more accurately translated by such terms as "potency," "effective," and "efficacy," which are terms pertinent to spirit beings and their activity".

pp. 26-29 alom wone ‘myth’ (alom ‘origin’ + wone ‘story’)




"All accounts of Dani origins tell of their coming out of the earth through a hole in the ground ... . The Mulia Dani call the location Perawe or Pirime. {cf. [Latin] mundus, [Hopi] sipapu; /PERaWe/ may be cognate with the country-name /PERU/} ... the people climbed up the roots of trees that hung down into the underworld to reach the surface of the earth. {similar to the Maori legend of climbing up tree-roots in the rescue of a dead woman from the netherworld} ... the people came up to the surface as they were fleeing from a spirit by the name of Yalimbi who is one of the most hostile of the Liimbu spirits. {with /LIIMBu/ cf. Latin /LIMBo/} When man made his entry onto the surface of the land he brought both pigs and dogs ... . The dog in turn brought seeds for cucumbers and a type of squash in his ears. At the time of the first appearance of man on the earth, the land was flat ... .


A supernatural being by the name of Mbok {cf. city-name /MaBUQ/ (baMBUKe) in Syria} went about forming the land into its present shape, making the valleys and the rivers. As he shaped the earth he travelled west and passed out of the highlands."


"the Ilaga Valley Dani speak of the Mbok as being a class of beings." According to the Ilaga Dani, these Mbok were involved "in a controversy with the Tile beings (a category of evil spirits) over the control of the highlands, so rather than fight, the Mbok withdrew to the coast leaving the Tile behind".


"The Liimbu spirits ... are dwarfish people who wanted to emerge from the hole in the earth ... . But the humans ... drove them back down the hole. The Liimbu have since found a way to the surface, by coming up through lakes and swampy depressions in the earth. Such places are now their habitat ... . ... this story has them approaching the Dani with a bloody arm". {[Wemale of Seram] The goddess of the dead, Satene, transformed people into "many ghosts who live on earth" (H&HR) by striking (HI, p. 56) them with the severed arms of the tree-goddess Hainuwele.}


"When Tinok and Tanok first took wives they spent a frustrating night unsucessfully trying to have sex with them. ... So, they exchanged sisters and their marriages were successfully consummated."


"At a place called Wunikilume a woman accidentally burned down a house causing all the (evil) spirits, which had been confined in the house, to scatter to every valley in the highlands. {cf. Pandora’s box}


"in the Ilaga Valley myths ..., sweet potatoes first grew from the heart of a man murdered by Tinok and Tanok, and taro originated when a second murder was committed. Likewise pandanus came into being as the result of the murder of individuals".


"The story of the race between the bird (a black and white wren) and the snake (a tree python) ... . ... The snake, who knew the secret of immortality, as evidenced by its ability to shed its skin every year, lost the race. Because the wren won, and because birds die, death was bequeathed to men, who now die."

H&HR = Karl Luckert : "Hainuwele and Headhunting Reconsidered"

HI = R. Downs : "Head-hunting in Indonesia". BIJDRAGEN TOT DE TAAL-, LAND- EN VOLKENKUNDE 111 (1955), no: 1, Leiden, pp. 40-70.

pp. 31-32 explanations about physical phainomena




"On days when it drizzles, the Dani says that the sky women (pi`logoma-pe`logoma) are urinating ... .


The Dani interpret rainbows (o mbilu nagake) as a sign of the flow of blood which can be ... during a time of illness ... an omen that a particular female spirit has been offended and needs to be appeased. The men in the village then sacrifice a pig to shis spirit whose name is Kugi Kwenoma.


Thunder (o ngguruba ari) and lightening (kumbik) are thought to be the noise and activity of the sky people ... .


The Dani believe that the earth rests on a huge pig. When this pig moves or scratches himself then the earth quakes. ...


If the shooting star comes straight down they believe it is an omen of bad fortune. If it travels horizontally, they believe it is the spirit Yimogi, travelling to the village of their enemies to stir them up to war.


... They believe the sun is a female who ... makes an annual trip across the horizon travelling {between solstices} from her house on ... the mountain, to the other side of the valley, and then back again. ...

