PAPUA NEW

GUINEAN
LITERATURE



Diverse
Papua New Guinea has
more languages than any other country,
with over 820 indigenous languages,
representing 12% of the world's total,
but most have fewer than 1,000
speakers.
Pre-Written Literature(Oral Literature)
Written Literature

Pre-written Literature Myths And Legends . Certain characters— such as snakes. monsters. and twins—can be found in legends from numerous islands.Many myths deal with two fundamental issues: where people came from and what happens after death.  .

He tells how a being called Ipila carved a human figure out of wood and brought it to life by painting the face with sago milk. The narrator concludes that these events explain why his people only know what they know . But they found that they could only make men because Ipala sequently altered their work. These mythical beings who acted as creators were not the sole creators. nor what is happening beyond their part of the world. These men refused to learn the things Ipila wanted to teach them and turned their backs on him. they turned into half-crocodiles. some Kiwaians believed that their "father" was the crocodile and a modern account of the story had been written by Mea Idei from Boze near the Binaturi River. Ipala was so angry with his first creation. His name was Nugu but he was not satisfied until Ipila made three more men as companions for him. After a while. Some myths say he came into the world fully grown either from the sky or from underground or was released from a tree.not why they are alive. Almost at once. For example. Other myths say he was created from clay or sand or that he was carved from wood.Myth Of Man’s Origins  Belief about man's origins were many and varied. for each clan or sub-clan within the group had its own view. . Neither the animals nor Nugu and the other man wanted any more to do with them so they tried to make some of their own kind. From these new men are descended the people who claim the crocodile as their father. Nugu. two of them became tired of only eating sago and started to kill animals for food. then the nostrils quivered and the "man" made a noise like a crocodile. First the eyes open. that he condemned him to hold the earth on his shoulders for ever.

while others say that they came from clay or sand. for example. In some places these beings descended from the sky. The Ayom people of Papua New Guinea. blood. say that Tumbrenjak climbed down to earth on a rope to hunt and fish. The offspring of Tumbrenjak and these women became the ancestors of different cultural groups  In other places. His wife threw down fruits and vegetables. the first beings came from the sea or emerged from underground. When he tried to return to the sky. Among the Trobriand islanders. or pieces of wood . The Keraki of Papua New Guinea believe that the first humans emerged from a tree. he found the rope cut. or from a piece of coral or a rock. including cucumbers that became women. the ancestors of each clan emerged from a particular spot in a grove of trees.

another banana and so forth until the world was brimming with animals. With nothing to use for food or shelter. The story begins in a time the Kaluli call hena madaliaki. and no streams. the people became cold and hungry. food. no animals. .  The Kaluli creation myth is a traditional creation story of the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea. In the version as was recorded by anthropologist and ethnographer Edward L. mountains and all other natural features. material world. Animals. streams and people are all the same except in the form they have assumed following this great split. In the Kaluli world view. instead death is another event that divides beings through the acquisition of new forms which are unrecognizable to the living. streams. He directed another to become sago. all of existence is made from people who differentiated into different forms. which translates "when the land came into form. The Kaluli describe this story as "the time when everything alə bano ane" which means roughly "the time when everything divided"." During the time of hena madaliaki people covered the earth but there was nothing else: no trees or plants. plants. Shieffelin whose first contact with them took place in the late 1960s. The Kaluli have no concept of a transcendent. sacred domain that is spiritual or in any fundamental way distinct from the natural. This concept of all world phenomena as a result of a "splitting" has many echos in Kaluli thought and cultural practices. He directed one group to become trees and they did. There were only a few people left and they became the ancestors of present day human beings. Death is another splitting. yet another to be fish. Then one man among them (alternative accounts give two) gathered everyone together and delegated different tasks.

 The Kaluli are an indigenous people whose first contact with contemporary western civilization began in the 1940s. Following extensive Christian missionary efforts in the region. variants of the traditional creation story have adopted a few Christian elements. and the efforts were initiated by one or two ordinary and unnamed men rather than any deity or deities. The Kaluli have since tended to identify one or both of them as "Godeyo" (God) and "Yesu" (Jesus Christ). . the Kaluli story described creation as a pragmatic solution to problems of cold and hunger. Prior to contact.

