“The vibrant community gatherings that surrounded a special ceremony such as a bride price always included a pig kill.”
A Mumu, or ground oven, is a traditional way of cooking in West Papua and Papua New Guinea. Several shallow pits are dug in the ground and surrounded by leaves from a banana tree. Rocks are heated with fire for several hours, while the food is prepared. The food usually consists of sweet potatoes, bananas, taro, and, of course, pork. The pigs had been gutted, cleaned and cut in half, each half laid on banana leaves and displayed to show off their fat. These ingredients are placed inside freshly cut banana leaves, wrapped so tightly no air can escape. Cooking takes several hours, and, counting preparation and eating, it is an all-all day event, and requires everyone’s participation, young and old.