GOVERNOR Julie Soso and the Eastern Highlands provincial government have passed a motion to replace the traditional Nokondi icon with PNG’s national symbol, the Kumul (bird of paradise) – in this case called the Lahani after the provincial rugby league team.
The PNG government had also launched its own warfare against traditional icons in the national parliament labelling some carvings as ‘evil’ in a cleansing exercise instigated by the Speaker late last year.
Interestingly the O’Neill government’s situation since the cleansing exercises has not fared well. Many amongst the general public and learned citizens claim the government’s performance has been the worst in PNG history.
Whoever pushed this agenda on Governor Soso is surely not from the Eastern Highlands. It’s some immigrant blaming Nokondi for lack of progress, lack of confidence, underperformance by provincial public servants and even the missing millions from provincial coffers.
Nokondi – who has one of everything on his body including one testicle - is a unifying icon and is unique to the ancient peoples of what is now the Eastern Highlands Province.
The Nokondi legend is found in traditional Eastern Highlands folklore and is a distinguishing feature of the tribes in this part of the world.
The Lahani is a provincial rugby league team name and is not in common use in the province. Governor Soso, please leave Nokondi alone and concentrate on real issues.
An online petition has been created to present to the Governor and Provincial Executive Committee before their next meeting in May. You can find it here and I'll hope you'll see fit to add your name to it to protect Nokondi and our precious cultural heritage.