Mola: Soon people could die in parking lots
The old man, his wife & the young girl

My Spear and My Bilum

Man-watching-traditional-kula-canoeRAYMOND SIGIMET

I came from my father’s spear 
This spear came down generations
He alone could hold this spear
From his father and father’s father

As a man amongst his people
His spear gave me name and place 
This spear fought during times of war
This spear talked in times of peace

I was borne of my mother’s bilum
That only she could fashion and carry
Her bilum wove with strings of resilience
With designs unique to womanhood

As a woman amongst her people 
Her bilum gave her character and place
Her bilum carry politics and relations
Borne during times of war and peace

I come from my father’s spear
I am the muruk feathers on his spear
Only he can stand with this spear
Only he can hold this spear

I come from my mother's bilum
I am spun and woven from her design
Only she can fashion these ropes
Only she can weave the designs

Glossary
Bilum –Traditional string carry bag used for multiple purposes
Muruk – Cassowary, the tall flightless bird unique to the island of New Guinea and north-east Australia

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