KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
ALL SIMBUS AND MANY Papua New Guineans know that the late Peter Waieng, who was murdered last week in Port Moresby, was a well-educated and talented man.
He studied at the Universities of Papua New Guinea and Wollongong, gaining a master’s degree in politics, and went on become a successful businessman, diplomat and politician.
However, Simbus know little about his roots and the special history of his hamlet, Gam Kane.
This passage from my soon to be published book, The Flight of Galkope, reveals that Gam Kane, where Peter Waieng originated, has produced a number of prominent leaders for Papua New Guinea:
At one stage the members of the Sikaula-Gam Kane – Erula Nauro alliance fought with an alliance of the Sigl Ku-Kop Waugla people in a brutal war. Many men were killed on both sides.
When peace was being brokered the foes met and dined on the same pig’s heart cooked in the same earth oven before the accord was properly concluded. There is a belief among the Galkope that eating with the enemy, especially involving pig’s organs, before peace has been ritually celebrated will lead to ongoing illness.
As a result the Sikaula-Gam Kane people brought upon themselves a terrible illness and began to rapidly perish. Fearing extinction, six of the Sikaula-Gam Kane clans fled west and settled in the vicinity of Kombuglo-Wara Kar.
Fortunately the Erula Nauro refused to eat with the Sigl Ku-Kop Waugla and they were not affected by the illness.
Today the six Sikaula-Gam Kane clans living at Kombuglo are called the Kombuk Simbu. Imbal Ipe, former national parliamentarian (1992-97) representing the north Wahgi District was an off-spring of the Sikaula-Gam Kane people living at Kombuglo.
Further migration saw four of the clans moving northwest to Dei where they settled permanently and are there to this day. They are known as the Kombuglo Menmbi people. Melchior Pep, a veteran national politician, is one of their descendants. Thomas Jim Nori is another prominent member of the Kombuglo Menmbi.
At Dei a final division saw two of the clans heading off to the Mul Baiyer-Lumusa area. They settled there and are known as the Kumbuglo Kumdi people.
The Sikaula-Gam Kane clans that remained in the Simbu valley continued to live closely with the Erula Nauro until Guma Kar Yal of the Ulmoko Kane killed Towa Dan’eh of the Gam Kane. The Sikaula-Gam Kane retaliated and a fierce battle was fought at Gor Tepe.
When the fight was over the Gam Kane parted from the Sikaula and merged with the Nar Ku people leaving the Sikaula with the Erula Nauro. The Sikaula still live with the Erula Nauro to this day. They are referred to as the Sikaula kar because they came from a time before what is now known as the Erula Nauro Sikaula Kane.
The Sikaula who remained with the Erula Nauro and the Gam Kane who remained with the Nar Ku together comprised four clans and they confined themselves to Kiri Kane, Konake, Mirma Ouna, Bual Kap, Sikaula Apai Nil Nonga, Nupr, Koa and Mai Gurum Creeks.
Peter Waieng, member of parliament for Kundiawa-Gembogl from 1997-2002, is a descendant of the Gam Kane people who remained as Nar Ku in the Simbu Valley.
Sadly, Peter Waieng was killed last Thursday by thugs at the Napa Napa oil refinery in Port Moresby.
The Simbu way of respecting a leader’s demise will proceed in Port Moresby and then roll up to Simbu.
The Gam Kanes of the diaspora will converge on Bongul Ingu to join the other Gam Kanes of the Nar Ku and Simbu to kill hundreds of pigs and will be blessed with speeches from tribal leaders.
At the conclusion of the eulogy a courteous and decent burial will be given to one of Simbu’s great and good men.
May his soul rest in peace.