Heritage & culture Feed

PNG’s Chinese changing of the guard

| An extract from Chapter 4 of The Chinese in Papua New Guinea: Past, Present and Future, edited by Anna Hayes, Rosita Henry & Michael Wood, Australian National University, 2024

Link here to the entirety of Chapter 4: The rise and rise of China: Contemporary Chinese community in PNG (2010–2020) by James Chin

Port Moresby cafe scene (Generated by Copilot AI  18 May 2024)
Port Moresby cafe scene (Generated by Copilot AI 18 May 2024)



CANBERRA - In a period of one decade (2010–2020), the power balance among the Chinese community in Papua New Guinea has shifted significantly from the PNG born Chinese and the Southeast Asian Chinese to mainland Chinese.

The speed of this transition has been remarkable. However, the trend in PNG is consistent with global trends where the rapid rise of China has totally changed the environment that is familiar to the West.

Continue reading "PNG’s Chinese changing of the guard " »

Renewal of PNG Dictionary of Biography

| Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs


CANBERRA - A call for submissions to participate in the PNG Dictionary of Biography Project is now open.

The project is about documenting and celebrating the lives of Papua New Guinea’s nation builders and we are looking to identify a group of writers to collaborate and conduct historical research about significant and representative Papua New Guineans.

Continue reading "Renewal of PNG Dictionary of Biography" »

The racism that stalks Australian culture

| Pearls & Irritations

Henry Parkes
Dr Allan Patience writes that Australia's racist tradition was originally articulated by white supremacist Henry Parkes (Sir Henry Parkes Archives)

MELBOURNE - In 1890 Henry Parkes [who was premier of the colony of New South Wales] spoke of “the crimson thread of kinship running through us all.”

He believed this ‘crimson thread’ – evocative of blood – united all white people in the Australian colonies and bound them to Britain.

Continue reading "The racism that stalks Australian culture" »

Tok Pisin: World’s most beautiful language

| Nesia Daily

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is considered the most linguistically diverse place on earth and according to a published study its national language takes the crown as the most beautiful.

Surpassing famed love languages like Italian and Spanish, the research published in the Journal of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences showed Tok Pisin was the highest-rated.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin: World’s most beautiful language" »

Christianity is destroying God's cultures


Baptism (Generated with AI by Bing Copilot  9 March 2024)
The Baptism of Howa and Tagali (Generated with AI by Bing Copilot,  9 March 2024)


PORT MORESBY - Brothers Howa Matiabe, five, and Tagali Matiabe, four, were two neighbourhood friends of my children.

Most days they were part of a large group of boys who would play in our banana patch or under the house.

Continue reading "Christianity is destroying God's cultures" »

Tragedy: Responsible people go missing

| Academia Nomad

Family ponders an unclear future (Generated with AI by Bing  22 January 2024)
Family Ponders an Unclear Future (Generated with AI by Bing,  22 January 2024)

PORT MORESBY - The only shop in Gerehu to have survived the 10 January looting and burning was burned down yesterday (Sunday). The suspects were apprehended: four children and one adult.

If you've been concerned about unemployment and its impact on Papua New Guinea, or the rise in criminal activities, lawlessness and inflation, you now have something more serious to worry about.

Continue reading "Tragedy: Responsible people go missing" »

The unfortunate corruption of the haus krai


Bolkin haus krai
PORT MORESBY - As a child growing up in the mountains of Simbu, mourning and burial rites were special occasions regardless of the status of the dead person.

After the funeral, the widow of the dead man and her children could live normal lives and continue to use the land and assets of the deceased.

Continue reading "The unfortunate corruption of the haus krai" »

After day of shame, we must stand by yet

| Culture Heist

TWEED HEADS - Yesterday should have been a day when we all walked a little taller as Australians. When we took a step towards healing with First Nations peoples, and a reckoning with the colonial past. Instead we have a day of pain and shame that many will struggle to overcome. Instead, it was day of pain for all of us who voted Yes, but far more so for Indigenous Australians who generously offered the hand of reconciliation, only to have it rebuffed.

Continue reading "After day of shame, we must stand by yet" »

A Yes Vote – you know it makes sense

| Come the Revolution

TWEED HEADS - On Saturday, 27 May, 1967, Australians voted by an overwhelming majority to alter the Constitution to give the Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders the right to be counted in all future censuses by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The vote was a huge victory for the ‘YES’ camp: it won 90.77% of votes cast in all six States.

