Anthropologists identify the Arapesh people as a culturally discrete population who inhabit a vast geographical portion of New Guinea organized into sedentary villages. They are a linguistically distinct people too who practice subsistence farming – just enough for their domestic consumption.
(Tuzin, 1992) notes that the Arapesh people classify life into five phases. Early childhood (Falanga) is the first phase in which ritualistic ceremonies are held as part of cultural preservation. During late childhood – Lafin, both the male and female child expand their interactions with other children under the stern supervision of adults. In adolescence, initiation ceremonies are performed for the boys and girls learn farming skills – planting during the wet seasons and harvesting in the hot season. The transition into adulthood calls for individuals to possess great honor and dignity. Men assume responsibility and head their families while women use their farming skills to supplement domestic output. While in their old age, both men and women are entitled to community support for their basic needs and homecare. Transition through these phases follows designated rituals and customs.
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