What an odd life
Sam Basil referred to leadership tribunal

Garo Matana, the blue-eyed child – Part 2

Blue-eyesISO YAWI
| A fictional story in three parts

An hour had passed and Laka had not yet returned from the village. Tarubo and Pokana waited for another hour and still there was no sign of her.

With growing impatience, they waited for two more hours, but Laka did not return.

Pokana decided to leave Tarubo and her baby son and follow Laka to the nearby village.

It was almost noon as she looked from the edge of the plateau towards Baraka. The village seemed silent; she could not see or hear a thing.

“Is there something strange in Babaka?” she asked herself.

Pokana decided to walk back to the vavine numana (women’s house).

She stared at Tarubo and the child and said with a sigh, “It has taken Laka almost five hours now and I wish to go to the village to see what is taking them so long.”

Tarubo looked at Pokana with a worried face. She did not want to be left alone. She thought of the child on her lap. It was just the first day. Was being alone in the vavine numana safe?

“So, you want to leave?” she asked softly.

“It won’t be long, dear. I’ll find out what’s happening. I’ll be back, less than an hour.”

Tarubo looked at her beautiful child, she looked around the hut and through the door at the gautupu trees.

She felt she wanted to go with Pokana but custom did not permit her to return to the village until the baby was a month old.

Tarubo looked at Pokana and whispered, “It’s OK, we will stay, you can go.”

Pokana packed her bilum and left for Babaka, following the same route Laka had taken earlier. Tarubo and her beautiful blue eyed child were alone in the vavine numana.

Tarubo cooked some taro for lunch, eating it with wild vegetables. She drank much water and did not let the baby boy leave her grasp. She sang traditional songs into the baby’s ear and breastfed him.

As she sang, the birds sang and danced in the gautupu trees. They fluttered and glided from branch to branch.

Tarubo walked out of the hut to look at the birds, which filled the branches of the gautupu trees and looked down upon her and sang in an eerie tone. She had never seen or heard such before and fear gnawed at her.

Tarubo walked back to the house. She wished she could understand the birds’ language and know what they were conversing about. It was as if the birds were in a meeting.

She went again into the vavine numana and closed the door behind her.

By now Tarubo felt so afraid she wanted to follow Laka and Pokana to Baraka village despite the taboos. But she lacked the strength to walk that far. She felt powerless and thoughts raced through her head.

“Why did Pokana leave? She should have been here.”


In Baraka village, Pala had been anticipating news of his wife. He had stayed up all night sitting beside the fire as the rain poured down. Slumber had vanished.

Pala thought about his new role of fatherhood. His was engulfed by his new status of father. He kept imagining Tarubo labouring in the vavine numana. He prayed good omens for his wife. He only dozed off as the half-light of dawn arrived.

He dreamt he was standing on the Rako plateau filled with thick mist. He stretched a hand out for Tarubo but she could not be reached. He saw the child she bore taken away by fierce warriors from the northern village.

He tried again to reach for Tarubo but his strength was not there.

He followed the warriors along the plateau, reaching out again and again. At the end of his strength, he reached his wife and, in the final moments of the dream, he heard the sound of his name echoing around Babaka village.

“Pala...!” called a woman’s voice.

He opened his eyes slowly; it was daylight. He listened.

“Pala...!” the woman’s voice called again.

“Huh!” Pala was fully awake now.

“Pala, I got news for you,” the woman’s voice called again.

Pala walked out rubbing his eyes. He saw Laka and smiled at the elderly woman.

“You have a son, a beautiful blue eyed child,” declared Laka.

“What!” Pala exclaimed.

“Pala, you have a son, a beautiful blue eyed child.”

The words ran through Pala’s being like an electric shock and ignited his heart with happiness. He smiled and punched the post of his house. The pain in his hand was overwhelmed by his happiness.

“Oh, thanks to the ancestors’ spirit, I have a son!” Pala shouted.

“We need yams and vegetables for your wife and son,” said Laka.

Pala walked back into his house and gathered the food for the vavine numana. In his excitement he gathered more than enough.

And he wanted to see his wife and new born son soon - despite the traditional taboos.

Final part tomorrow


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Iso Yawi

Hi Wendy
Thank you very much for motivating comments. I got lots.

Drop an email: [email protected]

Wendy Glassby

Can't wait for episode three

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