The moon is male and climbs into the sky ahead of his wife. He has sex with female human beings and causes their monthly menses. {likewise in Hindu belief}


... in the Kwiyawagi region at the upper reaches of the Baliem River there is usually heavy periodic flooding ... caused by the limited number of outlets through which the water leaves this plateau as it flows through underground limestone caves. ... The Dani conceptualize this by saying that under the earth there is an earth woman who pulls her legs together so that the water can not flow into her (vagina), causing the water to back up."

pp. 46-48 nature of spirits




"The kugi (spirit) life forms ... are those who are immortal (or nearly so) and not bound by the normal limitations of the physical universe. If a life form is identified as a kugi (spirit) life form the Mulia Dani will seek to establish a proper relationship with it through appropriate ritual behavior".


"As such, if a Dani man unexpectedly meets his wife on the trail, or in a lonely place where they agree to have sex together, he makes it a point of reaffirming their assignation, later in the safety of the village. If his wife denies their meeting, then the man knows he has had sex with a female spirit (kwe wa`nake) impersonating his wife."

pp. 49-50 ghosts of the dead




"At the time of death the host of the recently deceased remains near its own village, sensing no great urgency to leave. It witnesses the cremation of its body and feels a sense of elation and satisfaction at the activities of the mourners ... . ... In the days and weeks following a death the living members of the community continue to sense the presence of a ghost and sometimes even see it in the evening hours around dusk. Members of the community may also call upon these ghosts to reveal the unknown during divination ceremonies."


"With the passage of time these ogoma (ghosts) of the recent dead ... take their place among the ancestors as a kugi (spirit) exerting an influence upon the lives of the living. ...

Some ghosts return to the region of their clan origins in the North Baliem,

others may take up residence in their old men’s house, or

in the case of a prominent leader they may take up residence in a sacred fenced enclosure known as a kelonggon."

pp. 50-52 guardian spirits


category of spirits


"There are two distinct categories of guardian spirits ... . There are the personal guardian spirits known as the amulok spirits and there are the clan-specific guardian spirits known as the kimbi spirits. These guardian spirits ... are primarily oriented toward the protection of ... male members. When female members of the lineage require assistance, they generally appeal to their female ancestors ... . ... The term amulok {cf. the name /AMULeK/ in the Book of Alma} designates a person’s navel, or the umbilical cord, hence the appropriate designation of these amulok spirits as either "birth spirits" ..., or as umbilical spirits."


"enggikunduk means "the meeting of the hands." ... every individual has a counterpart whom he sees as a reflection in the water (more lately in a mirror), and upon the ground as a shadow, so that by reaching out an individual can touch this spirit counterpart as it reaches out to touch back (hence the meeting of the hands)."


"amberabaga means "on the forearm" deriving from the fact that as a personal spirit, the amulok spirits aid and assist an individual by giving strength, dexterity, and sureness in everything they set their hand to."


""the kimbi spirits ... function to ensure the well-being of the clan by protecting and blessing its members. ... The secret names of some of these clan spirits continue to be held as secrets by the Dani".


"three male-female combinations of spirit beings ... function under the designation of iringget spirits. The term iringget [is] from the verb [which] means "to give." The iringget spirits work on one’s allies and trading partners making them more generous during times of ceremonial reciprocity."


the 3 "male-female spirits" ("affix -kwe ... woman ... when attached to a name becomes the feminine") :-



meaning of name



"nggigingge meaning "to pull out" or to draw out,"" scil. "generosity out of one’s economic partners."



"wilted, ... making one’s economic partners feel remorse about acting ungenerously"



"the cricket ... whose sounds become a warning of eminent reprisals from ... failure in generosity"

p. 52 nature-spirits




wanggu spirits

forest spirits

"attacking humans who enter their territory without bringing any offerings."

weya spirits

tree kangaroo

"they send lightning storms"


"woman who laps (water)" [ambe ‘mouth’, laba ‘to lap’]

"controls flooding in the North Baliem ... by drinking the river. ... an underground female spirit who drinks the water of the Baliem as it flows out of of the Kwiyawagi plateau through sink holes and underground channels."

p. 53 remote beneficent life forms




[according to the Ilaga Dani] "is occupied with overseeing the aap endak spirits of the high mountain forests."


