How Lihir Came to Be, as told by Joseph Pilai

This pil is an origin story of the largest island in the Lihir Island Group, Aniolam. Its geological formation and first vegetation is described, and stone tools are in use. Food arrives with a couple identified as Adam and Eve, but only small amounts are eaten until a certain figure arrives and instructs the children of this couple how to prepare for a feast, using leaves and hot stones as is now customary. The character instructs that his head and body be separated and cooked; on opening the stone oven the cooked body has become a pig and the cooked head a taro (taro is said to resemble a head, with eyes, and a stumpy section resembling a neck). Instructions on growing and harvesting taro are then given.

This story, while pointing to the origins of current Lihir feasting practices, is also considered a description of the origins of cannibalism. The story ends with a song and description of a separate character who, because of his laziness, only has one nut to eat (a sub-story grafted onto the main narrative). Finally, this time of going without, and eating people, is said to end with the arrival of Christianity, and the getting of wisdom.

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