The 'Karawari Caves Precinct' of the Sepik River Basin, Papua New Guinea

Gabriel, Jennifer, and Gorecki, Paul (2014) The 'Karawari Caves Precinct' of the Sepik River Basin, Papua New Guinea. Report. The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (6MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


[Extract] Midway up the slopes of the Andogoro, Moirutapa, and Kundiman mountains that rise up from the surrounding floodplains and separate East Sepik Province from Enga and Western Highlands Provinces in Papua New Guinea, are the traditional settlements of the Upland Arafundi people (Roscoe & Telban 2004:94). Galleries of stencils adorn the walls of caves once used as spirit houses and shelters by the Upland Arafundi people. In the limestone caves they buried their dead, initiated young men, and sheltered from their enemies. Common among the galleries of stencils are hands made by blowing, spraying or spitting a mouthful of ochre over an outstretched hand. The hand stencils are enduring personal signatures on the cave walls. These hands and other stencils (e.g. kina shells, cassowary feet and other prints) are yet to be dated but the extensive nature of the painted galleries that adorn the walls of these rock shelters, as well as other living traditions (haus tambarans, carved wood and stone figurines, bark paintings etc.) provide real insight into the culture and symbolic conventions of the semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the caves.

Item ID: 37196
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 978-0-9941500-7-3
Keywords: Papua New Guinea; Kawarai Caves; Sepik River Basin
Additional Information:

This report is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence. You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this work, so long as you attribute James Cook University [The Cairns Institute] and the authors.

Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 22:06
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 60%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples Societies @ 40%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage @ 40%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950307 Conserving the Historic Environment @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 30%
Downloads: Total: 725
Last 12 Months: 11
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page