Friday, December 12, 2008

Preventing warriors

Daily Mail (UK): The Papua New Guinea jungle has given up one of its darkest secrets -- the systematic slaughter of every male baby born in two villages to prevent future tribal clashes. By virtually wiping out the 'male stock', tribal women hope they can avoid deadly wars between the villages in the future. 'Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,' said Rona Luke, a village wife who is attending a special 'peace and reconciliation' meeting in the mountain village of Goroka.

'It's because of the terrible fights that have brought death and destruction to our villages for the past 20 years that all the womenfolk have agreed to have all new-born male babies killed,' said Mrs Luke. 'The women have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them.' ... Mrs Luke said that the village women agreed that if they stopped producing males, allowing only female babies to survive, their tribe's stock of boys would go down and there would be no men in future to fight.

A resident of Abibu village, Mrs Luke said she did not know how many male babies were killed by being smothered, but it had happened to all males over a 10-year period -- and she suggested it was still happening... Mrs Kipiyona Belas from the rival Amosa village [said] that getting food for their families was difficult because husbands were fighting other tribes... Often the men did not come back... Tribal fighting in the region of Gimi, in the country's Eastern Highlands, has been going on since 1986.
Image source here.