One side of Siboma village in 1976
Siboma village council house and central plaza
Daniel Siga’s lumana (bachelor quarters) and beachfront
Village house under construction
Allocating goods for a village party
One side of Siboma village in 1976
The following story is one I translated from the Jabêm-language Buku Sêsamŋa II [Book for reading, 2nd ed.], by Rev. M. Lechner and Nêdeclabu Male (Madang: Lutheran Mission Press, 1955), pp. 10-11:
Mec bôc kê-tôp-ŋa
magic pig 3sR-grow-for
Magic to grow pigs
Lau Sibôma sêsôm mec teŋ kêpi soŋgaluc
people Siboma they-say magic one it-upon pufferfish
Siboma people say a kind of magic on the pufferfish
ma sêsôm teŋ kêpi m
and they-say one it-upon banana
and they say one on the banana
gebe bôc têtôp ŋajam.
say pig they-grow good
so that pigs grow well.
Sêsôm kêpi soŋgaluc
they-say it-upon pufferfish
They say it on the pufferfish
gebe i tonaŋ embe daŋguŋ nga sao êndu
say fish that if we-spear with fishspear dead
because when we spear that fish dead
ma têtacwalô êsung êtu kapôêŋ sebeŋ
and its-belly it-swell it-turn large fast
then its belly will swell up big quickly
ma bôc êtôp êtôm i tonaŋ
and pig it-grow it-match fish that
then the pig will grow like that fish
têtac kêsuŋ kêtu kapôêŋ sebeŋ naŋ.
its-belly it-swell it-turn big quick REL
whose belly swells up big quickly.
Ma sêsôm mec teŋ kêpi m
and they-say magic one it-upon banana
And they say magic on the banana
ŋam gebe bôc êtôp êtôm m,
reason say pig it-grow it-match banana
so that the pig will grow like the banana,
naŋ tasê kêsêp kôm
that we-plant it-into garden
that we plant in the garden
ma kêpi ŋadambê kapôêŋ me gêuc sebeŋ
and it-rise trunk large or it-stand.upright quick
and its trunk grows or stands upright quickly
e ŋanô kêsa ma kêtu lêwê,
until fruit it-rise and it-turn ripe,
until its fruit appears and turns ripe,
ma bôc êtop sebeŋ amboac tonaŋgeŋ.
and pig it-grow quick like that-Adv
then the pig will grow quickly in the same way.
Genitival modifiers in Numbami, an Austronesian language of Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea, may either precede or follow their head nouns. This word order difference has consistent semantic correlates. For convenience, I will refer to the Modifier + Head genitive order as the “possessive” genitive. This contrasts with the “attributive” genitive, which has Head + Modifier order.
There are two types of genitives with Modifier + Head order. One is simply a noun-noun compound without any intervening markers of a genitive relationship. Such compounds express whole-part relationships. The modifier indicates the type of larger entity of which the principal entity (that denoted by the head noun) is a part. This modifier is descriptive rather than referential. There are no restrictions on the referentiality of the compound as a whole. It can be nonspecific—that is, it can denote some not-yet-uniquely-identifiable member(s) or quantity of the set it describes. It can be generic—that is, it can refer to any and all members (or the entire quantity) of the set it describes. Or it can be specific—that is, it can refer to some individually identifiable subset of the set it names. Because the term “generic” is sometimes used in both the nonspecific and the generic sense (as just defined), it will be convenient to use different terminology in the discussion that follows. The term “attributive” (or “nonreferential”) will substitute for “nonspecific” and the term “referential” will take the place of both “generic” and “specific”. Examples of whole-part genitives in Numbami follow.
In contrast to the modifiers in whole-part genitives, those in possessive genitives must be referential. The reference of the head noun is also restricted. It must be referential.
The possessive genitive is the only type in which the modifiers may be pronominal. The internal structure of the majority of genitive pronouns parallels that of the genitive nominals. The independent pronoun appears in the same position as other nominals.
|woya||na-ŋgi kapala ‘my house’|
|aiya||a-na-mi kapala ‘your (sg) house’|
|e||e-na kapala ‘his/her/its house’|
|i||i-na-mi kapala ‘our (excl) house’|
|aita||aita-ndi kapala ‘our (incl) house’|
|amu||amu-ndi kapala ‘your (pl) house’|
|ai||ai-ndi kapala ‘their house’|
The preposed genitive is also the only way to express a possessive relationship between personal possessors and inalienable possessions. Remnants of former suffixed possessives show up in the middle of a few body-part and kin-term compounds, however. Only the kin-term infixes show agreement with the preposed pronouns, and then only with the singular pronouns.
Noun-noun possessive constructions are distinguished from noun-noun (whole-part) compounds by morphology as well as by semantics. Singular possessors are indicated by na and plural possessors by ndi. One of these two morphemes intervenes between the preposed referential genitive modifier and the head noun.
