OLAC Record

Title:Myth 03-05: Light coming to earth, Cassowary and Hornbill, Darkness and light
Audio-visual documentation of Meakambut ways of speaking
Contributor (researcher):Darja
Contributor (speaker):Kapukam
Description:Three myths in one long narrative
The Meakambut are semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, numbering about 60, moving between camps and rock shelters in their mountainous territory in East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea. As one of very few semi-nomadic groups in Melanesia, they are key for understanding the (socio)linguistic situation which would have prevailed before agriculture. Apart from basic word-lists there has been no prior research on the language. Using observational filming to supplement basic linguistic and ethnographic documentation, this project provides audio-visual documentation and analysis of a variety of Meakambut speech practices, embedded in rich ethnographic data.
Kapukam expresses a concern that the researcher might tell their secretsto others and the creation spirit might be disturbed if other people arrived. Yakalok assures him that she won’t tell. The following myth is not a secret one. is a story of the first light coming to earth. It used to be in Mkbt land. Then he (?) made a canoe and took the fire down to Manam island. Places from mauswara Sepik are called, Marienberg, Angoram… (Yakalok asks: “Ples bilong Yawsi?” – pop singer!) ANOTHER MYTH: Hornbill. Two women were making tulip rope, for bilum, like they wear it at the head of the Mramuni river, like in the Highlands. There was a cassowary and his body was heavy, so he sent a hornbill up to the tree to knock down the seeds he could eat. Then the hornbill knocked down a branch and broke cassowary’s head. So it’s now broken. THIRD STORY: Kumut, the story of darkness and light. Two women went pounding sago at Tekap. They were washing it when they saw something red. It was filled with water, they poured it out. An elder sister was asleep, they told her to be careful, as there’s something in the pot. She said she dreamt that there were many things in a coconut shell (one for washing sago?) that she should take with her, not throw away. The elder sister took it to the head of Karawari (sun). Puŋgim came to the tow of them and said, take good care of this one. They carried it up Pondoŋum hill, they carried it up the Ombreñ creek and came up to Kirikulakopa hill. They set up three stones at the sides. They decorated their backs with astanget. and the man planted a wild pandanus (wail karuka). Don’t be afraid when you see something red, he said, the sun will come up, and the insects will start singing. They saw the first sunrise, as Puŋgim told them. Then they went into the cave and heard thunder. He put waterfalls into the mountains and possums into the trees. When it thundered again, Kopao broke open. and a bamboo broke at Mt. Panduaŋ. Men came out screaming. The Makambut… A yellow patterned snake came out, a python, and nuŋgum, the gigantic python, and other prominent snakes. All these things came out and the light broke. Then it was dark again, and light again…
age estimated At the time of research Kapukam was the oldest man in the group. He can understand and speak a little bit of Anday and Enga, but is not fluent in either. His Tok Pisin is basic, but can communicate in it. He also knows a bit of Awiakay.
Darja's mother tongue is Slovene, her working languages are Tok Pisin and English. She is fluent in Tok Pisin and Awiakay, but has only basic knowledge of Meakambut. She's the researcher and filmmaker.
Identifier (URI):https://lat1.lis.soas.ac.uk/ds/asv?openpath=MPI1074272%23
Publisher:Darja Hoenigman
The Australian National University
Tok Pisin language
Subject (ISO639):tpi


Archive:  Endangered Languages Archive
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/soas.ac.uk
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for OLAC format
GetRecord:  Pre-generated XML file

OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:soas.ac.uk:MPI1074272
DateStamp:  2017-11-08
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Kapukam (speaker); Darja (researcher). 2016-01-12. Darja Hoenigman.
Terms: area_Pacific country_PG iso639_tpi

Inferred Metadata

Country: Papua New Guinea
Area: Pacific

Up-to-date as of: Mon Oct 18 17:13:29 EDT 2021