BomaiCruz has been fairly quiet for some time now because Internet access in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is unreliable and very expensive. BomaiCruz has since joined Marengo Mining (PNG) Ltd and have been having relatively good Internet access but have been very busy to post anything. In the next few posts, BomaiCruz will try to get up to speed with at least one post every week.
BomaiCruz is now based in and has been living in Bundi, one of the most rugged and least developed places in PNG for the last two and a half months. Because of its location and the fact that it is not as developed as other parts of PNG, there are a lot of things here that I will post about that are not necessarily ’science’ but are more about the Bundi people. I will still try to get some science involved, especially for my science followers but I believe the mix I will be posting should give you a feel for life in Bundi.
Bundi is located on the highland fringes of PNG with Mt Wilhelm (PNG’s highest mountain) in the Simbu Province on its south and the Ramu plains to its north. Bundi is part of the Madang Province and has in recent years been in the lime-light of mining and mineral explorations in PNG with the recently commissioned Chinese-operated Ramu Nickel mine and Marengo’s copper and molybednum explorations.
Because of its location, the people of Bundi have always been the ‘middle-man’ between the highlands and coast. Traditionally, these people provided the link in the movement of shells and clay pots from the coasts to the highlands and bird of Paradise feathers from the highlands to the coast. Their links to the people of Ramu to their north and the Simbus in their south are still strong with intermarriages still common.
During a recent trip with colleagues to provide awareness to the people about company activities in their area, it became clear that the people of Bundi are a mix of highlanders and coastal dwellers residing in the same area. For instance, the further south we travelled, people spoke the Simbu language and when we went north, the language spoken was that of the Ramu while the people of Bundi had their own language – Gende, which was still different.
In places people refer to themselves as highlanders while in other areas (still in Bundi) people claim to be coastal dwellers who had moved into the mountains. How ever these people trace their origins is only understood by them.
I am privaledged to have lived with these people and seen for myself what they go through in their daily lives and will be posting about these beautiful and unique people’s way of life and environment.