An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Heritage Writing Award
“BELKOL is the promise by Bougainville Copper Limited and Papua New Guinea that they will compensate the people of Bougainville for their impact on our society as they mined our land at Panguna,” paramount chief of Piavora, Charles Karoro (pictured) told me.
In Bougainville’s Nasioi society, just like other societies in the Solomon archipelago, conflict is the essence of the people’s way of life; it is intrinsic to the interaction of humans to other people and the environment.
All these behaviours lead to disruption of peace within society, resulting in war, destruction and death.
Before colonisation the Nasioi society was a world governed by clan leadership and power. Laws that existed over the land were supreme and observed by all people, thus our society was largely peaceful with minimal reckless violence against each other.
But at those times of war and death, the Nasioi civilisation had procedures to heal the wounds and divisions in our midst.