In 1900, the Dreikikir people were a completely naked, forest-dwelling people whose lives revolved around their kin. During the 1890s, Malay and Chinese bird shooters and labour recruiters crossed the mountains and made contact with the northernmost villages. They employed men from these villages to abduct young men from the Dreikikir area as labourers and sometimes took young women as wives to the northern villagers or the coast. Tumam and Ngahmbole are about 20 kilometres south of the crest of the coastal range. Steel tools meant Dreikikir gardens could be cleared into heavier forest, from ridgelines towards watercourses. If one-quarter of the Dreikikir villagers also died in the 1890s, the rapid population growth that began in the 1980s started from a lower base than it otherwise would have. Culturally, the Dreikikir people have made some progress towards modernity, in that most now deny cargo cults have any basis in truth.
|Title of host publication||Change and Continuity in the Pacific: Revisiting the Region|
|Editors||John Connell and Helen Lee|
|Place of Publication||London, United Kingdom|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|