Accepted Paper:

A summary of the Salient Feactures of the Customary Land System of the Lavongais of Papua New Guinea in the Pacific region.   

Author:

Tukul Sapania Kaiku (University of Papua New Guinea)

Paper short abstract:

In the Customary Land System of the Lavongais of Lavongai Island within the Pacific region a summary of an otherwise previously undocumented knowledge system of the people of Lavongai will be presented. The Customary Land system of the Lavongais will use material from interviews with surviving Lavongais to pull and piece together the various facets of the Customary Land System. It will cover questions such as Clan territorial lands and boundaries, occupancy and tenancy and ownership and user rights. Other aspects of the land system will include genealogies of descendents of territorial lands, land tenure and also the system of bestowing names on descendants as a means of identification etc. The physical and spiritual aspects of ensuring will also be included in the summary. To date, much of the salient features of the customary land system continue to remain undocumented. Associated challenges include the tradition of bestowing names on descendents to identify and connect persons to those lands. In modern times, the challenges are even more greater with population pressure imposed on the land and there is a need to ensure the traditional knowledge associated with the customary land are documented for heritage and sustainable requirements of the Lavongais. Already, with a lack of proper documentation of the clan lands and clan boundaries, outsiders have come in to undertake logging operations. Discussing the topic of the customary land system of the Lavongais at an International Conference such as the 17th IUAES Conference is an opportunity to have the knowledge system presented for discussion and commentary.

Paper long abstract:

The Customary Land system of the Lavongais will use material from interviews with surviving Lavongais to pull and piece together the various facets of the Customary Land System. It will cover questions such as Clan territorial lands and boundaries, occupancy and tenancy and ownership and user rights. Other aspects of the land system will include genealogies of descendents of territorial lands, land tenure and also the system of bestowing names on descendants as a means of identification etc. The physical and spiritual aspects of ensuring will also be included in the summary.

To date, much of the salient features of the customary land system continue to remain undocumented. Associated challenges include the tradition of bestowing names on descendents to identify and connect persons to those lands. In modern times, the challenges are even more greater with population pressure imposed on the land and there is a need to ensure the traditional knowledge associated with the customary land are documented for heritage and sustainable requirements of the Lavongais. Already, with a lack of proper documentation of the clan lands and clan boundaries, outsiders have come in to undertake logging operations.

Panel BH04
Indigenous knowledge and sustainable development (IUAES Commission on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development)