This account was told by a schoolteacher’s wife in her 50s, on 16 December 1976, in Siboma village, Morobe Province, PNG. Listen to it here:
Ewesika ndi kulakula ti-nisi bani na.
women their work they-boil food of
Women’s work cooking food.
Ewesika usouso aindi bani i-ye kapala woya-ma.
women white their food it-lie house ready-ly
White women, their food lies in a house ready.
Ti-ki bani i-ye kapala ti-baga bani na
they-put food it-lie house they-buy food of
They put food in a house for buying food [= food store]
wa ai ti-ambi goleyawa ti-wesa ti-ambuli bani i-ye kapala ti-baga bani na
and them they-hold money they-go they-buy food it-lie house they-buy food of
and they take money and go buy food at the food store
wa ti-nggewe ti-wesa ti-nisi i-ye aindi kapala.
and they-carry they-go they-boil it-lie their house
and carry it and go cook it at their house.
Aito aindi ekapakolapa asowa to, aito ti-ani ti-mi kapala lalo.
them.few their girls.boys spouse with them.few they-eat they-dwell house inside
They and their children and spouses, they eat [it] in their houses.
Wa i ewesika kikiya, inami kulakula bamo ano-ma.
and us women black our work big true-ly
But us black women, we have a lot of work.
Ika wa-nggo na-nggo tuwatuwa ditako su inami kulakula bani na.
so I-say I’ll-say story a.little on our work food of
So I want to talk a little bit about our food work.
Ikana inggo i ma-wasa ma-mi uma,
so when us we-go we-dwell garden
So, when we go to the garden,
ma-pai kulakula ka na-nggo:
we-do work as I’ll-say
we do work like the following:
We plant taro,
ma-so undi iwoya,
we-plant banana sucker
we plant banana suckers,
ma-so towi iwoya,
we-plant sugarcane sucker
we plant sugarcane suckers,
ma-pai kulakula uma na ikana,
we-do work garden of thus
we do garden work like that,
ma-pai ma-mi beleya.
we-do we-dwell no.more
and we keep working until we finish.
Tako, ma-woti ma-ma ma-nggewe bani.
okay, we-descend we-come we-carry food
Okay, we come back down carrying food.
We carry taro,
we carry bananas,
ma-nggewe // ma-tawi igabo.
we-carry // we-dig sweet.potato
we carry // we dig sweet potatoes,
Tako, ma-nggewe su // ma-waya su wali ma-nggewe ma-ma su teteu.
okay, we-carry to // we-wrap in netbag we-carry we-come to village
Okay, we carry them to // we put them in netbags and carry them back to the village.
Tako, ma-waga bani na wosa.
okay, we-divide food this apart
Okay, we divide the food up.
Into two parts:
ma-ki inggo ni-ye gaya wambanama na i-ye susuna,
we-put [it] SAY it-lie morrow morning Th it-lie corner
we put it if it’s for the next morning in the corner,
wa manu inggo mana-nisi na ma-ki i-ye maina-ma.
and which SAY we’ll-boil Th we-put it-lie other-ly
and that which we plan to cook we place separately.
Ta ma-yaki manu inggo mana-nisi na, ma-yaki beleya,
That we-pare which SAY we’ll-boil Th we-pare no.more
Then we pare that which we plan to cook until we finish;
tako, ma-poni yawi.
okay, we-kindle fire
okay, we light the fire.
Ma-poni yawi beleya,
we-kindle fire no.more
We finish lighting the fire,
wa ma-ki bani manu ma-yaki na su ulanga.
and we-put food which we-pare Th in pot
and we put the food we’ve pared into the pot.
We add freshwater,
we add saltwater,
wa, tako, ma-kuwa gauma.
and okay we-cover lid
and, okay, we put the lid on.
wa, tako, ma-nggewe bele kele ma-wasa su tina.
and okay we-carry plate dirty we-go to river
and, okay, we take the dirty dishes to the river.
Bani manu yaweni i-ndo,
food aforesaid fire.eat it-sit
(While) that food stays cooking,
ma-wasa ma-uya bele
we-go we-wash plate
we go wash the dishes,
wa, ma-yuma tina beleya
and we-bathe river no.more
and we finish bathing
wa, tako, ma-ma.
and okay we-come
and, okay, we come back.
Ma-koko ulanga ma-ki su kisa
we-lift pot we-put to aside
We lift the pot off the fire
wa ma-wesa bani
and we-distribute food
and we dish out the food.
Ma-ki bele manu ma-yawali i-wete inami asowa to ekapakolapa, ito tiyamama.
we-put plate aforesaid we-spread it-count our spouse with girls.boys us.few all
We spread those plates [we mentioned] out for our spouse and children, for all of us.
Inggo tae-wembi inami iba-wa-wawe katalu,
SAY belly-it.hold our in-laws some
If we think of some of our in-laws,
ma-ki bele katalu totoma.
we-put plate some along.with
we put out some extra plates.
ma-wesa bani manu i-wete bele manu i-wesa beleya,
we-distribute food aforesaid it-count plate aforesaid it-go no.more
We dish out the food into each plate until there’s no more,
tako, ito tiyamama ma-tamu ata ma-ani bani manu.
okay us.few all we-join selves we-eat food aforesaid
okay, we [collective] all join together in eating the food.
Bani inggo bamo,
food SAY much
If there’s a lot of food,
eta ma-ani go,
then we-eat after
then after we eat
ma-ki katalu i-ye lalawila wa towambana inggo mana-ani.
we-put some it-lie afternoon and night SAY we’ll-eat
we leave some until the afternoon and evening for us to eat.
Inggo bani ditako,
SAY food a.little
If there’s [only] a little food,
ma-ani tiyamama beleya.
we-eat [it] all no.more
we eat it all up.
Ewesika tiyamama eta ma-mi puta na
women all that we-dwell earth Th
All of us women who live on the earth,
inami kulakula bamo ano-ma su kulakula eta bani na.
our work much true-ly on work that food of
we really have a lot of work to do preparing food.
That’s all the work,
Eta na-nggo tuwatuwa tupe ikana.
That I’ll-say story short thus
So I’ll stop my story short like this.