Pre-funeral feast is common in Hela

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday, May 23, 2011

YOUR editorial on May 19 describing Chief Daniel Mapiria of Kuranda village’s pre-funeral feast as “very unusual and untraditional” appears immature and obviously no research was made into the ceremony.
In the Hela, pre-funeral feast is a common gesture that is traditionally valued whereby pigs are slaughtered in hundreds to farewell and recognise a loved one before he or she says goodbye to the living.
In this case, it was for Mapiria.
While I acknowledge and appreciate the front page report of the ceremony, I was somewhat humiliated by the editorial which I felt predisposed to comment that in some PNG societies, such pre-funeral feast may not be the norm.
In Hela, such pre-funeral feast is occasional and only hosted to acknowledge someone special in society.
Please note that the ceremony or feast was not to set a new trend as the editorial claimed. 

James Horle
Via email