"shaped the mountains and the valleys ... . He must have been ... of immense size, judging by the imprint of his footsteps which .., can be traced in the rocks where he stepped. ... Having shaped the land into its present form, Mbok disappeared into the flat lands to the north {but "west" according to p. 27} of the mountain ranges."

pp. 54-57 Tile = a broad category of spirits, consisting of 4 distinct sub-categories of spirits that fall into 7 separate classes




their nature


forest spirits

aap endak "exactly like men"

"These male spirits ... assert their maleness by seducing women who travel alone in the forest". [p. 69, n. 3:3 (Ilaga Dani) "the male spirits (aap endak) ... are said to lay out the skulls of their victims in a row near their evergreen forest home."]


kwe wa`nakwe "women who kill us"

"these female spirits seduce men by appearing before them in lonely or isolated spots looking exactly like their spouses or girlfriends."


swamp spirits


"if a man has intercourse with a woman on the ground, a liimbu spirit may ... snatch up any semen they might leave behind in order to cause the woman ... to miscarry."



"they strike so quickly and viciously that the human victim takes ill suddenly and dies to quickly for a pig sacrifice to be made." [p. 115 "the pig cannot be eaten, but must be totally burned in a fire."]


"sorcery spirits"


"cryptocannibalism, in which the sorcerer first eats the soul of a victim, and then reputedly his flesh after the corpse" is available : the "practitioner has the power to leave his or her own body and to travel as a bird or fruit bat, to the location of the victim" and there "consumes the soul of the victim".


ninggirak (magagirak, koyan, mum)

"involves the symbolic poisoning of a victim. ... spirits are activated by a practitioner who prepared a magical potion which (s)he then feeds to a pig".


"familiar spirits"

no-gugwi "spirits we own"

no ‘owned’ + kugwi ‘spirits’, invoked by "a spirit specialist (kugi eekak)", who "may act to perform curing rites for clan members who become ill".

pp. 57-58 classes of no-gugwi spirits


family of spirits

spirit : __ kugi

its effect


animal species of spirits

Wilu ‘Frog’

cold hands and feet


Tiyu ‘Owl’

raspy, sore throats : "can be directed at someone ... who is causing ill will in the community."


Woret ‘Lizard’

swelling of the joints


Piinggen ‘Louse’

itching of skin and of scalp : "is often sent to afflict someone who has been raiding someone else’s pandanus grove."


Kurayum ‘Marsupial’

rashes on buttocks


ogot ‘form’ spirits





swelling of the abdomen



loss of feeling in hands and in feet


other spirits


(spoken of with awe) causing death



earaches : "can be sent to afflict someone who insists upon closing his hear to the advice and directions of the members of his community."

p. 59 remote malevolent spirit life forms


their nature


"Travelers returning from another area, or even returning from a hunting trip into the uninhabited forest areas, close the trail they take to any spirit following them by placing a kugi kali pige or "spirit restrainer" on the trail. These consist of bound clumps of grass, or grass wreaths on sticks, and once in place a spirit cannot go beyond or around them."


(not worshipped by adults) "bogey men" against whom children are warned. [p. 33 "Children ... play a kind of keep away with one of their number acting the part of Mbanunggwok coming to eat them."]

p. 60 remote beneficent non-spirit life forms

"the sun as a female who rises each morning in the east, where she climbs a tree to begin her journey across the underside of the sky, returning to the earth at the end of each day by climbing down another tree. [p. 69, n. 3:7 "The tree by which the sun returns to earth was described ... as a kilu tree, which is one of the larger, more majestic hardwood trees in the area."] During the night she returns to her home in the east by following a secret underground path."

"the Mulia Dani ... refer to its southern-most place of rising {the January solstitial rising} as its home, and ... "climbing up on the hip (of the mountain)," which is the Dani term for the northern-most extremity in the sun’s journey {the June solstice}."

"the moon ... as the husband of the sun. He is also believed to cause women’s menses by having sex with them."

p. 61 remote malevolent non-spirit life forms

"the kumbuloma-abeloma ... are a race of little people who, according to Dani mythology, used to live on earth ..., but instead of planting food for themselves stole it ... . The Dani ... decide[d] to put a stop to this thievery and drove the kumbuloma-abeloma out ... . In fleeing from the Dani, the kumbuloma-abeloma climbed up into the sky where they now live, and where they have finally learned to make their own gardens. This, the Dani believe, accounts for the changing cloud formations. ... on rainy misty days (known as ti`nake) ... the women in the sky (the yiliyawaliya) are urinating."

