Friday, April 8, 2011


The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica has an entry for Duk-Duk:

DUK-DUK, a secret society of New Britain or New Pomerania,
Bismarck Archipelago, in the South Pacific. The society has
religious and political as well as social objects. It represents
a rough sort of law and order through its presiding spirit Duk-Duk,
a mysterious figure dressed in leaves to its waist, with a helmet
like a gigantic candle-extinguisher made of network. Upon
this figure women and children are forbidden to look. Women,
who are entitled in New Britain to their own earnings and work
harder than men, are the special victims of Duk-Duk, who
levies blackmail upon them if they are about during its visits.
These are generally timed to coincide with the hours at which
the women are out in the fields and therefore cannot help seeing
the figure. Justice is executed, fines extorted, taboos, feasts,
taxes and all tribal matters are arranged by the Duk-Duk
members, who wear hideous masks or chalk their faces. In
carrying out punishments they are allowed to burn houses and
even kill people. Only males can belong to Duk-Duk, the
entrance fees of which vary from 50 to 100 fathoms of dewarra
(small cowrie shells strung on strips of cane). The society has
its secret signs and ritual, and festivals at which the presence
of a stranger would mean his death. Duk-Duk only appears
with the full moon. The society is now much discredited and
is fast dying out."

Does this secret society still exist today? The traditional Duk Duk costumes are still employed by hired dancers as a tourist attraction, but what of the true inner elite cabal of men carrying out Duk Duk's will?

And what of the actual spirit of Duk Duk himself, who, even if he wasn't real before, most certainly is now?

Curiously, the Duk Duk is also being kept alive and in circulation as a thoughtform via a popular pocketknife called the "Douk Douk", manufactured in France by the M.C. Cognet company since 1927 and still available today. It features an engraving of Duk Duk on the handle.

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