Household Items


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Members of the Qaqet communities use two types of umbrellas. One type is used for protection from the elements. Often times, while walking, they are faced with inclement weather or intense sunlight. Since the umbrella is made with readily accessible materials (leaves and bark string), they are able to quickly assemble the umbrella as needed. The other type of umbrella is commonly used for marking and protecting personal property.


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Tambu is the traditional form of money in the Tolai community. To make it, large numbers of a specific snail shell are collected, dried, and strung on a very thin piece of cane. At one time, these snails were prevalent along the coast of East New Britain. The people of Raluana would simply anchor a rotten piece of fruit in the shallows of the reef, leave it for a few hours and could expect to collect hundreds of these snails. However, following the volcanic eruptions of 1994 and 2006, the temperature of the water in the area rose causing these shelled animals to relocate to cooler waters.


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The sapal is the toold used to beat a sago tree, making the mumut used in the process of extracting saksak. Once made, the head of the sapal is reused for years while the handle is changed for each use.


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A ruai is a basket that is woven from a palm frond and covered in bark cloth, called pinpin ina veko. The design is originally from Namatanai, an area not far from the Ngavalus village, though it has a different name. Over time, the people of Ngavalus adopted the design as well and called the finished product “ruai”. Though the end result is essentially the same, the people in Ngavalus have a different method of making the basket.


The woven plate is generally lined with a leaf so it remains clean and can be reused. They are made using a section of a palm frond that was about 30.5 centimeters long. After cutting away the tip of the frond, the section was taken from the thinner end and used to construct the plate. The plate is curved, similar to a bowl, which holds the food in place.


This form of woven basket is generally made and used by the men of the Tolai community. They are generally used much like a backpack or satchel, to hold personal items. Some individuals add straps or handles for convenience.


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Woven mats are used in a number of communities across East New Britain and serve various purposes. Some of these uses include house construction and seating, but most commonly they are used for sleeping. These are woven using fronds collected from palm trees. A regular sized mat (Kubin) only requires one palm frond; however, larger mats (Kupa) can be made using two. Mats tend to last around six months depending on how often they are used. Once the mats are no longer usable for anything else, they are used for kindling and maintaining fires.


The ger is a living structure that is used widely throughout Mongolia in both the metropolitan centers as well as outside, but especially in the vast rural regions outside of the urban environment. The ger has been used by Mongolians for hundreds of years and has its roots in the nomadic culture that existed even before the time of Chinggis Khan during the early 1200s C.E. The use of the ger has prevailed in large part due to the high versatility and transportability that it provides in the various physical environments that the country supports.


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In Mongolia, gers are the traditional style of home and are found throughout both urban and rural areas. By providing housing, warmth, and a location for food preparation, there are many traditional rules and structures of ger operation as well as a specific way of construction.


This basket is used by men and women when harvesting fruits, nuts, and other produce. Unlike some of the other weaving techniques, the leaves of the palm frond were flattened out allowing the weaver to make a larger basket.