Continue reading "A Yes Vote – you know it makes sense" »

Is this really the Australia you want


NOOSA - Here in Noosa, just like the rest of Australia, we’re in the middle of referendum politics, where the vitriol has reached boiling point and exceeds even the hyper-toxicity that prevails around local government elections here in Australia’s premier seaside resort apart from Tumby Bay.

Continue reading "Is this really the Australia you want" »

Bilas – an exhibition of PNG body adornment


Bilas    Red feather headdress  Telofomin  (Belinda Christie)
Red feather headdress from Telofomin in Sandaun Province  (Belinda Christie)


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea, in all of its many modes, is an exciting place – and you don’t necessarily have to go there to get a taste of some of its exuberance and beauty.

The Australian Museum, in Sydney established as Australia’s first public museum in 1827 to procure ‘many rare and curious specimens of Natural History’, has an association of over 150 years with Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Bilas – an exhibition of PNG body adornment" »

Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 3


A protest
PORT MORESBY – On 1 May 1963, the United Nations transferred the administration of West New Guinea to the Republic of Indonesia. The capital Hollandia was immediately renamed Kota Baru.

West Papuan nationalism and desire for self-determination that had consolidated in the wake of the long deadlock between Indonesia and the Netherlands after Indonesia declared its independence at the end of World War II had not borne fruit.

Continue reading "Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 3" »

Medicinal plants & preserving PNG languages


Roche    Some of the SIL team who translated literature into the Melpa language with some of their publications (Garrett Roche  c 2010)
Some of the Summer Institute of Linguistics team which translated literature into the Melpa language: (front row) Jack Minimbi from Jika Pangaka clan, Wu Elpa from Yamka,  Agnes Klara from Mokei Kiminika clan, Al Stucky from SIL.  (back row)  John Rumbi (Ruby) from Mokei Akilika clan, Delene Stucky from SIL, Joe Raima from Munjika Nengkamp clan (Photograph by Fr Garrett Roche, c 2010)

MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - If you type ‘country in the world with most languages’ into your search engine, you will find Papua New Guinea listed in first place with 839 languages and Indonesia second with 707 languages. 

Among the list of languages in PNG is Melpa, which is spoken mainly in Western Highlands Province.

Continue reading "Medicinal plants & preserving PNG languages" »

Equality must be real & practised with respect

| Academia Nomad

Sitiveni Rabuka (left), prime minister of Fiji, visiting Taneti Maamau, president of Kiribati, in January. Both leaders are seated as a mark of equality and respect. Rabuka later confirmed that Kiribati had agreed to return to the Pacific Islands Forum (Sitiveni Rabuka, Twitter)

PORT MORESBY - When Kiribati left the Pacific Islands Forum after the Forum (including Australia and New Zealand) failed to honour a gentleman’s agreement to let its leadership rotate to a Micronesian nation, it was Fiji which brought Kiribati back into the fold.

After becoming prime minister late last year, he went to Kiribati and, along with his delegation, sat on the grass in the sun.

Continue reading "Equality must be real & practised with respect" »

Melanesian beauty is now ashes in our mouth


TUMBY BAY - If you speak to any of the diminishing band of old kiaps they will probably tell you that Papua New Guinea changed their lives.

In most cases they will put a positive spin on the nature of the change and tell you that being there opened their eyes to a whole new concept of society and what it meant.

However, not all could see what they were looking at.

Continue reading "Melanesian beauty is now ashes in our mouth" »

Reject this cruel rebuke to a great heritage


SYDNEY – Having been recruited into the Administration of Papua and New Guinea in 1952, I soon found myself as a student at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) in Sydney.

The six-week ‘short course’ for cadet patrol officers (pikinini kiaps) was an integral part of Australia’s post-war determination to bring modern and robust governance to the then two separate territories.

Continue reading "Reject this cruel rebuke to a great heritage" »

Are we humans failing to secure our survival?

Microsoft Bing image creation


TUMBY BAY – Having reached an age well past the Biblical allotment of threescore years and 10, I’ve noticed in the scriptures there could be more – although it comes with a menace.

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away’ – Psalm 90:10

Continue reading "Are we humans failing to secure our survival?" »

Beautiful outriggers set sail for the Solomons

NOCC members lift canoes to start the journey to the Solomons
Noosa canoeists lift one of the outriggers to start their journey to a new life in the Solomons (Noosa Today)


NOOSA - Chaplin Park, home base for the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club, was a busy riverside greensward last week as club members loaded and farewelled two canoes bound for the Solomon Islands.

