How old are
you? Trying to determine ages when time is not kept track of!
Traditional tribal culture has virtually no concept of
keeping track of time over the long term or the short term by a number system.
For instance, in the tribal language you have today, yesterday and the day
before yesterday. Or tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. They do refer to the
current month by the moon, but they don’t count too far down the line. There
isn’t the concept of a 7-day week or a year with 365 days. A “year” is simply
gauge by the annual growing seasons of two types of food, pandanis fruit and
pitpit (not sure what that is in English).
Time in the future is referred to simple as another night or time later.
In the past it’s simply referred to as a long time before or when the men that
lived a long time ago were here.
It was strange coming from a culture of time that is bent of
every second of the day, to a culture that doesn’t event know how old they are
as individuals. I asked an adult male about 30 years of age once how old he
was, he responded, “I think I’m 8 years old.” There are several ways to find
out the approximate age of people based on what physical characteristics they
had in 1975, the year Papua New Guinea received independence. Somehow and some
way people knew where they were at that time. Therefore, I would ask the
following questions to try and gauge peoples’ ages: At the time of independence
were you nursing (a baby)? We you able to go up and down the ladder of the
house yet (toddler)? Did you have hair in your armpits (young teen)? Did you
have facial hair (young adult)? Were you married yet(adult)? Time just isn’t
important in tribal culture, there is always tomorrow, the next day and the day
https://ethnotrax.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/GEDC0233.jpg307396Ethnotraxhttps://ethnotrax.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ethno-trax-logo-black-1.pngEthnotrax2019-03-17 17:21:292019-03-17 17:21:30How old are you?