p. 80 transmission of sorcery-power by means of projections of the subtle body

"one of the pigs was killed and the entire digestive system from the tongue to the anus was stripped out of the pig. [p. 156 "the intestines of a pig" are eaten by male and female committing adultery with an in-law relation, for caerimonial purification] This the practitioner took and climbed to the very top of the tree where he then proceeded to leap from limb to limb ..., dropping pieces of neat to [his disciple] at the bottom, who ... went wild running back and forth devouring the neat being dropped to him from above. [The disciple, in speaking to the interviewer,] admitted ... that sometime in this ceremony he lost the sense of whether he was in his body or out of it. He concluded that a supernatural force had taken over, enabling the man to spring from branch to branch without those branches breaking, or without him falling. ... the practitioner then come down from the tree and with a flip of his hand, flung [the disciple] to the very top of the tree ... . Then, at the command of the practitioner, he ran from limb to limb of that tree flitting from one branch to the other ..., after which he was ordered to return to the ground."

pp. 111-113 sacred objects used for protection and for good fortune


sacred object for blessing


"In order to keep unwanted spirits out of a territory, or to keep them from following travellers as they arrive at their destinations, the Dani make a circle of grass or vines and place then on a stick or branch on the path. Such signs are known as kugi kuli pege or literally "Spirit up to this point and no further I’ve put." ... necklaces ... can function as a spirit restrainer known as nggiru. A young girl may wear a piece of aromatic cinnamon (nggami) tied to a necklance at her throat because ... such an aroma is also known to ward off hostile liimbu spirits. Likewise, Dani arms bands (tinngen) are worn ... to hold pig tails and penises which they believe to have supernatural influences."

"Another common practice for inducing a spirit to leave someone who is sick is to tie a vine around that person’s ankle, sometimes with a cowrie shell attached, as a form of spirit restrainer."


"The most important talismans that function for the well-beings of the entire community are the ancestral stones that are stored in the sacred closet of every men’s house. ... There are two such stones in every collection known as kugi agabo, and often a third stone which is called ye pibit."


"Dani men regularly wear arm bands attached to their arms above the elbow and tow which they attach pig penises, or the penises of marsupials they have hunted (pagi uwanggen)."

pp. 113-114 sacred objects used for cursing


sacred object for cursing


"In one such curse an unfaithful wife can be infected with an illness by catching a frog, naming it for the woman involved, and then striking or killing the frog. Likewise a woman can be cursed into a miscarriage by placing a stick into a gourd of water and then placing the gourd in the sun causing the water to evaporate leaving the stick to dry out." "Alternatively, ... paraphernaila used in ninggirak is known as kwe aan, or "women’s feces." This may refer ... to something that has been taken from the victim and fed to a pig." {Swine are willing to devour faeces as swill.}


"the magical poison used by sorceresses is ... a supernaturally charged substance that can be easily mixed with the victim’s food. This may be in the form of limestone, ground up and sprinkled on the victim’s food like salt, or the stem of a weed that has been walked on by a spider". {cf. the use of spiders (tarantulas) in magical killing by the S^uar of Ecuador.}

pp. 117-118, 120 sacred places, the rendezvous of spirits


sacred place


"In the course of a twenty-four hour day, the most vulnerable times are in the early morning hours, and during the late afternoons when the meleemu spirits are the most active."


description (quoted from GVD, p. 260) of the interior of Dani homes in the Grand Valley (Dugum) : "The antechamber is called ... the mogat ai (ghost house), ... considered to be a place for the ghosts to sit when they come on a visit to the compound seeking food. The idea is that if the ghosts can have this place to sit, they will not find it necessary to actually enter the men’s house and perhaps cause trouble. ... The four center posts of the men’s house ... are decorated with ... pig tails, cocoons, ... or spider web ... . ... In some men’s houses there is a layer of ashes, a hearth, under the grass of the sleeping loft. This hearth is just above the hearth in the lower room, and is called mogat wuligan, ghost hearth. It is for the convenience of ghosts who visit the house at night."


"The Mulia Dani ... have a resting place for a sickness-inducing spirit known as kureyum. To accomodate this spirit, while at the same time keeping him out of their homes, the Mulia Dani designate a sheltered place under the eaves of the roof where the kureyum spirits can find shelter and where the Dani can leave an offering of food to induce them to stay there. This kureyum resting place is located midway between the double entrances into the men’s house, and on the downhill side of the house. This places it exactly opposite of the sacred closet where the Dani store their ancestral stones. The sacred closet on the high side of the men’s house is called ndogwi. ... In addition to these sacred locations ..., behind every men’s house there used to be a sacred yard (magome) which was a small


fenced enclosure. There the ashes of deceased kinsmen ... could be safely displayed."


