OLAC Record

Title:World War II (Kris Pokisel)
Documentation and description of Koro, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea
Contributor (researcher):Jessica Cleary-Kemp
Contributor (speaker):Kris Pokisel
Maria Pokisel
Contributor (translator):Sylvia Pokisel
Coverage:Papua New Guinea
Description:This is a sixteen and a half minute recording, with accompanying transcription/translation, of Kris Pokisel telling his personal story of when World War II came to Manus. Recorded inside the haus boi at Awe. Many people were present, including Maria Pokisel, Philip Pokisel, and Siwa, as well as numerous puppies.
Koro is an Oceanic (Austronesian) language spoken by several hundred people on Manus and Los Negros islands, approximately 200 miles off the north coast of the Papua New Guinea mainland. This documentation consists primarily of recorded narratives and conversations in the Papitalai dialect, spoken in Papitalai, Riu Riu, and Naringel villages.
Kris tells the personal story of when World War II came to Manus. There is a lot of codeswitching between Koro and Tok Pisin in this story. Kris was just a boy when the war came. When the war came in 1941, ’42, ’43, people didn’t stay in the villages — they fled to the bush. Everything was destroyed by bombs. The Japanese came first to Lombrum. Japan came and displaced the Australians. They were short on manpower and they sent word to Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US for back up. Backup arrived and Los Negros was completely full of army, navy, and airforce troops — maybe one or two million people. There were ships and planes and cars everywhere. There was no room for the people of Los Negros. Everyone went to stay at Mokoreng because the battles were raging everywhere else on the island. The war didn’t affect all of Manus, just Los Negros. The Allies came and chased the Japanese away and put some in the prisoner of war camp at Lombrum. When the war finished in 1944, ’45, ’46, the people of Los Negros went and stayed at Puruhut. They did not stay in Papitalai or go to the bush there because it was full of soldiers. There was no pig, no cuscus, no fish, no crab, so they just relied on rations from the army. After two or three years, when the army moved on to Vietnam, people moved back to Papitalai and fixed the place up. It was a very hard time during the war. When bombs would drop it was every man for himself and you didn’t worry about your friends or family or belongings. People didn’t used to have so many children as they do now. Nowadays if the war came, how would you keep track of all your children? We should go back to the old ways when the women stayed in the house and the men stayed in the hausboi (special house for boys and men).
Jessica Cleary-Kemp is the PI on the project. She conducted the research on Koro during her tenure as a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley.
I have estimated Kris's birth year. He grew up in Papitalai. He and his wife now live away from any village, on an isolated point. His wife is Maria Pokisel. His son is Philip Pokisel. His granddaughter is Sylvia Pokisel. His father was Pokisel and his mother was Hilondelis.
I estimated Maria's year of birth. Maria Pokisel is married to Kris Pokisel. Her village name is Hisolowen. Her son is Philip Pokisel and her granddaughter is Sylvia Pokisel.
Sylvia transcribed and translated all stories for which there is a transcription. Some of these were completed together with Jessica Cleary-Kemp (the researcher), while others were completed independently. Sylvia's mother was from Ponam and her father is from Papitalai. Sylvia's late mother was from Ponam, and so she grew up with Ponam as her first language, although she grew up in Papitalai. Tok Pisin is also her first language, and her language of everyday communication. She learnt English at school and is fluent. Her village name is Hilondelis, which can be parsed as hi- 'female name prefix', lo- 'leaf', ndelis 'tropical almond'. This was the name of her paternal great-grandmother. Her father is Philip Pokisel and her paternal grandparents are Kris Pokisel and Maria Pokisel. Her siblings are Francis, Geoffrey, Lomot, and Siwa. Her children are Adrien and Philson and her husband is Steven Paura. Maria Pokisel (her grandmother) calls Sylvia by the nickname "Kalas" (glasses).
Identifier (URI):https://lat1.lis.soas.ac.uk/ds/asv?openpath=MPI1197330%23
Publisher:Jessica Cleary-Kemp
Personal narrative
Koro (Papua New Guinea) language
English language
Papitalai language
Subject (ISO639):kxr


Archive:  Endangered Languages Archive
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/soas.ac.uk
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for OLAC format
GetRecord:  Pre-generated XML file

OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:soas.ac.uk:MPI1197330
DateStamp:  2018-09-26
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Jessica Cleary-Kemp (researcher); Kris Pokisel (speaker); Maria Pokisel (speaker); Sylvia Pokisel (translator). 2012-07-09. Jessica Cleary-Kemp.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG iso639_eng iso639_kxr iso639_pat

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Mon Oct 18 15:15:35 EDT 2021