The Significance of Moka in Kawelka Society in the Past

Teacher Discuss the significance of moka in Kawelka society in the past. Why do you think body adornment figures so prominently in the mini and large mokas of the Kawelka?
The equivalent of Moka to a modern audience is a lavish feast or gift giving festivity. The moka is a system of gift giving of the Kawelka tribe in Papua New Guinea where they organize elaborate gifts to be given among the tribe people and also to their trading partners in different valleys to foster harmony and goodwill. For the moka to remain significant, the previous moka has to be returned with greater generosity which in the case of the documentary, the Ongka is planning to give gifts which includes 600 pigs, cattles, rare birds, a motorcycle and a truck to top the previous gift of 400 pigs. The moka is very important because the leader’s reputation and prestige depends on the moka he can organize. Moka is also the manifestation or a validation of the character of the Ongka of his ability to influence and be followed by his tribesmen in raising the gifts for the moka. In the documentary, the Ongka was able to persuade his tribesmen in raising the gifts that will given in the moka for another tribe.
Since the moka is an important occasion in the Kawelka tribe to maintain peace and foster trade among other tribes in different valleys, participants in the moka wear their traditional and Highland decoration decorations which typically constitute of the things they have amassed in raising the moka such as pearl shells. The bigger the moka the grander these adornments are because they reflect the reputation and prestige of the Big Man of their tribe who is the Ongka that organized the moka.