"When Dani shaman[s] need to commune with the spirits ... they often go off ... to certain groves where they sense the presence of the spirits. Important for such functions are groves of tin trees known as tin alome."


Mulia Dani memorial sites :



its location


"The footprints of the spirit Mbok

that is etched in stone in the Tiom region of the North Baliem Valley."


"The cave of their origins

east of Wamena."


The skeleton of a female ...

that lies just off of the beaten trail between Wamena and Kwiyawagi."

GVD = Karl G. Heider : Grand Valley Dani. NY : Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1979.

pp. 150-151 shamanic dealings with spirits for the sick and for the dying


spirits for the sick and for the dying


"the soul of a sick person is vulnerable to ghostly attack and must be protected. If such a person has to be transported anywhere, friends travel with those who are carrying the ill person and shoot arrows into plant bolls growing on trees alongside the trail in order to keep the spirits at a distance." [p. 113 "he may shoot an arrow into a fern cluster or plant boll growing on a tree, and as he shoots the arrow into the boll, calls down a curse".]


"the soft spot in a person’s head {the fontanelle, still without bone-covering in newly-born infants} is the door for the soul to leave the body, so they place a poultice there by tying it in place with a vine wrapped around the head and jaw. This poultice typically consists of a mixture of ... pig fat, and potato leaves. In ... the person goes into a ... coma, his family many try to recapture his departing soul by sacrificing three pigs. When these have been cooked and eaten, the participants are endowed with the special ability to see the soul. They then go looking for it, and if they find it, will request it to rejoin its body. If they succeed, the person gets well. ... If a person is sick and dying, relatives may be required to sacrifice up to three pigs ... .

The first of these is dedicated to the aap endak spirits of the high forest.

The second to the liimbu spirits of the low places, and

the third to the nogugwi (familiar spirits)."


"In another healing ceremony directed to the spirit Eenamulok, the shaman strips the bark from the branch of a reddish tree (mangga), and as he points the branch in the direction of the spirit’s residence calls out".

pp. 153-155 peace-making caerimonies




"The first of these ceremonies ... is called the tuwe warak tumbukwi or "dead bird’s distribution." In this ceremony the families ... present one pig for each ..., along with the feathered head piece worn ... . ...

The second ceremony, called the wim anep yakwi, ... is held ... [to] sponsor a fest in which between 75 and 100 pigs are killed and the meat distributed to all those who suffered from ... wounds. ...


The climax to these prestations ... is the ye-wam (axe-pig) ceremony. At this ceremony the leaders ... make restitution ... [through] the payment of 50-60 pigs, 25-30 shell bands, and 10-12 stone axes for each ... . ... To assure the fullest measure of satisfaction by all participants in a ye-wam ceremony,... during the time that sponsors of a ye-wam are collecting wealth items from their own confederates, they appeal to two spirits, Nggiginik and Nggiginikwe, to make the people generous and willing to contribute to this ye-wam. Then, at the time of the distribution, the sponsors of the ye-wam sacrifice a small pig to one of their amulok (guardian) spirits in order to be assured that no one will be forgotten in the distribution".


"In further promoting peace, ... leaders gather at the boundaries of their territories to conduct a ritualized peace feast. ... leaders must first perform a ritual known as the nggami wakwi. This involves taking the branch of a ndoki tree and splitting it down the middle, so as to form an inverted V shaped arch. The ... leaders step up to the arch and face their opponents on the other side of the arch. Both men begin to chew on a bitter portion of bark from a cinnamon tree (i nggami), which they spit on each other. ... After them, all their followers repeat the same practice, spitting upon one another". "As allies once again, ... families encourage the marriage of their daughters to one another as "peace brides" between the ... factions."

pp. 155-156 rituals for protection and relief


Mulia Dani ritual



"If ... a party of hunter is caught out on the mountains during a lightning storm and one or more of them dies (... from the lightning ...), then the Dani make a sacrifice to the aap-endak spirits who they believe cause this kind of death and who must be offended.

Likewise, if a woman drowns in the river (either accidentally or due to suicide), and shortly thereafter someone else, say a baby or child, is washed away by a swiftly flowing river, then the Dani make a pig offering to the liimbu spirits (spirits of ... watery environments), who they believe must be offended and in need of being placated."

