Yesterday one of our PNG friends took me (along with two other guys) on a hike a few miles away to visit some of his family (the actual relationship is not totally clear at this point.) When we got there, his cousin-ish relative showed us how to replace the “rope” on a bow (as in “bow and arrow.”) The rope is actually a piece of bamboo.

Here he is measuring out the bamboo on his bow…


And trimming it with his “bush knife…”


And splitting the bamboo…


Then softening the bamboo to prepare it for a knot…


Then making a knot…


And after repeating at the other end, voila:

Good enough to kill a pig, dog, bird, or man–not a cow.

  1. Kelly K

    Maybe you should go back to the cousin-ish relative to get help making a bow to protect you from pigs on the paths. Or start hunting them. Do they have pig hunting season there? I bet Elizabeth would love to have some fresh pork brought home to cook up!

    • Joseph

      Interesting thought…more on that soon.
      They don’t have pig-hunting season. In fact, if I were to kill a pig that belonged to someone else, it might cost me my life! Pigs are pretty important as status symbols among other things.

  2. Ashley

    I expected to see Elizabeth showing others how to make hair bows….shows how unculturalized I am.

    • Lindsey New

      I was totally waiting on the photos of Elizabeth making her fabulous hair bows for a local tribe.

  3. Andrea

    Ashley I thought the same thing at first :).

    Do they eat pork since they are so important?

  4. Sharon Jacobs

    I have a question…do these people have jobs during the day? or do they have farms or do they just hang out?

    • Joseph

      Few of them have jobs around us other than working in their own gardens. Some of them in town have jobs. Many of them sell some of the produce they grow or might work for part of the year picking coffee something like that.

  5. Denise

    Maybe you could get a bow to kill those spiders. I’m just sayin’.

  6. Larry

    Bro, what’s their primary use of the bows?
    Sounds like refraining from hog hunting is quite wise.

    • Joseph

      Tribal warfare. Not very common now (especially where we live currently close to town,) but many of the adults have stories of being involved in fights. The last big one in this area was in the 80s.

      • Larry

        Wow. That’s incredible! Thanks for sharing.

What do you think?