Marind-anim - Economy

Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Sago is the staple food, supplemented by coconuts, bananas, and the Products of hunting and fishing. On festive occasions, there is pork from domesticated pigs, and taro and yams grown in elevated garden beds erected for that purpose (coastally), or grown in forest clearings (inland). Such gardens are also used for bananas and kava, the latter being (along with betel and, recently, tobacco) a favored stimulant.

Industrial Arts. The traditional Marind were a Stone Age culture, with a self-subsistent economy except for stone implements such as axe blades and club heads, which were Imported from the mountains.

Trade. Information about traditional trade is lacking. As shells are used for jewelry in mountain societies, it seems reasonable to infer that shells were traded north and stone implements south.

Division of Labor. Most of the daily work is allotted to women: household chores, planting, weeding, harvesting, making sago, and collecting small fish and shellfish. The men hunt, do some fishing, build garden beds, and make forest clearings. They also build canoes, construct fences, and frame the huts, although their main tasks are ritual and warfare.

Land Tenure. The subtribe's territory and fishing grounds are divided between the main clans. Gardens and planted trees belong to individuals and are inherited patrilineally.

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