{in Siberia, a person who dieth from being struck by lightning is believed to be blessed by the lightning-deities}


If (instead of incest) fornication "involves non-blood relatives (such as sister[in-law]/brother-in-law), or someone from their same moiety, then the offenders can be ritually purified, and the spirits satisfied. This is accomplished by making both the man and woman stand on a frame constructed from a ndoli tree. ... The guilty parties are then purified by passing a lighted torch between their legs, singeing off their pubic hair, after which they can eat, but only from the intestines of pig. Part of the pig fat is offered to the Tile spirits to placate their anger".

[p. 163, n. 6:7 "in the Ilaga Valley ... community purification ceremony called "splitting the bows" (yigin nggaganggwi) in order to fee its members of the contamination of possible moiety incest which, if left unresolved, outrages the ancestors ... requires men and women known, or thought, to be guilty of this ... to stand on a pole structure while shamans put portions of sacred, roasted pig intestines into their mouths ... . This is also followed by a ritual purification in which flaming reed torches are passed between their legs to singe their pubic hair".]


"A failure to honor the ancestors by greasing the memorial stones is known as melok-malok eeka`lek and causes the stones to lose ... the assistance of the ancestors for the well-being of the community."

{"And Ya<qob ... took the stone that he had put under his head, ... and poured oil upon the top of it." (B-Re>s^it 28:18)}


"If ... famine or sickness {epidemic} comes upon the Mulia Dani, the shamans perform a ceremony directed to the spirit Agengga. This ceremony lasts for approximately six days.

{cf. the "six days" (GM 84.b) for Agamedes and Trophonios} {A sheep was sacrificed to Agamedes (GM 51.i); cf. the Kemian sheep-god having human arms}


Every days during the first five days the shamans kill a pig and sprinkle its blood ... on the door sills and the paths where they walk.

{"And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts {jambs of the door-frame} with the blood" (S^emo^t 12:22).}


Then on the sixth day no one is allowed to leave their houses,

{"and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning." (S^emo^t 12:22)}


except for the four leading shamans of the sub-confederacy who perform a sacred ceremony that is so secret only they know how to perform it.

{This "secret" may have involved a ritual concerning implements and clothing, judging from the despoiling of (in S^emo^t 12:35) metallic kli^ ("jewels", more correctly ‘implements, tools’, Strong’s 3627, alluding perhaps, via to Kilyo^n of Mo^>ab, to Rut and her LeQeT. ‘gleaning’, a word cognate with /LiGHT/-fingered, viz. pilfering) and of s`malot ("raiment", properly ‘mantles’, Strong’s 8071, alluding perhaps, via S`amlah of >dom, to dyed garments from Bas.rah).}


Whatever else they do, it is known that during this ceremony the shamans bring out of storage the severed arm of an early ancestor."

{a human arm was given to daughter of Rhampsinitos by a pilferer (Euterpe CXXI).}

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

Strong’s = Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of Bible Words.

Euterpe (by Herodotos) =

pp. 157-158 rituals of divination




"Steaming leaves for the purpose of divination {cf. European divination of tea-leaves in tea-cup} is known by several terms including : wulangga lakwi, nuggwa lakwi, and laago nggingge. (Most of these terms are names of leaves used, followed by the word lakwi meaning "to cook.")


... during the steaming the Dani invoke the spirits of their ancestors to guide them in finding what or who it is they are seeking."


"As an alternative to these spirits, A Dani who wants to track down a thief may appeal to one of the tiyu (owl) spirits. He does this by going into the forest at night with a duplicate of the item that has been stolen. ... He then waits for an owl to appear, and when it does he follows it to see where it lands. If it lands on a house, or in the garden, the owner of that property is the guilty" party.

pp. 159-161 rituals for sorcery




"as a young girl her mother took her into the forest to initiate her into the secret ways of ninggirak. On this occasion, the mother made her daughter eat some very bitter fruit from a tree ..., ... the mother began to invoke the spirits to make themselves known (i.e, to become familiar with) the girl".


"When this power is wont to be used, the one desiring its use smears her hand and arms with a certain type of mud, then goes to the place where ... she can find ... spiders. Having caught it ... the spider climbs up the stem of grass after the woman says the name of the person ... and she takes the grass .., and having cooked ... food, waves the end of the grass over that food giving the spirit to that food and ... she will meet the man ..., and gives him the potato ... (which he eats ...)."


