The Huli Legend of ​Biango Dudu, the Singing Dog

Long ago, there were two Dama (evil spirits), called Dabera Lira and Dabera Ali, that lived at Guluanda. No one knows where they came from, but one of them wanted to kill and eat all the people.

One night while hunting, biango dudu Peli met the Dama who wanted to eat all the people and asked, “Where are you going, Dama?”

“I’m going to kill and eat all the people,” the Dama said.

“All right”, said Peli, “I’ll show you where the people are – but only if you can count all my hairs before daylight”.

So the Dama started counting and when he had finished, Peli said, “Now you must count all the dust wherever I have walked.” When the Dama had finished that task, Peli said, “Now you must count all the trees I have seen.”

When Dama had finished counting all the trees, Peli said, “Now you must count all the water I have drank.”

But the Dama replied, “No, Peli, no one can’t count water.”  Then the Dama exclaimed nonsense words, “… mindiya, kindiya, goregira, koregira!” and stormed off in anger.

Brave Peli tried to chase the Dama, but couldn’t catch him. The two went on and on until night fell once again. The Dama came to a big tree and stopped beside it to rest for the night. Soon, Peli came to the same tree and fell asleep on the other side, though neither knew the other was there.

In the morning, Peli went to check on people to make sure they were safe, and the Dama, exhausted and defeated, went away for all time.  The people celebrated how brave biango dudu Peli had been in protecting them and promised to honor the Biango Dudu for all time.
​The NGSD in New Guinea History and Lore

Since the beginning of their history, the Huli people of New Guinea have lived in close contact with animals and have developed myths and legends about them.

A variety of creatures play important roles in Huli mythology. In some Huli legends, animals perform heroic acts as mediators between heaven and earth. They may also be the source of wisdom and power for a shaman.

Animals often have a duality in cultural mythology, sometimes being helpful to humans, sometimes harmful, and sometimes occupying both roles. For instance, they often provide people with food but are acknowledged as being potentially dangerous.  In Huli mythology, animals serve as sources and symbols in myths and legends where animals represent the mystery and power of the natural world, which can create or destroy.

In historical times, the Huli people would capture male biango dudu (singing dog) puppies and raise them as hunting dogs.  Having a biango dudu hunting dog was a symbol of status and pride, and they were highly prized by Huli hunters.

The preceding legend illustrates the fearless character of biango dudu and the importance of dogs as protectors and village guardians, as well as their central role in cultural traditions and lore.

​Many, if not most, indigenous New Guinea peoples and cultures have stories and traditions involving the HWD.  In some cultures, HWDs are highly prized hunting trophies, with their jaws and skulls displayed proudly on huts.  Today, the HWD is an invaluable national treasure and natural resource in it's historic ecosystem and range, and we must strive to protect and conserve not only it's history, but it's future.

Back to Top

​​​new guinea highland wild dog foundation, inc

NGHWDF History Department

The NGHWDF History Department will be responsible for all records, history, breeding history and collections of anecdotal information prior to 2017.  The department will also be responsible for populating the Legacy Registry and will provide support to the Rescue branch and other elements of the organization. 

History of the NGSD in the United States

​​​Photo of NGSD taken at London Zoo, circa 1960s, presumably an offspring of the original Taronga Zoo pair.
​​​Photo of NGSD taken at Melbourne Zoo, December 1965, presumably an offspring of the original Taronga Zoo pair.
​​Anecdotal History of the NGSD in the US  (Author unknown/content unverfied but believed accurate.)
This anecdotal historical record was taken from the NGHWDF Secretary's archives.  The origin and author of the document are unknown, and the content is unverified but believed accurate.  If you are the author or know who the author is, please contact us at library@nghwdf.org so we may provide full credit.