New Ireland

New Ireland

Overview
New Ireland Province, formerly New Mecklenburg is the most northeastern province
Provinces of Papua New Guinea
The provinces of Papua New Guinea are the primary administrative divisions of the country. Provincial governments are branches of the national government– Papua New Guinea is not a federation of provinces...

 of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

.

The largest island of the province is New Ireland
New Ireland (island)
New Ireland is a large island in Papua New Guinea, approximately 7,404 km² in area. It is the largest island of the New Ireland Province, lying northeast of the island of New Britain. Both islands are part of the Bismarck Archipelago, named after Otto von Bismarck, and they are separated by...

.

Also part of the province are numerous smaller islands, including Saint Matthias Group (Mussau
Mussau Island
Mussau Island is the largest island of St. Matthias Islands, Papua New Guinea, at . It is one of the northernmost islands of Papua New Guinea....

, Emirau
Emirau Island
Emirau Island, also called Emira, is an island in the Bismarck Archipelago located at . It is currently part of the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea. The local language is a dialect of the Mussau-Emira language...

), New Hanover
New Hanover Island
New Hanover Island, , also called Lavongai, is a large volcanic island in New Ireland Province, part of the Bismarck Archipelago of the New Guinea Islands region of Papua New Guinea, at...

, Djaul
Dyaul Island
Dyaul Island is an island in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. Its area is 100 km2. The inhabitants live mainly in seven villages, and frequently visit Kavieng, the capital of the province, for supplies or to sell produce and fish. There are two languages, not counting Tok Pisin, spoken on...

, Tabar Group
Tabar Group
The Tabar Group is an island group in Papua New Guinea, located 40 km north of New Ireland. It is a part of the Bismarck Archipelago. The Tabar group consists of a short chain of three main islands - Tabar Island in the south, Tatau Island in the center, and Simberi Island in the north - as...

 (Tabar, Tatau, Simberi
Simberi Island
Simberi Island is a volcanic island in the Tabar Group, in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province.-Geography and geology:Simberi is the northern most and smallest of the three islands in the Tabar Group. The island is about 9 km long and 7 km wide and has an area of about 40 square...

), Lihir
Lihir Island
Lihir Island is the largest island in the Lihir group of islands, 22 km long and 14.5 km wide, in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province. It consists of a complex of several overlapping basaltic stratovolcanoes rising 700m above sea level. While the volcanoes are not currently active,...

, Tanga Group (Malendok, Boang), Feni Islands
Feni Islands
Feni Islands is an island group in Papua New Guinea, located east of New Ireland, at . It is a part of Bismarck Archipelago. Largest island of the group is Ambitle, other islands include Babase Island....

 (Ambitle
Ambitle
Ambitle is a volcanic island which, together with Babase, another volcanic island, is one of the two Feni Islands in the Bismarck Archipelago. The island is located within the Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province, to the east of the island of New Ireland....

, Babase) and Anir.

The land area of the province is around 9 600 km².
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Encyclopedia
New Ireland Province, formerly New Mecklenburg is the most northeastern province
Provinces of Papua New Guinea
The provinces of Papua New Guinea are the primary administrative divisions of the country. Provincial governments are branches of the national government– Papua New Guinea is not a federation of provinces...

 of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

.

Physical geography


The largest island of the province is New Ireland
New Ireland (island)
New Ireland is a large island in Papua New Guinea, approximately 7,404 km² in area. It is the largest island of the New Ireland Province, lying northeast of the island of New Britain. Both islands are part of the Bismarck Archipelago, named after Otto von Bismarck, and they are separated by...

.

Also part of the province are numerous smaller islands, including Saint Matthias Group (Mussau
Mussau Island
Mussau Island is the largest island of St. Matthias Islands, Papua New Guinea, at . It is one of the northernmost islands of Papua New Guinea....

, Emirau
Emirau Island
Emirau Island, also called Emira, is an island in the Bismarck Archipelago located at . It is currently part of the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea. The local language is a dialect of the Mussau-Emira language...

), New Hanover
New Hanover Island
New Hanover Island, , also called Lavongai, is a large volcanic island in New Ireland Province, part of the Bismarck Archipelago of the New Guinea Islands region of Papua New Guinea, at...

, Djaul
Dyaul Island
Dyaul Island is an island in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. Its area is 100 km2. The inhabitants live mainly in seven villages, and frequently visit Kavieng, the capital of the province, for supplies or to sell produce and fish. There are two languages, not counting Tok Pisin, spoken on...

, Tabar Group
Tabar Group
The Tabar Group is an island group in Papua New Guinea, located 40 km north of New Ireland. It is a part of the Bismarck Archipelago. The Tabar group consists of a short chain of three main islands - Tabar Island in the south, Tatau Island in the center, and Simberi Island in the north - as...

