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(from Malay papuwa, “the curly-haired”), the name for the greater part of the indigenous population of the island of New Guinea, the islands of northwestern Melanesia, the northern part of Halmahera Island, and the eastern part of Timor Island. The Papuans number more than 3 million (1972 estimate).

Anthropologically, the Papuans belong to the Melanesian race. They speak Papuan languages. The main elements of their religious beliefs are ancestor worship, magic, and totemism. Christianity was introduced in the late 19th century by missionaries, and today the majority of Papuans are formally Christians. The primitive clan system prevailed until recently, and it still prevails in some regions of New Guinea and the islands of northwestern Melanesia.

The economy of the Papuans is based on slash-and-burn farming of tuberous plants, cultivation of palms and fruit trees, hog raising, fishing, and some hunting. Some of the Papuans work on plantations and in enterprises of the mining industry. The Papuan’s life is almost entirely centered around his clan, each clan consisting of several kin groups. There was no private ownership of land before the European colonization, and property and social differentiation had only begun to take shape. The Russian explorer N. N. Miklukho-Maklai made a great contribution to the ethnographic study of the Papuans.


Miklukho-Maklai, N. N. Sobr. soch., vols. 1–5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950–54.
Puchkov, P. I. Formirovanie naseleniia Melanezii. Moscow, 1968.
Butinov, N. A. Papuasy Novoi Gvinei. Moscow, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
When we compared pieces of DNA from the Papuans against the Denisovan genome, many sequences were similar enough to declare a match, but some of the DNA sequences in the East Asians, notably Han Chinese, Chinese Dai, and Japanese, were a much closer match with the Denisovan," she said.
But for the Papuan market, the birds were prepared with two principal considerations in mind: the first was to make it easy to mount the bird skins with their brilliant plumage as part of a headdress for special festivals; and the second was to facilitate storage of the skins.
Instead of Australians and Papuans sprinting ahead independently of everyone else, they moved with the ancestors of East Asians and continued to the islands only later, the researchers say.
Target business opportunities and risks in the Papuan oil and gas sector through reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Papua New Guinea.
Enterprising West Papuan Women Initiative (2013-2015)
Bishop confirmed the Papuan issue was raised in the meeting, along with a host of other regional issues, restating "as we have done on many occasions, publicly and privately, our unconditional support and respect for Indonesia's sovereignty in this regards.
As in many other Papuan languages spoken in mountainous terrain, TAP languages have elaborate coding of elevation deictics.
47) Bijlmer's ethnographical observations that led him to stress differences between the two Papuan groups, like the supposed Stone Age stage of the mountain Papuans and their use of the penis gourd, were accompanied with the remark that they did not imply that mountain Papuans were an inferior people.
His opening ethnographic vignette (Kirksey 2012:3) is the description of Ester, a young Papuan woman who is taken away at gunpoint to be raped by Indonesian soldiers while her male relatives stand by.
The bigger arguments that Kirksey advances about the dynamics of the Papuan independence movement are also compelling.
The Papuan activists entered the consulate in the Bali provincial capital of Denpasar early Sunday, but left it several hours later after delivering a letter directed to foreign leaders participating in a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that began Monday on the resort island.
999 Tabel 4 Population in Papua Province based on ethnicity, 2010 Kab/Kota Papuan Non Papuan Total % Papuan (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Merauke 73,082 122,634 195,716 37.