Motu (people)

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The Motu are an indigenous people in Papua New Guinea , the approximately 25,000 members live in the province of Central around the capital Port Moresby . Their language is also called Motu , on her founds the Guinean official language Hiri Motu .

The Motu live mainly from fishing and were formerly famous for their beautiful houses and canoes , and especially for their face and full body tattoos . A non-tattooed woman was considered dishonorable. Today the tattoos are considered old-fashioned, only older people wear them.

The old Hiri trading trips of the Motu

The earlier Hiri rides are only remembered. The Motu made long, month-long trading trips with their lagatois , sailboats tied together from canoes . They exchanged their coveted pottery for sago palm flour . The Lagatoi merchant boats are still made today for special celebrations such as Papua New Guinea's Independence Day.

Adoption of the language beyond the tribal borders

In the Australian colonial era , many motu served as police officers . For the other local police officers and low administrative officials soon was considered a simplified form of tribal language as a lingua franca in the linguistic diversity of Papua. This language, Hiri Motu , is therefore often referred to as Police Motu . Like the New Guinean lingua franca Tok Pisin , it is a pidgin language ( Creole language ).

Motu and Hiri Motu are Austronesian languages . Until the Second World War , Hiri Motu continued to spread, today they still speak about 4 percent of the population of Papua New Guinea .

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