Maoke

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maoke

 

(also Snow Mountains), mountains in the western part of the island of New Guinea, mainly in Indonesia. Length, approximately 700 km; width, to 150 km; elevation, 4,000-4,500 m, with a maximum of 5,029 m (Mount Jaya). Maoke consists of a system of mountain ranges (Sudirman and Jayawijaya, for example) extending from west to east. The axial zones of the ranges are composed primarily of gneisses and granites, and the peripheral zones are composed of sandstones, limestones, and schists. To elevations of 700 m the mountains are covered with equatorial forests containing a large variety of species. Higher up there are oak, chestnut, araucaria, and eucalyptus forests; thickets of shrubbery; and meadows. Above elevations of 4,400 m there are sharp peaks with patches of snow and glaciers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Matlala portrays the protagonist, Maoke, as an antagonist, is an ordinary man fraudulently pretending to be a diviner, thus succeeding in blinding readers and creating mystery in this story.
Maoke thus appears as an evil character, rather than the investigator expected in a detective story.
What makes this story more interesting is that even the famous diviner, Maoke, seems unable to solve the problem with his divining bones.
With the character of Maoke, Matlala creates many opportunities to heighten conflict.
Over and above this, Matlala let Maoke's bones fail him and he is unable to reveal the criminal.