It seems a bit like taking coal to Newcastle or coconuts to Kokopo, but these sleek racing lovelies are as rare as rocking horse poo in the Solomons, which is looking to build the sport of competitive outrigger canoeing.

Continue reading "Beautiful outriggers set sail for the Solomons" »

When the bigman arrived, so did capitalism


TUMBY BAY – When I first arrived in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, the system of local government was not widespread, especially in remote areas.

Government reached the people in the form of interaction between Administration officers and clan leaders, officially appointed as luluais and tultuls in New Guinea and as village constables (mamusi) in Papua.

Continue reading "When the bigman arrived, so did capitalism" »

The inexorable rise of the 21st century stupid

Basic-laws-stupidityCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - In 1976, Professor Carlo M Cipolla wrote a 60-page paper in which he outlined the fundamental Laws of Stupidity.

Various synopses of Professor Cipolla’s paper can be readily accessed online and I strongly recommend that people read either the paper itself or at least an abbreviated version.

Continue reading "The inexorable rise of the 21st century stupid" »

A town like Alice deserves a chance at peace

Youths throw rocks at vehicles in Alice Springs (Northern Territory Police)


TUMBY BAY - The Central Australian town of Alice Springs is currently in turmoil - racked with alcohol fuelled crime largely involving the Aboriginal community.

Aboriginal children roam the town centre at night vandalising shops and Aboriginal men and women are fighting in the streets and parks.

Continue reading "A town like Alice deserves a chance at peace" »

PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture

Prisilla  FarmersPRISILLA MANOVE
| Prisilla’s Notes

GOROKA - In the remote and rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea, traditional Indigenous communities have practiced sustainable farming techniques for centuries.

Kuk in Western Highlands Province is one of the first places on earth where people started farming.

Continue reading "PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture" »

I’m an Indigenous female entrepreneur: Let me introduce myself

Prisilla Manove
Prisilla Manove

| Prisilla’s Notes*

GOROKA - My father’s father lived in a complete agrarian society. What that means is that everything they ate they grew; everything they needed they made.

All labour and life revolved around both the harvest and ceremonies celebrating the harvest.

For my people, these practices happened up until the mid-21st century in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Fragments of them still happen today.

Continue reading "I’m an Indigenous female entrepreneur: Let me introduce myself" »

Was this 1909 Morobe film PNG’s first movie?


Movie Title shotMORRISET – ‘Aus dem Leben der Kate auf Deutsch-Neuguinea’ (‘From the life of the Kate in German New Guinea’ may well be the first moving film made in what is now Papua New Guinea.

It was the creation of Professor Richard Neuhauss (1855-1915), an ethnologist from Berlin on an expedition to German New Guinea in 1909.

I was very excited to find this 114 year old 16mm film about Kate’s life in German New Guinea.

Continue reading "Was this 1909 Morobe film PNG’s first movie?" »

Tracing provenance enhances cultural understanding

Awan body mask
This awan was collected by John Greenshields and gifted to the South Australian Museum. It is pictured here with Sophie Parker of ArtLab in Adelaide (Image: Alice Beale)

| Journal of the Oceanic Art Society

ADELAIDE - This large body-mask, called a tumbuan in Tok Pisin, comes from the Iatmul people of the Middle Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, and played an important role in traditional ritual life.

Initially it was thought to pertain to the naven ceremony of the Iatmul people, when pairs of mwai masks were attached to the backs of the tumbuans and groups of dancers performed each afternoon in front of the men’s house for several months.

Secret ritual names for a multitude of objects, plants and animals were passed down to the young men and a recitation of all the previous Iatmul generations was incantated to the audience.

Continue reading "Tracing provenance enhances cultural understanding" »

PNG youth is trapped in the web of modernity


KUNDIAWA - Youth in Papua New Guinea is a time bomb that our country is adding in its drift towards anarchy.

Even as far back as the 2011 national census, 60% of PNG’s estimated population of 7.3 million was aged under 25.

It is clear that if the PNG government does not focus on the youth population now, the future prospects of the whole country will be saturated by failure.

Continue reading "PNG youth is trapped in the web of modernity" »

Election PNG: Far from founding fathers vision


GOROKA - Election season in Papua New Guinea is usually a very tumultuous time for all involved.

