Introduction / History
The Aighon people live in West New Britain Province on New Britain Island. Their villages are widely scattered among tropical forests, streams, and mountains. Alternately known as the Bao and Apsokok, the Aighon language is part of the Pasismanua group. Traditionally, the Aighon people were semi-nomadic. Living in isolated small groups, they moved every few months for fear of sorcery. A group might consist of three brothers with their wives, children, and parents. Although some Aighon speakers still live this way, most of them now live in permanent villages. Each village has several clans, with a chief for each clan. There is an overall chief for every village, but none over the whole language group.
Every wife has a house where she lives with her children. Her husband may sleep in that house, or in the men's house along with other men and adolescent boys. Most houses are raised on posts with strips of black palm for flooring. Roofs are thatched with leafy vines or sago palm, and walls are made from bamboo or planks. The Aighon people live by raising pigs, gardening, hunting, and fishing. Some sell their garden produce at markets and some work at harvesting oil palm fruit on plantations.
To a certain degree, customs related to death, gardening, hunting, and courtship still remain. The traditional singsing, which involved dancing, singing, and drums, served a spiritual function. The singsing has often been adapted for church celebrations, or for performances in cultural shows. Other celebrations take place during bride price exchanges, funerals, Christmas, Easter, and New Year.
The Aighon people need airstrip improvements and a road through their area. The Christian leaders hope to reach the unevangelized members of their group.
|Profile Source: Anonymous|