The Ende tribe of Western Province, Papua New Guinea possess and make use of a huge trove of knowledge about the lowland forest, using a wide variety of plants for everything from fishing and hunting to making houses, clothes, tools, and toys.



This project aims to begin systematic documentation of Ende material knowledge through two related strands of research:  

  • Identify a broad range of plant species that people use and note how they are utilised. 
  • Document a few of the most endangered practices in depth:

    • Water containers made of palm and bamboo, ine kubewhich have now mostly been replaced by plastic containers
    • The distinctive cone-shaped spalek basket that women carry on their backs
    • Tab, a practice of indicating which way you have gone or what is yours using specific plants. 


Catherine Scanlon, Graduate Student, 
Department of Linguistics, University of California Santa Barbara 

Warama Kurupel, Chair, Ende Language Committee
Kenneth Molem, Senior Botanist, New Guinea Binatang Research Centre

Location of Research:
Limol village, Western Province, Papua New Guinea 

Host Institution:
University of California Santa Barbara


Top Banner Image: Lotus flowers (baob) near Limol, photo credit: Catherine Scanlon