Enga the Culture Plays a Vital Role Essay

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Family and Marriage
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #13217125

Excerpt from Essay :


The culture plays a vital role in the society. In this paper we have researched the different aspects of the society and the effect of culture on the society. The primary mode of subsistence is that of culture values and belief. Culture is usually taken for granted by many societies. However, it affects the way people act and belief in a particular society. Culture sets the norms and it is the primary mode of subsistence in a society. The behavior of the society is also according to the culture. The in depth analysis has been conducted on Enga society. This society is unique in its culture and beliefs. The tradition that is followed by the Enga has some pros and cons. The aspects studied in details of Enga are the kinship, values and belief, and gender relations. (Glazer, 2000)

The Enga primary mode of subsistence is that of agrarian society. That is, its mode of living is based upon the agricultural production unlike an industrial society which is solely dependent on the economy of the country and its relations with the other countries. This thus has an influence on their lifestyle as this contributes to a wholesome of their living. The culture is then molded by the Engans as this affects the values and beliefs. Engans culture is different from that of today's society. Unlike today's society where women and men both work to fulfill the needs of their family. Also, there is no specific role of men and women in contributing towards family and raising kids. However, in Enga culture the role of male and female are very typical. The men of the house do not contribute and assist women of the family. Everyone works to increase the production of the agriculture. They are paid in terms of the crop produced rather than monetary benefits. The fact that the family members have to work changes the way they live and precede social life. This portrays that Engans have a conservative culture. However, over time social change is taking place. (Wallace, 1992).

With a very low level of technological capability, the Enga of New Guinea portrays aboriginal tropical agriculturalists. In understanding Enga's history, Prophecy plays an important role. An example of such prophecy would be when older men in the communal men's homes would stay up late at night and discuss the prophetic messages that had been revealed at earlier times. The people of Enga had great respect for the prophetic messages, even if the prophecy seemed pathetic to believe in. They were purely succeeded by the ancestors in order to prepare for the future of their descendants. Myths, known as Tindi, holds a very crucial role in looking at the past in order to understand more clearly about the present since it is known that there exists quite a few lessons if looked upon tindi that are believed to have some relevance in present times. For instance, the protagonist often have with them the magic leaf bundle which then carries a hidden meaning behind it that could be reflected at contemporary times. (Wallace, 1992)

Covering Papua New Guinea highland northern central location, it is known that the Enga people are the biggest cultural and linguistic group of the region. They live a life in which the concept of reward and work is very distinct from that of Western society. As in other societies who have agriculture as their primary mode of subsistence, the leisure routine in Enga covers a large part of their routinely working day. For instance, Gardens are arranged and planting takes place at the given times. Other than that, every other thing is considered to be a part of their leisure just like funerals, dances, ceremonies and so on takes place. Point to be noted, in contrast to the western concept of leisure, the people of Enga have no substitute of leisure. However, they have different names to certain activities. Different dances, games, and hunting had names which would be put into the category of leisure in the case of modern societies. Nevertheless, these activities must not be neglected as it fulfills a certain aspect of the Enga society and is essential in keeping the society in shape with these social responsibilities. Unlike the western society where there are a lot of leisure activities are considered normal part of weekend routine. Usually going to dinners, meeting extended family and socializing are considered important norms of the western society. In Enga culture these activities do not exist, they tend to focus more toward the routine activities. Socializing is not done to much extend. Being part of the agriculturist society, everyone who is a part of immediate and extended family lives nearby. Henceforth, Enga culture does have varies leisure activities but they widely differ from that of western culture. (Benedict, 2002)

Furthermore, there are also some distinct activities which are considered as leisure by the people of Enga which had to be adopted in a mannered way, away from the same old routine. Attending church service was one of those activities. This was the activity that brought the people of Enga together and allowed them to mingle with other workers of the same region. Usually, church services were held for an hour or two, depending on the churches of the region. Enga workers had the chance to gossip and have a talk with other workers who came in the same church to worship. This also gave the opportunity for the Enga blue collar workers and white collar workers of other provinces to meet their colleagues and talk on varies topics after the church services had been carried out. Even though several religious activities took place after the church service at one of the workers' community halls, such as prayer meetings and so on, the same encounter between colleagues was not continued. The most famously known gateway to leisure for the people of Enga would be that of church attendance. The four sacred churches were in Panguna and Awara, the Catholic, Aposolic, SDA, and Lutheran churches. (Jacka, 2002). Basically, the study revolved around what rituals the workers of Enga carried out after their involvement in employed work. The sample was a group of 160 male workers. They were selected by using worker profiles given by the Personnel Division of BCL. Field notes were taken by observing the way of interaction, particularly focusing on whether participants were engaged with other workers of Enga. The people of Enga were divided into four groups in accordance to their time of arrival in Bougainville. That is because there were certain characteristics which were evident based on the time of arrival. For example, it was clear that those Engans who migrated earlier to Panguna were illiterate or semi-literate. The groups were: The 'Pioneers', The 'Followers', The 'Elite' and The 'Squatters'. The workers in Enga focus on leisure activities in association with other Engan workers. Social activities like accidental encounters, routine visiting, parties and picnics, going to church and the cinemas, indulging in sports and games and gambling were all observed by open-ended questionnaires. Within the mining community, most of the Engan workers had either a complete negative or mixed attitude towards some other non-Enga workers. The analysis given over here does not support the central hypothesis that the Enga workers' solidarity would be lost and instead be marked by class solidarity, in which their loyalty and consciousness would revolve. Surely, the majority of the Engans did not even hold a positive relation with other ethnic groups since the very beginning. Moreover, the elites also failed to have distinct and unique relationships. (Wallace, 1992)

Values and beliefs of a society play an important role in the development of a society. The values lay the foundation for the society which is later on followed by others. They set the guidelines of a society. The values also effect the beliefs a society has. Values are very meaningful to our lives because they help us understand our society and culture. Since culture consists of shared values and beliefs, it is necessary that a group of people living in the same region consists of the same values and beliefs and it is then transmitted from generations to generations. Without a distinct culture, it is impossible to maintain a solid society as everyone would live under the influence of his or her own beliefs and values, creating confusion and calamity in the society. Thus, it shapes how illness, self, and so on are taken as. (Glazer, 2000). For example, the characteristics of the Engans have been that of interdependence, relying on family for problems and such. The spiritual beliefs also play a vital part in creating a distinct culture.

Values and beliefs are therefore the base of a culture as it helps to distinguish a particular culture from the others. Its rituals, laws, concepts and traditions all contribute to the different ways a group of people may live and categorize themselves as one. changed over time. This society has…

Cite This Essay:

"Enga The Culture Plays A Vital Role" (2011, October 06) Retrieved January 18, 2017, from

"Enga The Culture Plays A Vital Role" 06 October 2011. Web.18 January. 2017. <

"Enga The Culture Plays A Vital Role", 06 October 2011, Accessed.18 January. 2017,