"If we found a woman who had a kugurowo spirit, in order to rid her of that spirit ... The woman would be seated with her legs apart and they would put the host stones between them. Then the men would go into the forest to shoot whatever mice ... or other small rodents they could find. These were put on the hot stones as representative of the spirits that were coming out of the woman."

pp. 245-249 timbayok wone


Mulia Dani fable



A spirit-woman whose "goiter was so big it hung down and made her look like a pig" (p. 245) tied, to her own leg, a man by his leg until "the man managed to untie his rope and retie it securely to a tree." (p. 246)

{[Ipili] "as big as a mountain ... a female pig, ... the "mother" of all pigs ... is tied to a tree or post, and this tree or post supports the earth." ("S&RI", p. 47)}


Man who ate female spirit’s cucumbers was killed by her (p. 247); but his younger brother avenged him by killing that female spirit (p. 248). {Is this female spirit a kugurowo spirit for whom mice are to be killed (as on p. 161)?}

{[Balinese] Father of Yellow Cucumber killed the queen of Koripan, who had become a mouse ("MIF", pp. 179-182).}


"There was a young girl who dribbled urine wherever she went. {thus, she may be a rain-goddess abiding in the sky} One day she gave birth to an egg similar to a bird’s egg, which her dog picked up in his mouth and took to his place." (p. 248)

{[Norse] "the giantesses who urinate in Njörðr's mouth, reported in Lokasenna 34" (O-ThThFn, n. 3).} {giantess Gja`lp ‘Yelper’ (Y), who urinated into the Vi`mur (Skáldsk. 18) (O-ThTh), may have been a bitch}


Carrying "her still on his shoulders" (p. 248), he trudged by foot to "the house where she lived with her parents" (p. 249).

{Skadi chose Njo,rd for his feet (Skaldskaparma`l); he went to stay 9 nights at her home in Trymheim (Prose Edda 23).}


"On the way to her house he saw a large bird he wanted to stalk." (p. 248)

{Njo`rd may have been (NSS ) the father of Heimdall, who was as wakeful as "a bird" ("H").}

"S&RI" = L . R. Goldman & C. Ballard (eds.) : Fluid Ontologies : myth, ritual and philosophy in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Bergin & Garvey, Westport (CT), 1998. pp. 43-66 A. Biersack [editrix of Clio in Oceania] : "Sacrifice and Regeneration among Ipilis".

"MIF" = BIJDRAGEN TOT DE TAAL-, LAND- EN VOLKENKUNDE, deel 113 (1957), pp. 179-190 Jacoba Hooykaas : "The Mouse in Indonesian Folklore".

O-ThThFn =

Y = but this meaning only beginning from 15th century according to

O-ThTh =


"H" = "Heimdall" (Bullfinch’s Mythology, cap. xiii) the "wakeful Bird" is the nightingale

pp. 279-280 alom wone (origin stories) -- humankind




"At a place called Perawe there is a hole in the ground out of which he first emerged.

After we arrived on the surface of the land we left the Wamena area and traveled to a place called Nggiyomiwe (behind Lawarem) and there held a large feast. ...

Then out of fear of the spirits in that place we fled. We left the valley floor and entered the Melagi area.

At a place called Miyagime, while the men were piling up stones, a woman arrived carrying a bow and arrows.

... from there the people traveled to ... Takobak. At Takobak we sorted out our clan names [there followeth a list of phratries with the constituent clans of each]. ...

Two of our early ancestors were named Ngganggunik and Yindinik. The names of their children were as follows :"



1. Oru

2. Watu

3. Laalu

4. Tut-owak



1. Tekentu

2. Kiigan

3. Purugan


"The people continued to move ... until they came at last to a place called Wunikilume. At Wunikilume, all the spirits were gathered together and lived in just one house {longhouse}, but a woman by the name of Ndugwimbanggwe set fire to the house. As a result of that action, the spirits fled".


"Kiigan’s wife’s name was Kwe-laambu Morip-kwe and the names of her children are :"

1. Yumonggu

2. Yubate

3. Yubela

4. Yubelagwe

5. Yunabo


"to Yunabo were born :"

1. Agenen

2. Mbi

3. Wandewak-nggu

4. Mbalimayo


"Before we arrived here in the Yamo Valley, the Mbokoyon people had already been there. Their name means Mbok, or fire ones / pioneers, and koyon, which means poor. They are the people with the scaly skin disease."

