Peter O’Neill is confident of forming government
Dame Carol says women MPs face a tough time

Of stone axes and saksak bowls full of memories


Lumi Axe (Michael Lorenz)YEARS AGO I HAPPENED to find myself in Lumi in the West Sepik district. In those days it was an isolated spot that served as a hub for even more isolated places such as Nuku and Karaitem.

Anyway, one day the local kalabus line (most of them would have been doing time for cargo cult related activities) and their attendants were going off to prepare a new spot for a garden.

I suspected that where they would be breaking ground was an old settlement site so I asked them to keep an eye out for stone implements and so on. After some discussion about why anybody would be interested in such things they assured me they would assess any stones or other artefacts they came across.

A day or so later they stopped by my place on their way home and with big smiles handed me a large polished dolerite axe with no sign of wear and tear. They were just as surprised as I was as it was not something that they were familiar with.

The Malone (Ireland) axe hoardYears later I discovered that it bears an uncanny resemblance to the axes in a hoard discovered in Ireland of all places, Malone Road in Belfast to be more precise. So perhaps we are more connected than we presently realize.

I can't leave the subject of Lumi without relating another incident. As I was about to take my leave of the place, the folk of Lumi village itself told me that I could have whatever I wanted from them as a parting gift.

Needless to say I was bowled over by this gesture and as they waited expectedly I looked around and spied a slightly worse for wear wooden saksak bowl that was in everyday use to prepare hatwara (sago powder mixed with hot water, a glutinous paste that was the staple, and favoured, food of the region).

They protested that they had much better items than that, and were somewhat disappointed with my choice - but I insisted.

I explained it was something that had been used by them every day and so contained something of the spirit of their lives. They handed it over. I still have that bowl...


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)