 (Tabar, Tatau, Simberi
Simberi Island
Simberi Island is a volcanic island in the Tabar Group, in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province.-Geography and geology:Simberi is the northern most and smallest of the three islands in the Tabar Group. The island is about 9 km long and 7 km wide and has an area of about 40 square...

), Lihir
Lihir Island
Lihir Island is the largest island in the Lihir group of islands, 22 km long and 14.5 km wide, in Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province. It consists of a complex of several overlapping basaltic stratovolcanoes rising 700m above sea level. While the volcanoes are not currently active,...

, Tanga Group (Malendok, Boang), Feni Islands
Feni Islands
Feni Islands is an island group in Papua New Guinea, located east of New Ireland, at . It is a part of Bismarck Archipelago. Largest island of the group is Ambitle, other islands include Babase Island....

 (Ambitle
Ambitle
Ambitle is a volcanic island which, together with Babase, another volcanic island, is one of the two Feni Islands in the Bismarck Archipelago. The island is located within the Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province, to the east of the island of New Ireland....

, Babase) and Anir.

The land area of the province is around 9 600 km². The sea area within the Exclusive Economic Zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

 (EEZ) of New Ireland Province is around 230,000 km².

Ecology


In the early days of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 while in search of a lost scientific expedition the vessel La Recherche passed by New Ireland. On board was the prominent botanist Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière who noted in his journal fine stands of teak
Teak
Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma, but is naturalized and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the...

 (tectona grandis) trees growing at the southern end of the island. This marks the easternmost occurrence of teak, an important timber tree which extends naturally from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 to Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 on the Asian mainland and also is present on Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 in the Indonesian archipelago.

History


There have been at least three waves of migration into New Ireland over the last 40,000 years. The famous Lapita
Lapita
Lapita is a term applied to an ancient Pacific Ocean archaeological culture which is believed by many archaeologists to be the common ancestor of several cultures in Polynesia, Micronesia, and some coastal areas of Melanesia...

 pottery culture was present around 3,300 years ago.

Chinese and South-East Asian contact appears to have been longstanding, though evidence is thin.

Dutch explorers made the first European contact in 1616. It was initially believed by Europeans to be part of New Britain
New Britain
New Britain, or Niu Briten, is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits and from New Ireland by St. George's Channel...

, but the British explorer Philip Carteret
Philip Carteret
Philip Carteret, Seigneur of Trinity was a British naval officer and explorer who participated in two of the Royal Navy's circumnavigation expeditions in 1764-66 and 1766-69.-Biography:...

 established in 1767 that the island was physically separate, and gave it the name Nova Hibernia.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Marquis de Rays
Marquis de Rays
Charles Marie Bonaventure du Breil, Marquis de Rays was a French nobleman who had ambitions of starting a great French colony in the South Pacific...

, a French nobleman unsuccessfully attempted to establish a French colony on the island called La Nouvelle France. He sent four ill-fated expeditions to the island, the most famous of which
De Rays Expedition
The Third de Rays Expedition, or simply the de Rays Expedition, was the third New Guinea expedition of Marquis de Rays, a French nobleman who attempted to start a colony in the South Pacific...

 caused the death of 123 settlers.

Missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 activity did not begin until 1877, and New Ireland was colonised by Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1886 under the name Neu-Mecklenburg, as part of the German partition comprising the northern half of present-day Papua New Guinea.

Blackbirding
Blackbirding
Blackbirding is a term that refers to recruitment of people through trickery and kidnappings to work as labourers. From the 1860s blackbirding ships were engaged in seeking workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru...

 - the removal, often by force, of local young men to work on plantations in northern Australia and other Pacific islands - was widespread in New Ireland in the late 19th century.

Australia took control in 1914, in the early stages of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and renamed the island as New Ireland. It became part of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea declared in 1921 by the League of Nations and administered by Australia.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 New Ireland was occupied by Japanese forces from January 1941 until September 1945.

Australian colonial administration continued until Papua New Guinea became independent in September 1975.

Human geography



The population during the year 2000 census was 118,350 people, the vast majority of whom (about 90%) live in small rural villages. The population is very young, with a median age of 18.7 years. Over 40% of the population are under the age of 15 years, while only 3% are above 65 years old.

The provincial capital is Kavieng
Kavieng
Kavieng is the capital of the Papua New Guinean province of New Ireland and the largest town on the island of the same name. The town is located at Balgai Bay, on the northern tip of the island. As of 2000, it had a population of 10,600....

, located on the northern tip of the main island. Namatanai
Namatanai
Namatanai is a town on the island province of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. It is the second largest settlement on the island and connected to the largest and provincial capital of Kavieng by the Boluminski Highway. In 2005, Namantanai was estimated to have a population of 1300 people.During...

 is another small town two-thirds of the way along the island. The Boluminski Highway
Boluminski Highway
The Boluminski Highway is the main land transportation route on the island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. It runs from the provincial capital of Kavieng for 193 km down the east coast of the island to Namatanai...

 runs down the east coast, linking the two towns.