Since independence elections have evolved as a kind of modern day warfare fought between various tribes across a nation of more than 800 language groups.

Over the course of time, this Western process of appointing leaders has been modified to align with elements of Melanesian culture.

Continue reading "Election PNG: Far from founding fathers vision" »

Reflections on Christmas's past & present


TUMBY BAY - As I write this, we’ve well and truly entered the dead zone of the Christmas-New Year holidays.

The world’s problems haven’t gone away but this is a time of maximum ignorance and indulgence.

A time of the year when we ignore our dire existence on the planet and revel in the inane commercialism that annually accompanies this holiday break.

Continue reading "Reflections on Christmas's past & present" »

The unfortunate lesson of St Patrick the slave


TUMBY BAY - In the late 4th or early 5th century AD, in the dying days of the Roman Empire, some Irish raiders captured a young bloke called Patrick from his home in Britain and took him to Ireland as a slave.

It turned out to be a big mistake.

After six years as a slave, Patrick escaped and returned to Britain where he trained to be a Christian cleric.

Continue reading "The unfortunate lesson of St Patrick the slave" »

Share where you can & fight when you must


"Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people" - Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha (c 563-483 BCE)

"These ideals include the belief that security derives from respect for universal human rights, that wealth means well-being, that individual health corresponds to a healthy environment, that mental health is affected by experience of citizen interdependence and solidarity. Democracy depends on security derived from human rights-based policies to promote equality" – Stuart Rees in John Menadue Pearls & Irritations, quoted by Philip Fitzpatrick

LAE - Nope. Poor ideals to me.

Regardless of democracy I don't think life works that way in reality, and it's likely that Costa Rica would not work without the CIA and Uncle Sam up north.

Continue reading "Share where you can & fight when you must" »

The time when we were innocent sorcerers

The potion we received had five warheads: to make the person dumb, have the person drop dead at work, kill his wife, cause a car accident resulting in death and to have termites destroy his home



PANGUNA - Sorcery is a belief system that is as old as Bougainville itself. It’s an integral part of the Bougainville people.

People believe in it, talk about it, kill each other over it and our society periodically dissolves into conflict because of it.

Continue reading "The time when we were innocent sorcerers" »

Our Pacific heritage is now available online

It’s one thing for Pacific people to know they had their culture taken from them. It’s another thing entirely to not know the artefacts and records of that culture still exist


| Trove Partnerships, National Library of Australia

CANBERRA – The Pacific Virtual Museum at the National Library of New Zealand is a remarkable project that brings together Pacific heritage collections from around the world under the masthead of Digital Pasifik.

Digital Pasifik is a website that allows people to discover digitised Pacific collections that are held around the world. You can link to it here.

Continue reading "Our Pacific heritage is now available online" »

Our insane & violent love affair with sorcery

Why should an elected member of the government accuse someone of sorcery? Why should a pastor or padre come home after church and blame someone of sorcery?


PANGUNA – First I’ve got some people to thank for their effort against this insane Melanesian belief in sorcery and sorcerers that is now blighting Bougainville as well as mainland Papua New Guinea.

I’ll particularly mention Anton Lutz, Gary Bustin, the Tribal Foundation and the PNG Post-Courier newspaper.

Continue reading "Our insane & violent love affair with sorcery" »

Tragedy: Tribal fighting claims 32 lives

An all-out tribal warfare with spears and bush knives broke out between the two parties that led to 26 people killed from the Kuboma side and six people killed from the Kulumata side

Kaibola dancers on Kiriwina island,

| The National

PORT MORESBY - At least 32 people have been killed in an all-out war between Kulumata and Kuboma tribes in Milne Bay’s Kiriwina Islands.

Internal Security Minister Peter Tsiamalili Jr confirmed the killings that erupted early last month after yam gardens were destroyed.

Continue reading "Tragedy: Tribal fighting claims 32 lives" »

How PNG gave us bananas 7,000 years ago

Researchers have gone bananas over this fruit’s complex ancestry. Most agree that Papua New Guinea is where domesticated bananas as we know them first appeared

Bananas An unusual type of banana showing white flesh with dark seeds
An unusual type of banana - similar to the species first domesticated in Papua New Guinea - showing white flesh with dark seeds

| Science | Edited extracts

WASHINGTON - People like to know where their food comes from, but even experts are throwing up their hands when it comes to the origins of the modern banana.

