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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 23, 1997 - Niuswire/Post-Courier)---Seven young women have forgone traditional bride price payments to marry and ensure the survival of their families in frost-affected villages, the Post-Courier reported today.

Two villages leaders from the Lower Wake area of Kandep in Enga Province told the Post-Courier in Wabag last weekend that the women had gone to men in the Wapenamanda and Saak areas freely without the usual tradition of bridal payments.

Lui Kuku and Waro Saun said the family members of the young women followed them to the men's villages.

They said the women had married the men for the sake of keeping themselves and their families alive.

Both men agreed that the people in the Kandep area had been badly affected by frost and there was nothing for people to eat. People were doing anything to survive, they said.

Mr. Saun said he knew that seven women from the Marland side of Kandep had gone there to marry men who had ample food.

He said of foremost importance was survival and parents were not demanding bride prices as is normally the case.

"The young women are not forced by their parents to marry. They are going of their own free will," the village leader said.

Mr. Saun, speaking from his group's area in Enga, said the young women were going to the new areas on their own free will as a matter of life and death.

Title -- 901 DISASTERS: Hunger cuts off bridal price Date -- 23 September 1997 Byline -- Robert Palme Origin -- Niuswire ( Source -- Post-Courier (PNG), 23/9/97 Copyright -- Post-Courier Status -- Abridged

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