OLAC Record

Title:Kayma ‘Cassowary’
Access Rights:Open (subject to agreeing to PDSC access conditions)
Bibliographic Citation:Darja Hoenigman (collector), Darja Munbaŋgoapik (performer), 2018. Kayma ‘Cassowary’. TIFF/JPEG/MXF/MP4. DKH01-018_kayma at catalog.paradisec.org.au. https://dx.doi.org/10.26278/3PSY-NG63
Contributor (compiler):Darja Hoenigman
Contributor (performer):Darja Munbaŋgoapik
Coverage (Box):northlimit=-4.16134; southlimit=-5.27824; westlimit=143.02; eastlimit=144.191
Coverage (ISO3166):PG
Date (W3CDTF):2018-08-15
Date Created (W3CDTF):2018-08-15
Description:There are two species of cassowary on Awiakay land. The cassowary found in the mountains, in Awiakay called yapyap kayma, or keŋgepeñ, is smaller, presumably the Dwarf Cassowary (Casuarius bennetti). The Awiakay describe it as a ‘fighter’, much more so than the larger one, kumbun ‘the northern cassowary’ (Casuarius unappendiculatus), which is found in the lowlands of Awiakay land. Although more less frequently caught than a wild pig, cassowary is another large and highly desirable game that the Awiakay hunt for. Being closest in their size to man, both cassowary and pig are ascribed the most human characteristics and hunting for either of them is considered by the Awiakay equal to a duel (Hoenigman 2015: 229; see also Bulmer 1967: 12). The cassowary is often hunted with dogs and killed using either a bow and arrow or a spear. Sometimes it is lured into a trap or targeted by a hunter from a canoe while it eats grass on the riverbank (Hoenigman 2015: 15). Being able to kick forward, a cassowary can be a dangerous adversary. It is known to fight with dogs, and there have been several cases of a dog being killed by a cassowary inflicting a lethal wound with its 12cm long dagger-like medium toe claw. The cassowary is not classified as tiñe ‘bird’ in Awiakay taxonomy. It regularly appears in Awiakay myths in which it is always anthropomorphised, as well as in the all-night song-dance cycle Kaunjambi, where it is paralleled not only with pig, but also with the brown-collared brush turkey – another creature with feathers which is not perceived as bird (Hoenigman 2015: 299). One of the myths (Hoenigman 2009: 310-315) explains why the cassowary stays on the ground. One day in the faraway past, Cassowary and Hornbill walked along the bush and decided to compete which of them can get higher on a tree. But when Cassowary jumped on a branch, it broke under his weight, and he fell to the ground, breaking his hip. That is why cassowaries have a ‘broken’ pelvis. He tried again, but it hurt too much, and as he couldn’t fly, he kept jumping on the ground. Hornbill was more successful, he jumped from one branch to another, and soon reached the tops of the trees. On the go, he was pulling off fruits and seedpods with his bill, throwing them down to the cassowary. “I’m going to the other trees,” he said to Cassowary, “just follow my calls, and I will keep throwing down the food for you.” That is why cassowaries walk on the ground, picking up fruits and seeds that hornbills throw from the trees. Their backside is too heavy, and they have no wings to fly. The Awiakay use cassowary feathers to make highly valued head-dresses called saŋgima, and the creature’s tibiotarsus are shaped into daggers (cf. Dominy et al 2018). In the past they were a sign of prestige, nowadays they are often carried to town for personal security. Cassowary eggs are a rare treat. When one finds one, the Awiakay believe one must jump away without touching it, and scream: “Apuria, apuria!” ‘Wasps, wasps!’, then slowly come back and there will be at least three eggs in the nest (cassowaries usually lay 3-5 eggs). The word for cassowary, kayma, used to be taboo when the Awiakay travelled in the mountains, and would be replaced by an avoidance term, tumanjiŋge ‘the hairy one’, lest ‘mountain spirits’ harm the men hunting in their territory (for more on kay menda, the avoidance language register the Awiakay used to use in the mountains, see Hoenigman 2012). When the final design emerges, the maker usually points to the cassowary’s long neck. After that he/she releases the string from the index fingers, and the ‘cassowary’ is ‘shot’. Images: 02: ‘cassowary’, final design 03: ‘cassowary’, final design, string figure-makers’ view 04: cassowary’s long neck 05: kayma ‘the northern cassowary’ (Casuarius unappendiculatus) Bulmer, Ralph. 1967. Why is the Cassowary Not a Bird? A Problem of Zoological Taxonomy Among the Karam of the New Guinea Highlands. Man 2(1): 5-25. Dominy NJ, Mills ST, Yakacki CM, Roscoe PB, Carpenter RD. 2018 New Guinea bone daggers were engineered to preserve social prestige. R. Soc. open sci. 5: 172067. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.172067 Hoenigman, Darja. 2009. Awiakay tapescripts 2009-1. Field notebook AT1_2009. 310–315. Hoenigman, Darja. 2012. From mountain talk to hidden talk: Continuity and change in Awiakay registers. In Evans, Nicholas & Marian Klamer (eds.), Melanesian languages on the edge of Asia: Challenges for the 21st Century. Language Documentation & Conservation (Special Publication 5). 191–218. Hoenigman, Darja. 2015. ‘The talk goes many ways’: Registers of language and modes of performance in Kanjimei, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Canberra: The Australian National University. (PhD thesis.) . Language as given: Awiakay
Format:Digitised: no Media: audiovisual recording
Identifier (URI):http://catalog.paradisec.org.au/repository/DKH01/018_kayma
Language:Tok Pisin
Language (ISO639):tpi
Rights:Open (subject to agreeing to PDSC access conditions)
Subject (OLAC):language_documentation
Table Of Contents (URI):http://catalog.paradisec.org.au/repository/DKH01/018_kayma/DKH01-018_kayma-01.tif
Type (DCMI):MovingImage


Archive:  Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC)
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:paradisec.org.au:DKH01-018_kayma
DateStamp:  2022-06-22
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Search Info

Citation: Darja Hoenigman (compiler); Darja Munbaŋgoapik (performer). 2018. Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC).
Terms: area_Pacific country_PG dcmi_MovingImage iso639_tpi olac_language_documentation

Up-to-date as of: Tue Nov 8 11:52:47 EST 2022