Purago Marabe and Martin Morububuna, October 2009 Jolika Fellows

Community Mural: Legend of Ilakavetega

By Martin Morububuna

Once upon a time there lived Ilakavetega and her two granddaughters. Every day the granddaughters went out to the beach to fetch saltwater for the grandmother. The Boi bird would come to the girls and would sit on the rock and talk to them, and would even say things about their grandmother.



One day the grandmother decided with the two girls to trap the bird and catch it. They set the trap on the rock and the bird sat on it and got caught. The two girls carried the bird home. The chief of the village heard that the bird been caught. He requested the head of the bird to make his magic. The grandmother did not give the head to the chief. The chief ordered his messengers to bring the old woman to him. The chief's magician killed the grandmother and got married to the granddaughters and lived happily ever after.

Artists' Statement: From Paradise to Where??

Papua New Guinea is a very diverse and multilingual developing country. In the unique Melanesian way, we began as a nation of structured cultures and communities. We had chiefs, elders, warriors, gardeners, healers, herbsmen and wisemen. People conducted their everyday routines according to specific expectations and rules of their communities, which varied from village to village.

Every issue and decision—even every penalty—was decided according to those rules. Apart from the hardships of warfare and their nomadic lives, people generally lived abundant, peaceful, happy, hard-working lives. In doing so, our people lived in harmony with each other and with nature and our traditions, while conflicts were amicably settled.

After World War II, there was an influx of missionaries and churches, each with its own dogma and teachings. After PNG gained independence from Australia in 1975, western culture poured into Papua New Guinea through government and private sectors. We became independent, but now we are dependent on modernity. We can’t go back now. We are searching for solutions. What can be preserved from the past?

The mural in this gallery looks back at the peoples, art, cultures and natural environment from the highlands to the coastal regions of Papua New Guinea. The painting expresses a wish for all people to realize the truth in themselves. Our hope for humanity transcends the specific people and places represented in the painting. We will all create this vision together. We all have our cultures and traditions. The paint will tell the colors of our collective story.

Poetry and Paintings by Purago Marabe


Hauslain

Where all the blood poured

 

Where mythical legends, are mythical and endless

 

Where food is never in short supply as handshakes

 

Where sleep is pure and abundant

 

Where all the tribes folk is bred and born

 

Where all must return to

 

Both the living and the dead.

 

Where god and the devil eavesdrop

 

Without inhibitions and mannerisms

 

Never merging

 

Only the sun and night fulfill

 

Their full or half lives

 

On the many roads

 

In and out of the village

 

Following the spirits of hunters and gatherers

 

It's the hauslined forever.

 

Row of houses lined up

 

Bush architecture against tribal village

 

My inheritance

 

Where my tambunas await

 

My families are scattered there

 

I've only come

 

To go back

 

Where my roots are

 

In line of string, intertwined

 

Playground of man, woman, children




Mist

Captured

 

            I am

 

Capsized

 

            You are

 

From somewhere

 

            You emerge

 

On the hilltop

 

            I dwell

 

For me, you bring loving tidings and silence

 

For you, I share you my heart and kupe flowers

 

Together the feeling remains

 

As you caress the mountains and my gardens

 

Awaiting each other

 

Amongst you, I close my eyes.

 

Engrossed I breathe your freshness

 

That which is drunk before sunrise

 

It's my cup of endurance

 

Of the times ahead

 

This morning you made it

 

My day....

 

It's the mist.



I Plant Trees

If the sun is to again shine
My waiting is an aging handful
For, if the rain is to come much later,
My anxiety is tall
And every noon I dream a different tree.

If the clouds have not gathered
My eyes can’t see the scorching sun
The seed to be buried can’t wait anymore
My anxiety meets the sprawled wind
I climb different trees in my restlessness.

Though my waiting be many nights
The sun rests, so must I
The moon retires, so my waiting
For the wind to ‘round the clouds-
And the clouds to shield the sun
And for the rain of Porandi to fall
For the trees, before they sprout
Must dream their awakening.

There is sunshine fom Porandi
The Porandi spirits have sent rain
Monsoonal rains from the cousins’ land have arrived
Far away, there are echoes and drumbeats
In graveholes, there’s song and preparation
The long time has come
I plant a tree
One each for everyone’s shadows

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