Fred Gerrits, Gunter Senft, and Désirée Wisse: Bomiyoyeva and bomduvadova. Two Rare Structures on the Trobriand Islands Exclusively Reserved for Tabalu Chiefs


This article presents information about two so far undescribed buildings made by the Trobriand Islanders, the bomiyoyeva and the bomduvadova. These structures are connected to the highest-ranking chiefs living in Labai and Omarakana on Kiriwina Island. They highlight the power and eminence of These chiefs. After a brief report on the history of this project, the structure of the two houses, their function, and their use is described and information on their construction and their mythical Background is provided. Finally, everyday as well as ritual, social, and political functions of both buildings are discussed.

[Melanesia,Trobriand Islands, Tabalu chiefs, yams houses, bomiyoyeva, bomduvadova, authoritative capacities]