12. tonetika, sung by Mathew Tongia, Benjamin Rukam, John Izizip, Lawrance Bondok & Thomas Toentulat (Lisel, Niolam) 0:54 2008/10

Singing tonetika is literally singing for one’s supper: in a time when food is short, a group of people (men, women and/or children) would go from house to house at night singing in exchange for food, which would be eaten as they went.

 This song describes a man approaching the house of a woman whom he likes, and who likes him, but of whom her family disapproves. He is conscious of this and approaches her house with trepidation. Here, rather than being a literal request for food, the song is a request for a woman. It is in a combination of contemporary and archaic Lihirian languages.

wa/luna nunglik gol sa er sina pinits ki ndatul

you/both my nephews both of you have come from doing our work

  

ka gol sa wil kame kuling x2

you have come here and are now sleeping beside me

se ni to sore gol

who will call out and disturb you two?

13. buot, sung by Gabriela Kowos, Josephine Wenatawan, Anna Bualtso, Veronica Lomuet & Maria Porlien (Lakamelen, Mahur) 1:34 2008/019

Buot are sung at night for entertainment. This song praises the work of two men, who have worked hard for their uncle. As already mentioned, in Lihir children’s relationships with their maternal uncles are paramount, as it is through these uncles that they earn their social status.

a weien laie imon a weien laie imon

this is an aggressive woman this is an aggressive woman

   

ka sa potso nung e kambek

she has now weakened the power of my lime paint

(ka) sa potso nung e kambek ka sa wartie nung e yo ka sa potso ngui kanut

she has now weakened the power of my lime paint, she has broken all my spears and she has destroyed the power of my ancestors

14. buot, sung by Lucy Romrom, Anges Lopdal, Mary Timar, Agnes Tanbel, Elizabeth Luwot, Barbara Bunbun, Barbara Kaskas, Ellen Pule, Helen Wenge, Joseph Bosle, Francis Palits, Clement Siapinpin & Peter Sim (Dot, Masahet) 1:31 2008/056

Buot are typically sung at times of courting, at the climax of a ritual feast. This song describes a powerful woman who has the ability to overwhelm a man – a woman to be admired but also feared.

a weien laie imon a weien laie imon

this is an aggressive woman this is an aggressive woman

   

ka sa potso nung e kambek

she has now weakened the power of my lime paint

(ka) sa potso nung e kambek ka sa wartie nung e yo ka sa potso ngui kanut

she has now weakened the power of my lime paint, she has broken all my spears and she has destroyed the power of my ancestors

15. buot, sung by Rose Mano, Cecilia Kom, Anna Nalo, Vincent Ludaw & Herman Kordu (Malal, Masahet) 1:58 2008/066

Each clan on Lihir has its own men’s house (a ririh, or ‘haus boi’ in Tok Pisin). In front of these houses, bamboo platforms used as resting places are usually found, and these are often decoratively carved, as this buot describes.

no de tsing tu nesmu

I am going up to your place

    

no de tsing si na ma lo

I am going up through treacherous tracks

riso ra tsumtsumbu siri ango

treading carefully conscious that

die ruperuping ki na weien

there is disparity between the woman and her family

16. Nawon, Elen Kaites, Elizabeth Ile, Susan Mis, Jacinta Ambia, Maria Masi & Germain Amau (Kunaye, Niolam) 1:57 2008/086

Two boys have spied a girl that they like, and decide the best way to get close to her is to smash her bamboo water container over her head, because then they can perform cranial trepanation (kuel pas) on her. This operation is an ancient healing practice that is still performed today.

mole do iun e?

where do you think we should drink?

   

mole do iun yan sina don ine yie

we can drink from her bamboo water container

ma weien do ko patso a kan inie maie a don do ko kulie a nasien

let us break her head with her bamboo water container and then let us scrape it (her head)

 

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