As in general with the Western Torres Isles cultural complex, territory on Mua was quadripartite, though classified according to at least 10 totemic clans [a]  buwai of patrilineal descent, which were in turn divided into moieties: the basic unit consisted of roughly 25 members. Each clan had its augadh or totemic kindred spirit.
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The Mua were traditional enemies of the Badu people and their allies, the Mabuiag people of the Bellevue island of Mabuiag. The two groups appeared to have engaged in a cycle of war, whose aim was not conquest, but rather the acquisition of women and the accumulation, via headhunting , of skulls for trade. Everyday like on Mua was never free of a wariness driven by fear of being attacked by sea raiders. There was no warrior class, and while all youths kernge underwent three stages of an initiatory trajectory , there was one social role, that of the paudagarka , a sorcerer 'man of peace' exempt from warfare.
In addition to the standard wap , they armed themselves for warfare with a kalak spear and kubai spear-thrower , a dagal a two or three-pronged javelin , and malpalau nai small club , a greased gabagaba , and bows and arrows.
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Heads were decapitated by an upi or bamboo knife. In the Mabuiag raided the Mua twice: 20 Italgal died in the first attack alone. After the second assault, coordinated with the Badu, the casualties were significantly higher. Mua death rites were like those of the Kaurareg.
After the mari spirit left the body when a tarabau ai death feast was conducted, at which point it could become a markai ghost. The practice of tinting the bones with red ochre is atypical of the Torres Straits mortuary customs, and may have been introduced to the Mua via the Kaurareg from aboriginal usages in the Cape York Peninsula. If the Mua are a branch of the Kauraleg, their origins would overlap with the latter.
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The legendary lore of the area states that the Kauraleg were originally the Hiamu from Iama , one of the Bourke Isles north-east of Mua, who travelled north to settle on Daru off the coast of New Guinea south of the Fly River , and who were eventually driven off and sailed back south to settle on Mua. By , due to successive onslaughts by the Badu and Mabuiag , the surviving remnants of the Mua had been driven off their coasts, inland.
A settlement with missionaries was established in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Haddon, Alfred Cort [First published ].
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In Rivers, W. Cambridge University Press. Lawrence, David In Davis, Richard ed. Aboriginal Studies Press.
Moore, David R. Islanders and Aborigines at Cape York. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Rivers, W.
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Shnukal, Anna a. I take a deep breath, then swig it down, swallowing quickly. It tastes as it looks, like puddle water, and afterwards my tongue feels slightly numb, as if I've just sucked an aniseed sweet. I try to hide my grimace by grinning at Wanga, who knocks back his kava like a shot of whisky.
Relieved that I've now fulfilled my part in the ceremony, I settle back to enjoy the evening. But then I notice more kava root is being prepared and my stomach shifts as another batch begins to circle the room.
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Dutifully I take another swig, then another, and another. It comes around 12 times in all and I'm feeling rather unwell by the time the ceremony is finally over. Certainly, I can't profess to feeling the calming qualities kava is famous for. My stomach is queasy, and my tongue is not functioning properly. As we bid our farewells, Wanga translates their salutations. Lindsay Hawdon was a guest of Travelbag ; www.
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Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Tuesday 26 November An Englishwoman abroad Lindsay Hawdon joins a kava ceremony in Fiji. In Australia and Pacific. Read more Australia and Pacific travel stories. More from the web. Travel editor's choice. The world's cheesiest hotel photographs. The best escorted tours.