Hulimeri by bobfoto

Hulimeri

When it is time for the Huli man to find a wife, he gets locked away in his man house with the local Huli doctor who helps prepare the Huli man to learn all about life with a wife. Secret spells are placed on the Huli man, these spells help the Huli man understand and it is during this lockdown, that the Huli man is taught all that he needs...

Meanwhile on top of a nearby hill, the Huli women gather and sing at the top of their voices, they call out messages to the Huli man, they are trying to hurry him up, the Huli girls want action.

It can several weeks for the Huli man to become ready. He doesn't leave the man house during this time... the Huli women don't let up either. Eventually the wedding goes ahead.

To find out whether a Huli woman is ready to have a child, a large seed is placed into her vagina during the menstrual moment of her cycle and this seed is then planted in the earth. If her magic is right, then the seed will germinate and she will become pregnant.

After childbirth, the Huli man is no longer allowed to associate with his wife for a few years and in this time, the Huli man will take another wife, if he has a pig. The Huli woman will then live with the other Huli wives and raise the child. If it is a Huli boy, the moment the Huli boy works out that there is a distinct difference between his genitalia and that of the women around him, he will be removed from the Huli women and raised by the Huli men over at the man house.

Oh and throughout my Year 2 Project, I have mentioned Bilums and this young Huli woman is wearing two bilums.

Photo taken 18 November 2006
great portrait Jason
November 3rd, 2012  
I love the colours in this shot....great stuff!
November 3rd, 2012  
@gerry - Thanks Gerry :)
November 3rd, 2012  
@sarajeal - Thanks Sara, yeah the Bilums are a colourful part of PNG culture!
November 3rd, 2012  
Thank you for sharing Huli people's lives and traditions!
The girl looks rather happy, hope she has a lovely married life with her huli hubby :-)
November 3rd, 2012  
Love your photos and your understanding of the culture. What do you do now, post-emersion? (just curious!)
November 3rd, 2012  
super portrait and a very interesting write up - this one and the Huliman shot from the other day...
November 3rd, 2012  
@windmill - She does look really happy, but unfortunately I have a sad chapter of Huli life coming up on Thursday :(

@rockinrobyn - look for ways of getting back in???

@andycoleborn - Thanks Andy, got a bit of Huli Street Photography coming up on Wednesday.
November 3rd, 2012  
Beautiful portrait and fascinating cultural history - leaves me thinking I'm glad I wasn't born a Huli though!
November 3rd, 2012  
Lovely pic Jason, your pics always teach and inform, Jack still loves looking and learning from your pics :-)
November 3rd, 2012  
What a colourful sight.... do the Huli people associate with other PNG tribes? It sounds as if they live very separately to keep such traditions going and yet they have similar bilums....?
November 3rd, 2012  
@judithdeacon - I agree Judith, just standby for the next two chapters. The Hulis get weird!

@hagscat - Your Macaw just popped out at me on my news feed, but it reminds me of two bird shots I have coming up before I finish my Year 2 Project. I bet Jack will like 'em!

@filsie65 - The Hulis fight wars amongst themselves... so not a lot of chance of visiting the neighbours in the next valley, but as they have modernised, they are further afield and the Huli Wigmen would be the most popular of all the Sing-sing groups, except maybe the Gorokan Mudmen. When a Huli Wigman walks the streets of Moresby, he stops traffic. I once met a Huli Wigman who visited London, dressed in much the same way as the Hulis do.

The Bilums that the Huliman a few days back was wearing is the traditional type found in this area, the woolen modern versions are made throughout PNG, but mainly by Highlanders and their pattern and design can distinguish the origin and maker.
November 3rd, 2012  
Wow thanks for sharing this Jason...such amazing culture and you are very fortunate to have been able to be a part of something that has been passed down for generations. The the 'man house' or what we Westerners call it the 'man cave' haha no culture like this though!!! Awesome portrait of this beautiful woman :-) FAV!!
November 3rd, 2012  
Beautifully colorful portrait, Jason! I love experiencing your life through your photos! thanks for sharing! ;~}
November 3rd, 2012  
@turning_40 - Thanks Janelle, and thank you for the fave. The Hulis were amazing to be around... it certainly opened my eyes!
November 3rd, 2012  
@grammyn - You're welcome Katy... kinda been waiting 6 years to retell these stories! :)
November 3rd, 2012  
@bobfoto I am so glad you chose 365 to do it! it is a part of the world that I haven't even heard about and you are bringing it so very much alive for me!
November 3rd, 2012  
November 4th, 2012  
nice photo Jason :)
i have a question !
where do u live ? :D Your life seems awesome !
November 4th, 2012  
@leexi - Hi Lexi, I currently live in Townsville, Queensland Australia, but between 2006 and 2009, I lived in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and this year has been a project dedicated to those three years of my life when I lived in Papua New Guinea. An amazing place that is still so embraced by its culture and customs.

