The rigging of the 2017 election: (2) Misbehaviour & malfeasance
In industrious Lae, the Morobe Show moves into its 60th year

The language in gifts

Kula exchange of the Trobriand Islands
Kula exchange of the Trobriand Islands


In Melanesia’s reciprocal culture most ancient,
Gifts exchanged oft’n speak a hidden voice,
Of the value of the reciprocated receiver.

You are a hero, if you receive a cow,
A swindler, if your receive a swine,
A conman, if you receive a mumu of corn.

The recipient of the gift must know,
The language of the reciprocated gift,
If the gift is from the lower cluster -

It is a rebuke, language of disdain,
That often belies the reciprocated gift,
Given to the receiver of the gift.

For the recipient must receive and know,
The hidden language in the gift,
That is rendered to the recipient.

To speak directly is seen as insult,
To indirectly speak a more viable way,
So gifts are metaphors.


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Porap Gai

Culture is an identity that shows where an individual comes from. Good to read this kind of poem regarding how to have communication between two different cultural people.

We want more from Simon Davidson.

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