Hello again. As some of you were aware, we took a walkabout into the bush today to a neighboring village or “Haus Lain”, which in English would be pronounced “House line.” We started out around 8:45 AM and made our way through the coffee, Sweet potato, Tapioc, and rice gardens to the “Garden trail,” which led us up to where the Roja house lain is. We met several villagers on the way and stopped to chat. Chris and Maggie Hostetter went along with us since it was our first time and we had no idea how to get there. They’re just finishing their Tok Pisin study here at the Center and will be moving into a tribe soon.
Melody and I kept our eyes and ears open for new words as we listened to Chris and Maggie dialogue with the folks we met along our way. We’re beginning to hear bits and pieces of the conversation as we tune our ears to the melody of the language. We also had a local guide with us who resides in the Roja hans line, his name is Tom. He explained many things to us, such as graves, and what the different parts of the houses are made from. The Walls are made from a plant called Pit
pit, that they dry and flatten out to weave it into wall panels. The floors are made from a type of Bamboo pronounced “Mamboo.” Most of the houses will have a separate smaller structure off to one side that is designated for cooking and is called the “Cuk Haus.” We were also able to see coffee beans being dried in the sun. All along the way pigs were basking along the trails and beside houses in the shade, paying no attention whatsoever to us as we walking by, inches away. We didn’t even warrant a cursory side ways glance. As I’ve said before, pigs are a prized possession in this culture and in many way’s they’re value is almost the same as human. Our language helper Nicky had to pay a bride price for his wife Carol, that was set by his wife’s Uncles and Papa. They ended up settling on a bride price of 8,000 Kina ($4500), 16 pigs, 2 cows, some goats, chickens, and ducks! Ouch! That’s better than the first price they set of 15,000 Kina. Not every bride price is the same. Some women who have been educated and have good jobs bring a much steeper bride price, such as in Nicky’s case. His wife Carol is a school teacher so she was very valuable to her family.
We were also invited to a MuMu on Saturday. Thats a sort of cookout that the whole village or anyone waling by can come to. They just through a bunch of Kumu (Greens), Kau Kau (Sweet Potato), Beans in a pit full of hot stones and then cover it up for an hour until its done. Sometimes, for important occasions they’ll through in a side of lamb, pig, or chicken with it. I’m told its excellent. So, we’re bringing some Cockaruk (Chicken) to through in. We’ll be sure to post plenty of pictures from it. Well that’s all for now. Until next time. Lukim yu behain!