World’s Strangest

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“In order to cut off my anger, I’m cutting off my finger and giving it to you”

this certainly puts a different spin on "giving someone the finger."

In her book Wayward
Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society
anthropologist Holly Wardlow recounted how the Huli natives of Papua New
Guinea solved marital spats involving alleged infidelity:

… many women when falsely accused [of adultery by their husbands]
will lop off their index or pinky fingers at the first or second joint.
This practice is quite common: of the fifty women with whom I conducted
life history interviews, ten of them had one or two finger joints missing.

Indeed this practice by Huli women is so pervasive that children
say they make a point of hiding all knives and axes whenever their parents
argue, not only to prevent them from injuring each other, but to prevent
their mothers from lopping off their fingers.

Like suicide, finger-lopping is motivated by anger and indignation,
but it is highly performative as well; for example, one is supposed
to maintain enough presence of mind to hurl the finger at one’s accuser
and yell something like, "keba biba haro, inaga ki bi pugu ngerogoni"
(In order to cut off/finish my anger, I’m cutting off my finger and
giving it to you.)

– via Weird

Post Metadata

March 21st, 2012

Stranger to the World


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