Chimbu - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefe. The indigenous Chimbu religion had no organized priesthood or worship. The sun was seen as a major spirit of fertility. Supernatural belief and ceremonies concentrated on appealing to ancestral spirits who, if placated through the sacrifice of pigs, were believed to protect group members and contribute to the general welfare of the living. Although many traditional supernatural beliefs still exist, various Christian sects claim the majority of Chimbus as members.

Ceremonies. Of the most important traditional Ceremonies, initiation of boys into the men's cult is no longer practiced (having been actively discouraged by missionaries) ; the large pig-killing ceremonies (bugia ingu) are still held but with less emphasis on the sacrificing of pigs to ancestral spirits.

Arts. The visual arts are concentrated on body decoration with shells, feathers, wigs, and face paint being worn at times of ceremonial importance. Songs, poetry, drama, and stories are important as forms of entertainment and education. Musical instruments include two types of bamboo flutes, wooden and skin-covered drums, and bamboo Jew's harps.

Medicine. Illness and sudden death are attributed to witchcraft, sorcery, and transgression of supernatural sanctions. There was a very limited traditional herbal medical technology, but for most illnesses the people now make use of the government medical aid posts and hospitals.

Death and Afterlife. Although Christian beliefs have modified traditional beliefs, it is still thought by many that after death one's spirit lingers near the place of burial. Deaths caused by sorcery or war that are not revenged result in a Dangerous, discontented spirit that can cause great harm to the living. Chimbu stories are replete with accounts of deceiving ghosts.

User Contributions:

Wesley Mawe
As a Bachelor of Arts student at Pacific Adventist University, I excited to know more about the two types of Bamboo flutes in Chimbu Province. Its influence, and importance to the people of Chimbu Province.

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