1. nge, sung by Anap (Leo, Niolam) and recorded in 1908 1:44 VII W 1848

Sung by Anap, a man from Komat, Niolam, who was just 26 years old when Schlaginhaufen recorded him in 1908.

 This song, in the nge song form, is likely to have been conceived in a dream by the uncle of the deceased. In the song the uncle first addresses his nephew, asking where his body is to be found, to which the dead nephew replies that the whirlpool was the location of his drowning. Lihir is a matrilinial society, and as such, the relationship between men and their sisters’ sons is of primary importance to the lineage, and is reflected in the many songs that refer to this relationship.

wa nunglik do masor na ie you my nephew where will we come ashore?
la bukbuk wan de ro lio in the whirlpool you will draw me out
wan de bang ri se tan wan de bang ri se lie you will pour you will pour out
ra da long mai tes my blood in the saltwater

2. nge, song 1, sung by Joseph Pots & Paul Towe (Makapa, Mahur) 0:43 2008/033

Nge are often sung as a series, with each song providing part of a story. In this performance of nge three songs describe the fate of a man and his friends killed by a bomb during WWII. It is likely that the songs were received in a dream during the 1940s, and passed on through the generations. It is one of the most popular nge songs on the smaller islands of Lihir (Ihot). Towards the end of the song the lead singer makes a ‘tsk tsk’ sound – this is to signal the final repeat of a song. The deceased first addresses his wife, who he had followed to her village before being killed by the bomb.

ee laung yu sa bir laung yu sa bir  my wife I have disappeared my wife I have disappeared
yo kemli go tu ien I followed you here
a bomb sa se giet ri yio yo sa iliu  a bomb has killed us I have died a victim

3. nge, song 2, sung by Joseph Pots & Paul Towe (Makapa, Mahur) 1:15 2008/033

The deceased addresses his fellow friends who were also killed by the bomb on the stony beach, and describes how they will be buried.

ee go ul tsik go ko er mon de you boys you are sleeping together
a bomb sa se te giet la kani otot a bomb has killed us on stones
do ko e la lum dan  let us all listen
dien le dien kup ingiet da ko pungpung an ok tu la salapuets  if they are going to call us we will all go cold into the place of burial

4. nge, song 3, sung by Joseph Pots & Paul Towe (Makapa, Mahur) 1:13 2008/030

The dead man addresses his father who is to place his body in the sea, although his spirit will remain.

ee watata wan ko pits te yo sam you father you hold on to me
wan tel te yio ien ilie lien ai to you put me down in the water
wan ko ke mu ndo you lead the way for us
wan ke nung ong enio no komel ok te ien no miat ok na ien you get my walking stick but I will die here and sleep here

5. nge, song 1, sung by Agnes Toti and friends (Bulamue, Masahet) 1:22 2008/070

This nge and the following describe the last moments of a man and his brother at sea. Blood running dry is a common image in Lihirian song depicting a loss of blood leading to death.

yo samber melien a uris I got lost in the foam
melien i tu imin melien i tes tandal satela papa andalong kasambir
in the water in the high seas of no return my blood runs dry

6. nge, song 2, sung by Agnes Toti and friends (Bulamue, Masahet) 1:22 2008/070

In this second song, the presence of a spirit (tandal) within the ginger, and the reference to blood, indicate that death is imminent.

le dora wues manung yie you and I have to jump out of this sea vessel
lilien ma ngui lawir no ko kets pilik tan a ton don wen ngui to into the SE winds and I will sit protecting our shadow
do ra wues melien i tes you and I jump into the sea
melien ma ngui lawir no ko kets pilik tan a ton don wen ngui to into the SE winds and I will sit protecting our shadow
ri kowa tsunglik ra tandal tsatsul manung laie sa wirwir se andal kame lalong oh you my brother the spirit has arrived within my ginger, he is swirling, there is blood in our mouths
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