Tropical rainforests are special geographical landscape around the world, which are covered with various species of plants and animals. The tropical rainforests are wet and hot. Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C (64 °F) during all months of the year and average annual rainfall is no less than 168 cm. (Woodward, 1997)It is obvious very difficult and unsuitable for human to live in, although there are many advantageous conditions for the growth of plants and some animals. Here in Papua New Guinea live 7.5 million people, and the human presence on the island dates back at least 40,000 years.
The environment people can survive must possess the food and water. Since tropical rainforests contain most kinds of plants there, it helps people on New Guinea fill their bellies by gathering. The New Guinea people gathered a variety of bush vegetables, including Gnetum gnemon leaves, ferns, wild yams, fungi, and berries. People on this island can also fish for food. Fishing by scoop net, trap, dam, and very occasionally bow and arrow were practiced “in very modest volume,” mostly yielding small fish, eels, and turtles. Because of the abundant food sources, people there seldom plant or cultivate crops. However, one of the most common crops in this island named sago was planted both on the Upland and the Lowland long time ago. (Patrol, 1950) And livestock like pigs and fowl were in small amounts at most. Some of them used for food, and some of them were for trade between the Upland and the Lowland. (Roscoe & Telban)
The living condition on New Guinea Island is also not so good for human beings, which determines the settlement pattern in the tropical rainforest. In the past the people of West New Britain Province lived in scattered villages. Because the land was broad and the population was scarce, people lived together in small clan groups....