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Nawipa, Noakh 1995 The Concept of Hai among the Amungme in the South-Central Highlands of Irian Jaya and its implications for non-formal education, Ed.D. Dissertation, Asia Graduate School of Theology, Philippines.
    © Noakh Nawipa, 1995. Use of any part of this thesis for any purpose must be acknowledged.


Religious movements or what Westerners call cargo cult movements are the manifestation of deeper perceptions in the world and life view of Melanesians. Christian educators are confronted with the understanding and application of the Word of God to every social, cultural and historical context. This presents the challenge of increasing our understanding of the Scriptures as well as the cultural themes in the process of integrating them into the life and ministry of believers. An analysis is needed to probe more deeply into cultural aspects of cargo cults, and one such phenomenon is Hai.

This study seeks to investigate the concept of Hai among the Amungmes of the South Central Highlands of Irian Jaya and to note how Biblical truths can be applied to the concept of Hai as it appears in traditional myths and contemporary cargo beliefs. Then, it also intends to propose a Christian education guideline for adult nonformal Christian education among the Amungmes.

Data for this research were collected by interviewing community leaders in the two different villages of Amungme people in Irian Jaya. These participatory observations as well as data collection of written materials were used.

This research contributes to a deeper understanding of cargo cult movements among Melanesians, including Irianese, from the perspective of Christian education thoughts and practices. An analysis of the Hai concept of the Amungme myths and cargo cult beliefs is presented from the perspective of Christian faith. It also contributes to the process of contextualization of Christian faith in the context of the Amungme people in Irian Jaya as a practice of Christian education ministries.

It is seen that a strong relationship exists between Amungme myths and the contemporary cargo cult movements in relation to, the idea of Hai. This study has found that Hai is a core belief of the Amungme world and life view and value systems. Therefore, the Biblical world and life view must be integrated into the context of the Hai world view and value systems through a God-centered education approach among the Amungme in a nonformal adult Christian education setting.

The principles of nonformal adult Christian education is developed as a guideline for the practice of Christian education among the Anurngme people in Irian Jaya. These principles may serve as a guide to the practice of Christian education as a whole.

The research finally contributes ideas for those who work as nonformal adult educators in the community development basis, church education ministries with the knowledge of the Amungme world and life view to become better acquainted with the people and their way of life.


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