Other peoples are :



their characteristic



"foragers who cooked leafy plants and the fruit of trees."



"hunters of marsupials."



"wearing bark tailpieces."



"liking to each taro".



"being foolish."



"long gourds." [worn as pubic coverings]



(in lowlands north of Bokondini) "string apparel."



(in Wamena) "they eat the people they kill."


"At a place called Watuwe or Nalumbi we learned to do the boy’s initiation ceremony.

Our ancestor Liiro did not have a wife while he was at Ndugundogo, but he came to Takobak and took her from there.


There was a woman who had three sons ... . They were :"



location settled by him





kugi owak (magical paraphernalia)



Konikme (between Pyramid & Tiom)

net bags – their tutelary spirit is Agengga



Ngguume (nigh Tiom)

bow & arrows

p. 281 alom wone (origin stories) – opossum; taro

"At a place called Anggundome a possum was up in a Nggubu tree eating when the food he was eating slipped out of his hands, falling on to the head of a dog who was below."

"five brothers were gardening and one of them began to harvest taro. The others did not know what it was and ... these spots became the original growth sites of taro."

p. 281 alom wone (origin stories) – another account of humankind

At a place called Pitirit or Pirime, people first climbed u onto the land through a hole in the earth. they chombed up onto the surface by climbing up vines and tree roots that hung down. They came to the surface there in the Baliem valley, and at a place called Mbeyalo the men tried to sleep with the women but their penises would not go in. ... so they exchanged women and successfully consummated their unions."

This led to the formation of the first phratries [also named, with other ones, on p. 279], namely "Enumbi and Tabuni followed by Wonda and Kogoya, and after these all the rest".

"From this incident also came the practice of women choosing their husbands from an opposing moiety."

pp. 281-282 alom wone (origin stories) --places




"The place where the sun rises up into the sky is called Tirit-Terot. People who live near this place have to stay inside their houses during the early morning hours or else they will be burned by the sun. So, they only come out late in the day or at night.

On the other side of the sun, though, it is a place which is cold and dark. The people who live there are blind, short, and covered with hair. They don’t have any fire, so they can’t cook any of the food they eat."


"There is a place called Mbeyalo where there is an opening in the earth that looks just like a woman’s vagina. It is a place that is forbidden for people to go or to see ... . It is a place where it is possible to see the women’s vaginas even though they are wearing skirts and where the men habitually fornicate with women other than their wives."


"After leaving Takobak the people travelled to the place where Mbok’s footstep is embedded in the rock. ... Some followed the Mbalim River and came to a place called Ndugume. Some of them decided to settle there, while still others chose to move on. ...


After the first people came out of the earth behind them came also a human-like being with a damaged arm (or hand). ... Now he was one of a group of very short people (approx. 18 inches) but the humans already on the earth drove them back into the earth. At that time they were called the Nalumbi {cf. the name of the Lumbee tribe in North Carolina.}, but now they have become the Liimbu spirits and when they come up on to the surface of the earth they come up in the wet and swampy places alongside the river beds."

pp. 282-283 alom wone (origin stories) -- loss of immortality; origin of kugurowo




"those who came out on to the earth ... were three men. One of these turned to the other and said, "Look after your younger brother. ..." But the older brother failed to watch over his younger brother and he died. ... the first man appeared and said, "Where is your younger brother, have you seen him lately?" "No, I haven’t seen him," replied the older brother ... . {"YHWH said ... : ‘Where is ... thy brother?’ And he said : ‘I wot not; am I my brother’s keeper?’ " (B-Re>s^it 4:9))} As soon as the lie had been told a pirigobit bird began to call out behind them saying, "He’s already dead." Because of this lie, we all die now ... . If he had told the truth, the dead boy would have come back to life. But because his brother lied, the boy remained dead and now we all die."


"In the days of our origins there was a very tall man with us short people. He was proud of his height ... . So ... they killed him and put his head on top of Kulip mountain, and threw his intestines into the Nomba River."

Douglas James Hayward : Vernacular Christianity among the Mulia Dani : an Ethnography of Religious Belief among the Western Dani of Irian Jaya. U Pr of America, Lanham (MD), 1997.