Around twenty language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

s are spoken in New Ireland, and the number of dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s and subdialects totals perhaps 45. All are in the New Ireland languages
New Ireland languages
The New Ireland languages are a group of the Meso-Melanesian languages. They are largely spoken on the island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea.-Composition:...

 group within the Austronesian
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 language family, except for one language isolate
Language isolate
A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical relationship with other languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common with any other language. They are in effect language families consisting of a single...

, Kuot
Kuot language
The Kuot language, or Panaras, is a language isolate, the only non-Austronesian language spoken on the island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. There are about 2,400 speakers, concentrated primarily on the northwest coast of the island...

.

Culture


New Ireland, like much of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, has a mixture of the old and the new: traditional cultural practices ("custom") are widespread and almost universally respected, yet society is changing as a result of church
Church Body
A local church is a Christian religious organization that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by pastors or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek seek non-profit corporate status...

 activity, urbanisation, and various aspects of global contemporary culture making their mark.

Probably the most famous cultural system of New Ireland is "Malagan
Malagan
Malagan ceremonies are large, intricate traditional cultural events that take place in parts of New Ireland province in Papua New Guinea...

", a Nalik
Nalik
Nalik can refer to:* The Nalik language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea* Nalik culture - the traditional culture of the Nalik language area...

 word for an ancient and revered set of practices and ceremonies practised throughout much of the main island. Malagan is also an art where the dead are remembered through the various depictions that are carved on Malagan masks. The Malagan masks have a symbolic meaning as the dead must be remembered through the masks and ceremonies. They are the practical means of capturing the spirits of recent dead relatives or clan members. During the colonial era, significant quantities of Malagan masks were collected by European administrators and can be seen in museums all over Europe.

Districts and LLGs



Each province in Papua New Guinea has one or more districts, and each district has one or more Local Level Government (LLG) areas. For census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 purposes, the LLG areas are subdivided into wards and those into census units.
District District Capital LLG Name
Kavieng District
Kavieng District
Kavieng District is the northernmost district of New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. The district contains the northern part of the island of New Ireland, as well as New Hannover, and the St. Matthias Group....

Kavieng
Kavieng
Kavieng is the capital of the Papua New Guinean province of New Ireland and the largest town on the island of the same name. The town is located at Balgai Bay, on the northern tip of the island. As of 2000, it had a population of 10,600....

Kavieng Urban
Kavieng Urban LLG
The Kavieng Urban LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG is located in Kavieng District and the LLG headquarters is Kavieng. This LLG has six wards. The area is a renowned habitat for the Nutrias or giant rats....

Lavongai Rural
Lavongai Rural LLG
The Lavongai Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers the island of New Hanover and a few surrounding islands. The LLG is located in Kavieng District and the LLG headquarters is Taskul. Some population centres in the LLG are: Taskul,...

Murat Rural
Murat Rural LLG
The Murat Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG president is Derol Maisi. The LLG administers the St. Matthias Group of islands and is located in Kavieng District....

Tikana Rural
Tikana Rural LLG
The Tikana Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers the northern section of the island of New Ireland, as well as Dyaul Island and some Tigak islands in the strait between New Ireland and New Hanover....

Namatanai District
Namatanai District
Namatanai District is the southernmost and larger of the two districts of New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. The district covers the southern part of the island of New Ireland, as well as the Tabar Group, the Lihir Group, the Tangga Group and the Feni Islands.The district headquarters is...

Namatanai
Namatanai
Namatanai is a town on the island province of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. It is the second largest settlement on the island and connected to the largest and provincial capital of Kavieng by the Boluminski Highway. In 2005, Namantanai was estimated to have a population of 1300 people.During...

Konoagil Rural
Konoagil Rural LLG
The Konoagil Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers the southern peninsula of the island of New Ireland. The LLG is located in Namatanai District....

Namatanai Rural
Namatanai Rural LLG
The Namatanai Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG is located in Namatanai District and the LLG headquarters is Namatanai....

Nimamar Rural
Nimamar Rural LLG
The Nimamar Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers the Lihir Group of islands. The LLG is located in Namatanai District and contains the Lihir Gold Mine, which is the second largest gold deposit in the world.The current LLG president is...

Sentral Niu Ailan Rural
Sentral Niu Ailan Rural LLG
The Sentral Niu Ailan Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers a central area of the island of New Ireland and the Tabar Group...

Tanir Rural
Tanir Rural LLG
The Tanir Rural LLG is a local government area in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The LLG administers the Tangga Group and the Feni Islands.The current LLG president is Bruno Parbil....