VOICES OF THE RAINFOREST – Sago

We’re in the rainforest of Papua, New Guinea, near a remote village which is the home of the Bosavi people. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

“This is early in the morning. We’re with a family. They’ve left the village. They’ve gone off into the forest, and they’re going to process sago today. Sago is a staple starch of the Bosavi people, and many forest people in Papua, New Guinea. The sago tree is a palm tree. The tree is split. The pulp is scraped, and then it’s beaten, and then it’s made into a gelatinous kind of cake.”

Steve Feld is a professor of anthropology at New York University.

“While women are working on scraping the pulp, they are also nursing their babies, playing with their other children, teasing their dogs by inviting them with lip-smacking sounds, giving them a little bit of sago, and then chasing them off.

“When you listen to these sounds, you get a sense of the fluidity of interaction in the society: the way work and play mix together very easily, interacting with children, playing with dogs, listening to the forest, streams roaring in the background. All of these things are integrated in a deep sense and sound gives us an instantaneous snapshot of that.”

ambience: Bosavi women singing.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

VOICES OF THE RAINFOREST - Sago

In Papua, New Guinea, a trip to collect sago, a staple dietary starch, becomes a family event for the Bosavi people.
Air Date:11/23/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

We're in the rainforest of Papua, New Guinea, near a remote village which is the home of the Bosavi people. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

"This is early in the morning. We're with a family. They've left the village. They've gone off into the forest, and they're going to process sago today. Sago is a staple starch of the Bosavi people, and many forest people in Papua, New Guinea. The sago tree is a palm tree. The tree is split. The pulp is scraped, and then it's beaten, and then it's made into a gelatinous kind of cake."

Steve Feld is a professor of anthropology at New York University.

"While women are working on scraping the pulp, they are also nursing their babies, playing with their other children, teasing their dogs by inviting them with lip-smacking sounds, giving them a little bit of sago, and then chasing them off.

"When you listen to these sounds, you get a sense of the fluidity of interaction in the society: the way work and play mix together very easily, interacting with children, playing with dogs, listening to the forest, streams roaring in the background. All of these things are integrated in a deep sense and sound gives us an instantaneous snapshot of that."

ambience: Bosavi women singing.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.