The water broke free. an important feature in the lives of island peoples. scattering people and coconuts to other islands. In her fury she knocked down a wall that surrounded the water of the sea. People in southern Vanuatu have a myth in which a woman became angry with her son because he disobeyed her. A myth from Dobu Island in New Guinea says that when the sea was released. all the beautiful women were swept to the Trobriand Islands and the ugly women were carried inland on Dobu. .The Birth of the Sea  explain the creation of the sea.

The route taken by souls to the land of the dead is often well defined. Some places have special types of ghosts. In other places. such as beheaded men with wounds that glow in the dark or the ghosts of unborn children. the success of the journey depends on whether the proper funeral rites have been carried out. in Vanuatu one of its names is Banoi. plant.  Souls that go to the afterlife often visit the land of the living as ghosts by taking on human or animal form.Afterlife  Among the Kiwai of Papua New Guinea. but they can also frighten them and interfere with certain activities. The people of the Fiji Islands believe that this path is dangerous and only the greatest warriors can complete the journey. in parts of New Guinea he is called Tumudurere. or object.  In Vanuatu people say that humans have two souls—one goes to an afterlife while the other takes the form of an animal. . Ghosts sometimes help the living. the land of the dead is known as Adiri. The god of the dead also has various names.

She resides in the sky. and when she feels the urge to urinate. does so onto the Earth in the form of rain.Some deity and Mythic Heroes and Characters  Abeguwo is a goddess of Melanesian mythology in the area of Melanesia and New Guinea.  Papare is the lunar deity. .

but they can share food with them. nor do they let dogs breathe on their food. Afek is a mythic heroine in the religion of the Min peoples living in the Sandaun Province of Papua New Guinea  Humans were believed created in a multiple birth of the cultural heroine Afek. Urapmin do not kill or eat them (unlike some neighboring tribes). the taboo on eating dogs is one of the few still widely observed .) In fact. (This contrasts with humans—the Urapmin previously had no cannibalism taboo. Afek gave the bush to the spirits right before birthing humans so that they would clear out the villages for the humans to dwell in.  Since as such dogs are spirits (and the "older brother" of man). emerging immediately after the first dog.

and married them. in the mythology of the Orokolo*. the trickster Sido could change his skin like a snake. Finally. the place where people go when they die. of the south coast of Papua New Guinea. . Malara. Sido transformed himself into a gigantic pig. After losing his human wife. The myths indicates that Malara was looking for wives. the daughters of the sun-god Maelare. is the god of the planet Venus. He was killed by a powerful magician and then wandered the world seducing women and children. He found the Eau and Havoa.  According to the Kiwai people of New Guinea. he split himself open so that the pig's backbone and sides formed the house of death.

 Another mythological figure of New Guinea is Dudugera. his mother threw mud or lime juice at his face. known as the "leg child" because he sprang from a cut in his mother's leg. which burned vegetation and killed many living things. The people of his village mocked and bullied Dudugera. and it turned into clouds that hid the sun. Dudugera soared into the sky and shot fire spears. To stop Dudugera from destroying everything. . who one day told his mother to hide under a rock because he was going to become the sun.

Beier also founded a Papua Pocket Poets series. the first of its kind in the country. The Crocodile. In 1970. It was given its first major stimulus with the setting up of creative writing courses by Ulli Beier at the University of Papua New Guinea (established in 1966). including John Kasaipwalova. Some of Papua New Guinea's first noted writers. Albert Maori Kiki’s autobiography Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime was the first major work of Papua New Guinean literature published outside a magazine. as well as the literary magazine Kovave. Vincent Eri published the first Papua New Guinean novel. Apisai Enos and Kama Kerpi.Written Literature   The emergence of written literature (as distinct from oral literature) is comparatively recent in Papua New Guinea. were first published in Kovave. In 1968. Kumalau Tawali. .

