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.