tit fu!

This woman is displaying the Oksapmin 27-body part counting system (see figure at left). In the video, you will see her enumerate body part names beginning with the thumb on one hand (1) proceeding up to the nose (14) and down to the little finger on the other side of her body (27). At the end of the count, as has been standard practice, she exclaims a fists raised "tit fu!", indicating that she's completed all of the body parts of the system. Similar 27-body part systems have been used traditionally throughout the larger Mountain-Ok region of central New Guinea (see map below).

The schematic on the left shows all of the 27 body parts in the counting system. Traditionally, if people need to count beyond the 27th body part, they loop back to tan dopa (28), or the wrist on the other side (28th position).

Note the direction of the count is arbitrary and meaning is linked to the act -- the woman is using a right-to-left trajectory whereas the upper left schematic shows the opposite direction.

Note also: Although the woman labels every body part with its appropriate body part name, she inadvertantly skips one body part in the system - tan kata (18). Tan kata (18) means shoulder-on-the-other-side (or the 18th position)). 

Year: