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08 June 2018


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Terrific yarn Bill. Keep them coming. I

The description of the insignia of Paramount Luluais that I borrowed from Paula Brown's 'The Chimbu' was part of a document that she also had borrowed.

She took it from the publication 'You and the Native - Notes for the Guidance of Members of the Forces in their Relations with the New Guinea Natives' (Allied Geographical Section, South West Pacific Area. By Command of General MacArthur. Major-General R K Sutherland, USA, Chief of Staff, 12 February 1943)

It is a fascinating document of 17 pages illustrated with eight small, humorous sketches and it's available as a free digitised download from the Victorian State Library at

The description of Village Officials and their insignia is brief but very clear and precise:

Mandated Territory of New Guinea: Paramount Luluai (for large districts, 30-50 villages). Cap, broad red band, white cap cover, staff. Luluai—cap, broad red band, Tultul—cap, two narrow red bands, Medical Tultul—cap, white band, red cross. The uniform may be much tattered, like your own. But the native has a high respect for it; make it appear that you do also.

Those details appear in the caption beneath a photo 059097 taken at Bukaua on 18th October 1942 of Captain Ralph (RG) Ormbsy of ANGAU "talking to native villagers." It is in the Australian War Memorial collection at

Village Luluai (Chief) - Cap with one broad red band (2); Village Medical Tutul (Orderly) - Cap with white band and red cross (3); Village Tultul (Chief's Assistant) - Cap with two narrow red bands (4); Village Medical Tultul (Orderly) - Cap with white band and red cross (5); Paramount Luluai (Chief of Area) - Cap with white cover and one broad red band.

Not much for room for confusion in those detail in those or a host of other examples that give the same details.

Thank you for that article Bill. I have fond memories of Kurt from his time in Milne Bay in the early 70s.

Great memories. Thanks. I have a copy of his small book with some of his paintings.. inspired me.

Mihalic's Pidgin Dictionary says "waitpus = paramount chief recognisable from his white hat band" ("Pus = a sash, a scarf, a strip of cloth").

When I first went to Madang in 1961, the tultul's cap had two narrow red bands ("pus"), the luluai's had a broader red band, and the paramount luluai had one broad white band.

The waist sashes worn by police were also known as "pus".

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