. The name Kovave is also used to describe the head-dress. down to below the waist. It involves dressing up in a conical hat which has long strands of leaves hanging from the edge.Kovave  Kovave is a ceremony to initiate Papua New Guinea boys into adult society.

Kovave Mask .

red. Clean comfortable cushion seats. A beautiful 25-seat Coaster. thin. big. And next to him a man named Tarangu. Blue. fat. rubber.There is a problem FRANCIS NII  A-a yes. Stylish. dusty bearded man at the wheel. the urban PMV Bus. green. All in uniforms of one kind or another. rulers.  Not very long and there it came. tall. books held in hands. Small. pencils. Pen. Of the driver’s identity and nature. that afternoon People waiting for the only transport. bags. Mostly teenage boys and girls. short. yellow And the combination of orange and white. Maybe from one mama or papa. . Who knows.

Ge-e-ed-n-n Ge-e-e-ed roared the engine proudly. The card-board said Gerehu.” . And all the uniformed boys and girls rushed in. Tarangu counted everyone so as not to miss a toea.  The driver drove literally 60 Whistling the typical driver’s tune: The Highlands Highway tune Of the Coffee Buyers.  “Driver – driver givim 60 way nambiriwa Biriwona – Biriwa Biriwona – Biriwa Driver – driver givim 60 way nambiriwa Ha-ha driver – driver givim 60 way nambiriwa.

Stayin in the house.” said Tarangu “Mipela students. Off they got at Waigani. Hey! Stop driver. Holim book in hand. No like olsem you.” said the girls. You wastim time for marit And karim pikinni You mas pay me 10 toea more. My meri pay 30 toea for bus repair and fuel. You look to me marit 20 years before. the Roots bingo marketing centre Twenty toea each to Tarangu “Ten toea more pilis.” . “You students? You tupelo meri! You no look to me to belong students.”  “My meri no school. My meri no putim uniform. two red uniformed girls called.

Mipela sing out long police. “Oi. . Mipela students. you keep insisting for 10 toea.”  Poor Tarangu. Sorry Tarangu. wire lose or lasi? Mipela i no work for money. poor uniformed people The food price is shooting high Great sympathy for you.

Long Tom LOUJAYA M KOUZA  A Morobean Of stock and breed He stood at 10 feet tall  And those he met From day to day Were made to feel so small  Long Tom They called him And rightly so For when they lined men all in a row Long Tom stood out Like so and so … .

. He was a farmer by trade and knew Just where the peanut butter grew And every lunch When time to munch Long Tom had Peanut Butter Crunch.  His wife Marie was slim and small Like Morobean’s most aren’t Her speciality Was Sweet Cup Tea Not Peanut Butter Crunch  So come on home To Long Tom’s farm For a drink or two and a yarn  The specialty No doubt you’ll see Is Peanut Butter on Sweet Cupt Tea.

his further education. first published in 1968. the book was dictated onto a tape recorder. with vivid descriptions of rituals and customs.Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime     is the autobiography of Albert Maori Kiki. . According to the preface. The book. describes the author's childhood as a member of a semi-nomadic tribe. and his political awakening. and was later transcribed and edited by Ulli Beier. It recounts his first contact with western civilization. the Papua New Guinea pathologist and politician.

          Growing up in Papua Orokolo Initiation Entering the White Man's World Fiji Fighting Years The Buka Affair Growing Tensions Pangu Pati Elections .

” . He must also come to terms with colonial rule.The Crocodile  First published in 1970. set in Papua in the 1940s. each partner acquired his missing leg. For anyone who had the experience of using two legs. life wasn't worth living if one had to manage on a single one. A simple. The Crocodile was the first novel written by a New Guinean. with himself and with the crocodile. The book follows the life of young Hoiri as he attempts to navigate the transition to adulthood and understand the new world of the white man  “True marriage enabled the two partners to stand upright as properly formed human beings. it is set in PNG in the colonial era during WWII. Through the union. Hoiri Sevese knows he must avenge himself on the sorcerers who have caused his wife to be eaten by a crocodile.  Published in 1970. Novel. and surprisingly affecting story. fast-paced.