Title: Ted Schwartz, Mildred Antonelli and Alan Lomax discuss the Manus of Papua New Guinea
Date recorded: May 19, 1963
Date recorded: May 19, 1963
Subject(s): Cantometrics; Ethnomusicology; Anthropology; Manus (Papua New Guinean people); Child rearing; Marriage; Courtship
Physical form: Reel to Reel
Tape number: T1255
Track Number: 1
Archive ID: T1255
Belongs to: Antonelli/Schwartz/Lomax, 1963
Note: Mildred Antonelli: children need validation from parents, especially mother, and, after age nine, from peers. A mother who hovers is not a good validator. Schwartz: Manus mothers control children by scolding but never strike a child. No strict supervision, children go from game to game. Authority displaced from living to dead. Illness considered as punishment. Children are encouraged by fathers to have disrespect for their mothers. The mother cares for a child when it is ill and determines who has done wrong. Antonelli: This situation sets up conflict for children. Ted Schwartz: Manus weaned early, are fed premasticated solid food from early babyhood. Manus children have tantrums when denied something (such as a trip with father). Manus children witness adults in murderous rages. Antonelli: Manus children will have great anxiety about illness and death. Mother also will be anxious when child is sick. In contrast to Manus, Usiai breast fed until 3 or 4. No real termination. Usiai children slapped often. Penis dancing common in Admiralty Islands. Weight tied to penis, they hop on poles and swing penis around while shouting about exploits, sometimes brandishing spears. Women hop around in background admiring. The Usiai have carved totem poles, Manus buy them. A boy used to attain manhood after he killed his first man in battle. Now manhood is attained at the first feast in his behalf. Prestige in men depends on lending money and giving feasts. There are two ranks, aristocracy and commoner, some mobility between them. Usiai have love songs. Manus do not. No courtship among Manus. Marriage is arranged and there are strict avoidance taboos between groom and betrothed and her family. Long description of material on tapes. Schwartz: Singers constantly clearing throats. Long pauses to collect thoughts and silently rehearse before singing. Digression about a spectacular Solomon Islands dance that Manus imitate for the benefit of white visitors. Solomon Islands dances are intricately choreographed and accompanied by rhythmic drumming. They feature masks atop 14-foot poles strapped to the dancers’ backs. They have not been adequately recorded on film. The Manus also imitate a Japanese song and sing acculturated hymns and songs with guitar and ukelele, more monotonous than their own music. Also imitate other people’s pidgins. Lomax comments, "The Manus are like the British." Schwartz: Some songs on the tapes are very old, performed by older singers who comment on how old they are. Same singers can also play acculturated music on ukelele.
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About the session: Ted Schwartz, Mildred Antonelli and Alan Lomax discuss the Manus of Papua New Guinea.
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