An extensive genetic analysis of more than 100 varieties of wild and cultivated bananas has revealed the existence of three previously unknown—and possibly still living—ancestors.

Continue reading "How PNG gave us bananas 7,000 years ago" »

Learning Tok Pisin: it's harder than it looks

At first as I began to learn Pidgin, I thought, ‘This is easy. It’s a form of baby talk and there’s nothing to it'. I could not have been more mistaken


| Unravel  | Edited

CALIFORNIA - I arrived in Papua New Guinea in September 1980, a young geologist on the adventure of his life.

Esso Eastern, a subsidiary of Exxon Minerals, had hired me to open their copper and gold exploration office and I was living my dream, setting off on a major career step toward the life of physical and intellectual adventure I wanted.

Continue reading "Learning Tok Pisin: it's harder than it looks" »

Today's tribes are not loyal to their own

The invigilators didn’t care who won the election, as long as the sitting member’s henchmen were not able to push false votes or influence the counting

Showing that ballot boxes are empty before voting
Poll workers demonstrate that ballot boxes are empty before voting commences


PORT MORESBY – ‘Bigmanship’, in Simon Davidson’s, 'Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders', is such a strange and new term.

If you look at it in the construct of Simon’s article, it’s like watching the vomit of over-analysis give life to something that is a post-colonial media construct.

Continue reading "Today's tribes are not loyal to their own" »

The real virtues of constitutional monarchy

Britannia defends Law, Monarchy and Religion against Violation from the Great Political Libertine. Despite its many flaws, inequities and inequalities, a constitutional monarchy remains the least easily manipulated governance system humans have devised

Monarchy top
Death or Liberty! Cartoon by George Cruikshank, London, 1819


ADELAIDE - Raymond Sigimet's perfectly competent and informative article about the death of the Queen triggered a remarkable outpouring of venom about the monarchy from those who want to replace it with a republic.

There is no denying that the monarchy is an archaic and elitist institution. Also, there are plenty of examples of royals behaving badly.

Continue reading "The real virtues of constitutional monarchy" »

PNG's monarch, ‘Misis Kwin’, has passed away

"I know how honoured Her Majesty is to be your Queen, a title borne by her with immense pride and renewed by the people of this great country upon independence in 1975" - King Charles III, speaking as the Prince of Wales, in 2012

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited PNG in October 1982


DAGUA - Papua New Guinea, as a member of the Commonwealth, is mourning the passing of its head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth II, called Misis Kwin in PNG Tok Pisin, died aged 96 one week ago, Thursday 8 September.

Continue reading "PNG's monarch, ‘Misis Kwin’, has passed away" »

The '90s PNG meri blaus at Auckland museum

| Duresi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - On Sunday my daughter and I went to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

As usual, we ended up spending time looking at the Pacific section and its artefacts. I had to photograph this meri blaus.

I remember the style well from growing up in the 1990s. My elder sister had a few. I think I may have owned one. Meri blaus styles change over time and I don’t think this style is still made.

“It’s probably because of the arms,” my daughter observed. “They’re very constricted, unlike the styles of today.”

Perhaps she’s got a point.

Happy Friday to you all!

PNG: Is the future capitalism or nothing?

The current fighting in the Highlands has less to do with political leadership and everything thing to do with lost hope. The men who are fighting, harming people and destroying property, those men own nothing

Gun family


“The only comfort that may be drawn is from the fact that the subsistence lifestyle, that has sustained Papua New Guineans for thousands of years, will probably insulate them from the worst impacts of what is and remains a grossly inequitable, unjust and frequently corrupt system” – Chris Overland in ‘The tragic legacy of Australian colonialism.”

LAE - No. Subsistence farming may not save Papua New Guinea in the future.

There is too much to unpack in that assumption and I will most likely be dead and gone before my country realises the inevitable endpoint that I only spy through a poet’s lens.

Continue reading "PNG: Is the future capitalism or nothing?" »

How to give women a say in PNG governance

Traditionally women exercised power on matters such as food security, children’s health and education.  In matrilineal settings, they can exercise total authority over the distribution and use of land



CAIRNS - I believe Terence Wood (‘What went wrong with the 2022 elections’) has made some pertinent observations. 

He has picked out a number of factors that are increasingly impacting the safe and orderly conduct of elections.

I would add a couple more to the mix.

