Maring - Orientation

Identification. The Maring are a linguistically and Culturally distinct people of the interior highlands of New Guinea, made up of twenty-one named clan clusters divided, geographically, into two groups: one occupying the mountains of the Simbai Valley of Madang Province; the other located in the Jimi Valley of the Western Highlands Province. Despite this geographic separation, the linguistic, social, and cultural evidence links both Maring populations most closely to the peoples of the western highlands.

Location. Maring territory, extending about 350 kilometers, is located at approximately 5° S and 145° E, in the Bismarck mountain range. The land is heavily forested and of high relief. The year is split into relatively wetter and drier seasons, but the difference in rainfall between these two periods is not particularly great. Rainfall is usually at night. Temperature variations are slight throughout the year, with average daily temperatures fluctuating between lows in the 60s and highs in the 70s.

Demography. Population estimates for the Maring were in excess of 7,000 in 1988. Individual clan-cluster territories support populations ranging from 150 to 900 people.

linguistic Affiliation. The language of the Maring belongs to the Jimi Subfamily of the Central Family of the East New Guinea Highland Stock.

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