Gogodala - Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization. Moieties provided a dualistic organization to Gogodala society, with symmetrical subdivision into clans constituting the basic organizational framework, especially in matters of marriage, intercommunity relations, and ceremonial life. Although some sojourners indicated the existence of chiefs, Wirz's account based on fieldwork stresses an egalitarian ethic that colored daily life, with no recognized formal leadership positions.

Social Control and Conflict. Disputes arose traditionally over land or women, and at moots all were free to air their views. Subsequent truces or agreements were celebrated with races between clan-owned canoes. Prior to government Control in about 1912, wars were waged arising from vendettas between Gogodala communities and disputes with the Kiwai and peoples to the north of the Aramia River. Head trophies were taken, but cannibalism was not practiced by the Gogodala.

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