To see my Townsville shots, you need to look at my 365 Project for last year. :D
November 4th, 2012  
Lovely portrait
November 4th, 2012  
@fjh - Thank you Francesca :)
November 4th, 2012  
Interesting lasson in Huli culture. Not sure about the seed thing??!!
November 4th, 2012  
C♥lorful Smile .... great capture
November 4th, 2012  
@kamb - yeah, that bit sounded awkward...

@gavincci - Cheers Jaydee, thanks!
November 4th, 2012  
Awesome portrait.
November 4th, 2012  
@rvwalker - Cheers Ross, thank you!
November 4th, 2012  
beautiful!
November 4th, 2012  
Beautiful portrait.
November 4th, 2012  
@mornegrewe @netkonnexion - Thanks Morne, thanks Net.
November 4th, 2012  
Interesting culture, beautiful shot!
November 4th, 2012  
A wonderful portrait.
November 4th, 2012  
Gorgeous portrait and an amazingly wonderful story, Jason.
November 4th, 2012  
Sounds like quite an involved dating process! :)
November 4th, 2012  
that's some very interesting info Jason....so not so much of a whirlwind romance then!!! Beautiful portrait:)
November 4th, 2012  
Interesting colours, and portrait!
November 4th, 2012  
This is a wonderful anthropological narrative Jason. I find it incredible that I live on the same small rock spinning in space with these people. Now, I will be slightly flippant though I hope not disrespectful to the Huli when I say that I lived in the English city of Hull for 16 years. The locals are fiercely tribal and there are similarities betyween the Huli and the Hullites!! Surely this is more than coincidence?
November 4th, 2012  
great portrait, Jason.......great info too. It's amazing that these traditions & customs still thrive.
November 4th, 2012  
@chrismarfil - Thanks Chris :)

@kandernob @sangwann - Cheers Karen and thank you Dione :)

@alia_801 - Everyone must be exhausted by the end of it???

@trude - Because they do live in such small communities, there is a genuine concern about in-breeding, so when families get together to arrange the wedding, they are conscious about trying to introduce breeding stock from further afield...

@thepictures - Thanks Alex!

@mjmaven - The PNG people are modernising but they still hold a lot of customs sacred!

@seanoneill - Have heard that about Hull... ;)
November 4th, 2012  
Fascinating story and photo. How does the pig fit into the scenario (i.e. he can take another wife, if he has a pig"). Around here, he is a pig if he takes another wife. ;-)
November 4th, 2012  
@boatpainter - Pigs often come into a marriage via the exchange of Bride and Brideprice, and the ownership of pigs, often means a man has land and therefore is a powerful man in the community. The Huli women of course looks after the pigs.
November 4th, 2012  
bright a joyful portrait
November 4th, 2012  
@houdiniem - thanks :D
November 5th, 2012  
wow now i´ve learnd more in 2minutes then normally in one week of university! :D thanks for that jd! :)
November 5th, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - I skipped University... figured I knew enough to get me through life alright. Then I met the Hulis!
November 6th, 2012  
I love the way she has the bilums in her hair, and the manicured hands and smile. She glows with that whole idea of beauty.
November 7th, 2012  
@hellcat - Oh the amount of weight the women carry with the bilum over their head! Amazeballs! More about that at the end of November.
November 8th, 2012  
I believe it. I read that they also carry babies in there, and potatoes... See, I do.t always just leave it to you. ;)
November 8th, 2012  
@hellcat - they do. The Tok Pisin word for womb is bilum... another bag for carrying around precious cargo.
November 8th, 2012  
(To be honest, the bilum looks a lot easier to use than the African cloth thing. I'd always had a hard time tying that one up and needed help with it.)
November 8th, 2012  
@hellcat - Many of the bilums like the one around her neck, just have a handle, so they just get thrown over the shoulder or around the neck. The head ones are often tied with a reef knot and left tied, until something big needs carrying... more on that later in November.
November 8th, 2012  
Looking forward to it.
November 8th, 2012  
Is this tied into her hair, or balanced on her head?
November 8th, 2012  
@hellcat - just balanced, and the reason why a reef knot is preferred as opposed to an uncomfortable granny knot.
November 8th, 2012  
Makes sense. I was trying to figure out if the ends weren't connected and to connect them they tie them in a knot or if the knot was placed there for more support when balancing. Now I'm thinking the ends aren't connected and the knots help form the "shoulder" loop.
November 8th, 2012  
@hellcat - yeah the head bilum is loose. When laid out on the ground it is kinda leaf shaped... well like a hammock. Can hold a heap!
November 8th, 2012  
Great colours in this and an Interesting story!
November 9th, 2012  
@kjarn - Thanks Kathy A :)
November 9th, 2012  
Simply puts a smile to my face ")
November 23rd, 2012  
November 23rd, 2012  
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.