Peli ('Hawk') Asociation

Doctrines A number of cargo cults have metamorphosed into independent churches. Perhaps the most famous is the Peli (or "Hawk") Association. The practices and beliefs of the church derive in part from those of the Canadian Apostolic Church whose missionaries had been working in Papua New Guinea.

History The Peli Association originated in 1969 with the indigenous apocalypticist Matias Yaliwan and backed up by a mangerial side kick Daniel Hawina. Yaliwan and Hawina stirred some 200,000 people in East Sepick province of Papua New Guinea by attributing the lack of fertility in the Torricelli Mountain region to the fact that that the Americans had desecrated Mt Hurun by placing geodesic markers on it. With thousands of people involved in their removal, it was collectively understood by Peli subscribers that cargo would miraculously come out of the mountaintop, not just the effects of re-fertilization. 30,000 people rallied to the newly built village to await the results and join in the related rituals. When nothing dramatic occurred Hawina skilfully used the presence of in-and-out Canadian Apostolic Church missionaries to start a new church (Niu Apostolik), building on the prior Peli constituency and flouting the Catholic majority in the east Sepik hinterland.

Symbols The movement created an artificial cemetry in which red boxes containing money were buried. In its cult-house so-called flower girls would swill money in dishes of water while men clasped their breasts from behind in a ritualised attempt to multiply the money.

Adherents It is difficult to determine with certainty the size of the movement.

Main Centre
 Malambanja village in East Sepick province of Papua New Guinea.