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21 January 2013


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I am a Kukukuku or whatever you call Anga. My ancestors were in fact trying to defend their land boundaries which extends as far as the Markham Valley, the Salamaua coast, the Eastern Highlands and the Gulf Province attacking any intruders into their territory. They attack on purpose.

Lance Corporal Anis was speared by my grandfather Wikoyo Oipo at Niapitola hawa near Bulolo in retaliation of the killing during the arrest of eight landlords at Kobakini.

Wikoyo and Tivaipango attacked JK McCarthy's team to free the captives. JK McCarthy was almost killed too.

The policemen also kill some Kobakini warriors during the clash. They were only defending their land boundary which was extended as far as Markham valley and the Salamaua coast.

The Ekuta Clan of Kobakini has established its territory as far as Salamaua Point, Busu River and Boana/Watoat mountain Range and Kasam Pass before the coming of the Europeans as early as the 1800s.

When the Europeans and other tribes came, Kobakini stood firm to defend its territory. A pacification program introduced into the territory and the arrest of landlords and warlords at Kobakini by JK McCarthy caused the downfall of Kukukuku power.

The landownership battle experienced today has been caused by the gold rush and the pacification program.

I am from Kobakini village and grandson of one of the prisoner who was taken to Salamaua for imprisonment.

My village was only defending the Kapau Territory that extends as far as Salamaua.

This act of pacification of program into the Kukukuku has cause a lot of inconvenience for land ownership today.

Lloyd Hurrell published an autobiography in 2006 called 'Hurrell's Way' (Crawford House Publishing, Adelaide).

There is a large section devoted to the Kukukuku and Menyamya and Corporal Ramoi is mentioned several times.

He was in charge of the police when Hurrell went to investigate a raid on Katsiong village where several people were slaughtered in 1951 by the Kwatela Kukukuku.

On that patrol Hurrell fired a warning shot at a group of men attacking them.

The sights on his rifle had been knocked out of line and Hurrell accidentally killed a fight leader, something that he regretted and which worried him for the rest of his life.

I am a son of a colonial policeman and am proud of the contribution of the PNG colonial police who helped build this country.

They were as brave as the young Kiaps and many helped mentor them.

In 1950 a more successful patrol led by Lloyd Hurrell pacified the Kukukuku nation and established a patrol post there.

The exploits of that patrol are captured in two books by Colin Simpson published by Angus & Robertson in 1955 entitled 'Plumes and Arrows' and 'Adam with Arrows'.

My father Cpl Ramoi is mentioned on pages 113, 125 and 126 of the book and I am indeed proud of him and men like Lance Corporal Anis who helped pacify this nation and helped build modern PNG.

May they all rest in peace.

Great read Phil, thanks.

I am from the mountains and can imagine the terrains, gorges and forests they cross with such cargo and column of human beings whilst under fear of being ambushed and killed.

McCarthy went through this ordeal and survived. He was a brave man.

Such misunderstanding and cynicism existed in this age and time in the galleries of the independent state of PNG as well.

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