ABSTRACT

ALTHOUGH IN SOME parts of the New Guinea highlands, traditionally, fighting was prohibited or quickly stopped within a clan or a local group, intraclan fights and killings occurred in Chimbu, and no authority existed for settlement. The relations between tribes were characterized by a permanent state of enmity, which was an important contributing factor to the unity of a tribe. Fighting is the source of personal prestige, the frequent result of minor dispute or theft, and a means of acquiring land. People and small groups fled from their conquerors, and this was an important source of new alliances, migrations and population redistribution.