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22 June 2014


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Since your grandmothers put some of you guys through the ritual you might be able to tell me whether the praying mantis nest works.

I must admit that the problem was something I wondered about in the 1960s seeing guys charging through the scrub in traditional gear during clan fighting.

Kuman appears to be the main language that all Simbus generally can understand. And the others appear to be dialects or strands but then again I am not a Linguist, but I can get clarification from my colleagues here at UPNG.

And true Peter, while you and Rose are debating on that I am just thinking aloud about how we are going to get our students who are from the different districts in Simbu to pronounce that.

We are likely going to get different versions definitely.

We are having a debate about the correct pronunciation of 'Gag-gauamo' and it's provenance.

The problem is that Kuman spelling and transliteration is not standardised. And English cannot cope.

Rose offers (to the best of my phonetic understanding)-

"gaarg gawaamo errikqua" (Engish - clean up the babies body)

"gaarg dem gyqua" (English - burn the babies bottom stuff)

But maybe these are different Kuman dialects?

Arnold great account of that ritual. That is, or should I say was, common throughout Simbu.

I have said in another discussion on this forum that the young generation and children of villages and communities are learning to speak Tok Pisin first then later their mother tongue.

All dialects in Simbu except the Karamui language and few others probably originate from the Kuman language. Because if you can speak your own dialect well you are sure to pick up the Kuman dialect. I may be wrong.

I bet that not many young mothers in Simbu know how to perform that ritual now! I use to see my grandmother perform that on my younger siblings. My mother told me that my maternal grandmother performed the ritual on me.

My point is that the number of speakers of our dialects are getting fewer and fewer. Even one cannot speak one's language first, then he or she is likely to lose all the knowledge that is associated with that language.

Thanks for capturing that. and well written too.

Arnold - thank you for this very interesting and moving piece.

My wife Ambai Rose remembers such ceremonies well and was told by the manas that at her Gag-gauamo the smoke trailed to the south!

And please contribute some more.

Thank you Jimmy and William for your nice comments. In fact I'm a newcomer to this blog and your comments are encouraging for someone like me.

I hope to contribute to this blog in the future. Thanks again.

Nice peace and thanks to Arnold,

I have always been fond of the way Arnold can captivate his audiences with his use of words.

I remember his book "Brides Price" very well. It's one of those books that you always want to pick up and read again each time you see it. It's unfortunate I don't own a copy.

Anyways, thanks again and I look forward to more beautiful pieces by Mr Mundua.

This are the typical Simbu plants that improved the well-being of a child in the good old days. Now they have been substituted by many manufactured products. Your prescription is well said.

I hope it will draw much attention from the Simbu community.

Finally, it comes off well from the Simbu Writers Association as a new beginning.

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