Motuan people

Motu is the name of a major tribe in Papua New Guinea, as well as the language of the tribe. The Guinean lingua Hiri Motu is based on this language.

The approximately 25,000 Motu live around the capital Port Moresby in the Central Province. They live mainly from fishing and were formerly known for their beautiful houses and canoes, and especially famous for their facial and full-body tattoos. A nichttätowierte woman was considered dishonorable. Today, tattoos are considered old-fashioned, and only older they wear.

The old - Hiri Motu trading voyages of

The previous Hiri rides, there are only a memory. They were wide, month-long trading voyages, with their Lagatois, tied together from canoes sailing boats took the Motu, and it would swap their beautiful pottery from sago palm flour. Lagatois are still made for special celebrations, such as the Independence Day of Papua New Guinea.

Acquisition of language in the tribal boundaries

In the Australian colonial period many Motu served as a police officer. For the other local police and low administrative officials was soon a simplified form of the tribal language as a lingua franca in the languages ​​of Papua. This language, Hiri Motu is therefore often referred to as police motu. It is, as well as the Guinean lingua franca Tok Pisin, a pidgin language ( Creole ).

Motu Hiri Motu and belong to the Austronesian languages. Until the Second World War, Hiri Motu spread even further, now they are talking about another 4 percent of the population of Papua New Guinea.