Gunts Yard


The hamlet of Gunts caught the sun earlier in the morning than did the other hamlets where most of the local people lived.


234-03: The view from Gunts Yard stretched westward over the Simbai Valley to Bank Mountain at the edge of Karam territory. Morning mist was common.

Before starting their day's work, women on the way to their gardens and men setting out to gardens or forest would pass by Gunts to warm up in the sun and find out the latest news.

The women sat along the lower edge of the yard, their children playing among them.

Visiting men gathered at the top of the yard, chatting with the local men in front of Ambia's men's house, the only traditional house in the hamlet.

Women's space

Men's space

023-28: Women at the lower edge of Gunts Yard.
The Jablonkos' house is in the background.

023-36: Men spent their time
in the upper half of the yard.

From one day to the next, we never knew what might go on in Gunts yard.

Sometimes it was nothing more than peaceful visits among the women, or just a quiet pause on the way home from gardens. One day, after coming back from a distant garden, Luluai Pfun's wife, Komba, was particularly tired and settled down to nurse their youngest child, their son, Mbuk, who she had carried during the whole walk to and from the garden.

097-10: After a long hike up from her low-altitude garden, Komba rests and nurses her youngest son, Mbuk.

By the time children grew too heavy for their mothers to carry them long distances, they were frequently left behind to be watched by the other women of the hamlet.

027-24: Para's mother, Minme, has gone off to
her garden, leaving Para with his father's
brother's wife, Wia, and Para's older sister, Kum.


027-25: Wia, herself a mother, tries to comfort him.
Kum looks on.

027-26: "Nothing doing!" Para is inconsolate and continues to scream in anger.

   Para was much happier when he could stay near his mother, Minme. 

026-01: In front of the Vaydas' house, women take turns delousing each other. Minme encourages Para and their neighbor's daughter, Waruk, to play with Para's older brother, Danigi, who is in the Kiap Road down below the steep bank that keeps pigs out of the yard.

026-05: Para throws a small unripe breadfruit
down to Danigi.

026-07: Danigi, near the rickety stairs leading
up to the yard, throws the breadfruit
back up to Para.


036-52: Kloi, a young Korama man, takes a nap under the breadfruit tree in the middle of the yard.

Over the course of a day, people came and went, resting, visiting among themselves, speaking quietly to people sitting nearby or projecting their voices across the space for all to hear.


077-33, 35, 37: Luluai Pfun "sings out" to people in the clan territory across the valley, rocking from one foot to the other as he asks for their latest news. Then he waits to hear their response.

e were beginning to learn about some of the variations
of Maring daily life, and it was time to venture beyond Gunts Yard to explore the nearby hamlets of the Fungai clan.

Completed on March 24, 2011


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