Continue reading "How to give women a say in PNG governance" »

Old Melanesia offers lessons to a grim future

When they say ‘gold is a resource’, then anything in and around it is useless. The people living on the land above the gold, anything else in the ground and down the rivers are seen as a nuisance


| Presentation at the Lowy Institute

SYDNEY - Papua New Guineans are proud and resilient people. We come from a bloodline of some of the most ingenious and innovative people.

Our ancestors sailed the oceans before others did. Our ancestors invented agriculture! Let that sink in.

Continue reading "Old Melanesia offers lessons to a grim future" »

Heritage, bilums & cultural appropriation

The truth is that imitation and exchange have long been integral in the development of human societies. Begging, borrowing or stealing other people’s ideas drives socio-cultural and economic change around the globe



ADELAIDE - Raymond Sigimet’s article, The cruel and brazen theft of bilum designs, has raised a significant issue and in so doing exposes a veritable witches brew of tricky problems.

Rightly, he regards the use of traditional bilum designs for other purposes as an example of what is commonly called 'cultural appropriation' – which occurs when cultural features or artefacts of a group are adopted by other groups or individuals in an exploitative or disrespectful way.

Continue reading "Heritage, bilums & cultural appropriation" »

The cruel & brazen theft of bilum designs

The sale of these splendid (and strong) string bags and other products based on bilum design is putting money into the hands of many creative and hard-working women who sustain this national art

Bilum designs on fabrics for sale (Florence Jaukae  Facebook)
Bilum designs on fabrics displayed for sale (Florence Jaukae,  Facebook)


DAGUA - The bilum is no ordinary string bag. It is part of the Papua New Guinea persona.

It is part of our identity. It is a national symbol. It is a shared experience in our diversity.

Papua New Guinea bilum designs are unique to our country.

Continue reading "The cruel & brazen theft of bilum designs" »

A Pacific of small island states is no fantasy

Very few Pacific islands would opt for their current status if offered a choice to return to their pre-colonial lives. This could be more than a post-modern fantasy

Canoe (Pinterest)


CAIRNS - If you look at history through a Bougainvillean lens, independence is obvious and non-negotiable.

But the same sentiment applies to practically every other island group in the Pacific region.

Continue reading "A Pacific of small island states is no fantasy" »

Sumatin magazine opens a box of delights

“There are many writers wondering where PNG is heading and when the vicious cycles of political corruption, poor economic development and social decay will end. Papua New Guinea is a nation in denial” - Sumatin

Dom Magasin cover top


NOOSA – Sumatin magazine, published by Michael Dom and his energetic team at Ples Singsing, is billed as the ‘space for Papua New Guinean creativity’ and is a wonderful initiative that has revived the fading literary flame lit by the Crocodile Prize.

Sumatin magazine issue 2 of July 2022, which you can access here, is a free, online production featuring both original content and relevant writing drawn largely from Ples Singsing, PNG Attitude and DevPolicy Blog.

Continue reading "Sumatin magazine opens a box of delights" »

Joy & lamentation from a poet of real talent

Challenges to popular and cherished notions are features of poetry that often bring poets into conflict with the champions of modern-day philosophies (or fads). In my view, that’s exactly the right position for a poet to take: truth-telling to the wise

Huli father and son (PNG Stock Image  Science Library)
Huli father teaches his son the intricacies of hunting (PNG Stock Image Science Library)


Cry My Beloved Country, Collection of Poems and Prose, 1998–2018 by Telly Orekavala, JDT Publishing, Port Moresby, February 2019, 76 pp. ISBN-10: ‎1797082752. Paperback $3.60 available here from Amazon

LAE - THERE are many different ways to interpret collections of poems and prose.

For me, writing about a collection of poetry is an attempt to make sure that what I take away from it is more than only what I have read into it myself.

Continue reading "Joy & lamentation from a poet of real talent" »

Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament

Remember the good times, laughter and fun, the Grand Chief said. We united PNG into one nation of diversity and cultural heritage. Make me proud of what you will become

Enga elections 2022
"Rambos appeared everywhere in the province. They stoned helicopters, blocked national highways, hijacked ballot boxes, set fire to property and triggered tribal wars"



WABAG - This year’s national election has been a disaster in Enga, and for Enga. It is one of the worst since independence. Perhaps the worst.

For the first time in my life – and in the lives of many town residents, educated elites and senior citizens in this country – we did not cast our votes on that gloomy Friday 8th of July.

Continue reading "Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament" »