OLAC Record

Title:The story of a mwat (Margaret Kamau)
Documentation and description of Koro, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea
Contributor (researcher):Jessica Cleary-Kemp
Contributor (speaker):Margaret Kamau
Contributor (translator):Sylvia Pokisel
Coverage:Papua New Guinea
Description:This is an eight minute audio recording and transcription/translation of Margaret Kamau telling the traditional story of the snake that created the landscape near Lopohan. At the beginning of the recording, Frances explains a little about the story in English/Tok Pisin. Recorded at Ida's house in Lopohan. Many people were present, including Kristine Pat, Bruno, Christine (Tata), Susie, and Frances.
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.
Synopsis: There was a snake that lived at Popondah mountain. There were two brothers, named Morare and Morer. They used to catch yabbies and they just cooked them in the sun because they had no fire. They went on and on like this, until one day they encountered the snake. They were afraid and they asked it, "Hey, are you human or what? You're going to eat us!" And the snake said, "No, I just live here. And you?" They responded, "Us too. But we just catch our yabbies and dry them in the sun and eat them." The snake said, "OK, you two come with me. I have firewood and all kinds of food." They said, "OK, but how will we get there?" The snake told them he would open his mouth and they could climb inside. They were afraid, but the older brother Morare climbed inside the snake's mouth. The snake told him to only take the foods from his head, and not to take the large foods. He brought back firewood and food and they built a fire and cooked their food. The next day he did the same. It went on and on like this until one day the older brother sent his younger brother in his place. The younger brother was scared, but he went. He got the foods from its head and left those in its belly. One day he forgot and he went all the way to its tail and saw the big foods - yams, bananas, sugar cane - and he picked them. The snake felt it and said, "Oh, you have broken my bones." The snake got angry and it left. It crawled down the mountain, slithering to and fro, then it coiled itself up like a tyre and stayed there. One day it stood up and came to the sea. It came down to Choloh, and it swam away to Luh. The brothers stayed at Popondah.
Margaret speaks the Lopohan dialect of Koro, which is slightly different from the Papitalai dialect.
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.
Margaret Londau Kamau is probably about 60 years old. She lives in the village of Lopohan. The variety of Koro she speaks is slightly different to that spoken in Papitalai village.
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=MPI1197356%23
Publisher:Jessica Cleary-Kemp
Traditional narrative
Koro (Papua New Guinea) language
English 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:MPI1197356
DateStamp:  2018-09-26
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Jessica Cleary-Kemp (researcher); Margaret Kamau (speaker); Sylvia Pokisel (translator); Frances (speaker). 2012-06-22. Jessica Cleary-Kemp.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG iso639_eng iso639_kxr

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Mon Oct 18 15:09:54 EDT 2021