There are two types of simple attributive constructions with Head + Modifier order. Noun-adjective constructions are one type. In Numbami they contain no markers of a genitive relationship. The adjectives themselves are attributive rather than referential, and the construction as a whole may be either attributive or referential.
While adjectives carry no morphological indication of an attributive or genitive relationship, attributive nominals are marked as genitive. They are followed by either na or ndi. Singular na is far more frequent. Plural ndi is only used when the attributive nominal denotes a type of people with whom the referent of the head noun is characteristically associated. Attributive nominals never refer to a particular subset within the set they name. Instead, they only restrict reference to a subset of the prototype set denoted by the head noun. The construction as a whole may be referential or attributive, but the modifying nominal is nonreferential.
The attributive genitive seems very close in meaning to the possessive genitive when the reference of the construction as a whole is generic (as earlier defined). Both bani bumewe ndi ‘European food’ and bumewe ndi bani ‘the Europeans’ food (the food of Europeans as a “genus”), can refer to the same set of food. But the difference is this: The attributive nominal helps identify the referent by subtyping the head noun according to its association with another type of entity. The possessive nominal helps identify the referent by associating the head noun with another referent. Possessive genitives, in fact, are as much a means of referring to possessors as they are of referring to possessions. The following example illustrates.
Kundu, ena lau wa kapole, ena wambala tiyamama
sago its leaf and leafstalk its cargo all
nomba sesemi. Sese ena bolo luwa.
thing one&same but its skin two
‘Sago, its leaf and stalk, all its content is the same. But its husk is of two kinds.’
The semantics of the attributive genitive, on the other hand, make it suitable for other functions. Since it identifies entities by subclassifying them, it is useful in distinguishing homophonous or polysemous words and in creating new classes of entities.
Neologisms and periphrastic translations of foreign terms are frequently attributive genitives. The head noun denotes a familiar general prototype and the genitive identifies some familiar domain with which the new entity is associated. The attributive genitive construction thus characterizes the novel entity by creating a novel association between familiar entities. This is the point at which genitive constructions shade into relative constructions.
The following story was told to me in 1976 by a Numbami man who was a noted traveler and storyteller whose nickname was “Samarai,” because he had once spent time there. (My late West Virginia uncle had also spent time as an Army cook on nearby Goodenough Island after spending time in Australia. He had a lot of respect for the Aussies, and he’d been in fistfights with more than a few of them.)
In this first, rough translation, I’ve tried to capture the storyteller’s idiom without presuming too much specialized knowledge on the part of my readers. We can be sure the story has “improved” over countless retellings, but it nevertheless conveys a third-party perspective on the Pacific War that is too rarely heard. For more local reactions to the Pacific War, consult the Australian-Japan Research Project for Australia and PNG, and the book Typhoon of War for Micronesia.
While were were in school [around March 1942], the Japanese came and took over Lae, took over the Bukaua coast [the south coast of the Huon Peninsula], all the way to Finschhafen. But we stayed there at school for another year. Then, okay, the Australians and Americans seemed to be planning to come back. Their number one patrol officer, Taylor, sent a letter saying, “Natives, don’t stay in your villages any more. Build huts in your hillside gardens and stay there. A big fight is coming.”
So here’s what we did. We people at Hopoi abandoned Hopoi. We took our school, our desks, and everything and set them up in the forest. We stayed at a place called “Apo.” We kept going to school and, okay, the Australians came from over on the Moresby side, they came all the way to Wau. And they came down that little trail and they and the Japanese fought each other over at Mubo and Komiatam [above Salamaua].
And they sent word to us Kembula [Paiawa], Numbami [Siboma], and Ya [Kela] villagers to go carry their cargo to Komiatam. And they did that and the fighting got harder. The Australian forces got bigger. And some Numbami went and carried cargo over at Salamaua. They went at night. They went there and the Australians came down and fired on the Japanese so the Numbami ran into the forest.
They ran into the forest and there was one guy named G. “G, where are you? We’re leaving!”
So, okay, they went and slept overnight and the next morning arrived at Buansing. And a Japanese bigman there named Nokomura [probably Nakamura], he heard the story so he came down and talked to me. He talked to me and I said, “Oh, that was my cousin, my real [cross-]cousin.”
So the Japanese guy said, “Really? Your cousin? Oh, your cousin has died. The Australians shot him dead.” And he spoke Japanese, and he said, “One man, bumbumbumbumbumbu, boi i dai.”
I said, “Oh, you’re talking bad talk.”
Then he said, “Tomorrow, you go to school until 12 o’clock, then come to me.” So I went to school until 12 o’clock and I went to him.
So, okay, I took it and I went. And he wrote out my pass. And there were bigmen with long swords the Japanese called “kempesi” [probably kempeitai, the dreaded military police]. One man, his name was Masuda [possibly Matsuda]. This man had gone to school over in Germany. And he really knew German well.
So I came by and he saw me, “You, where are you going with that gun?”
So I said, “Oh, a bigman gave it to me to shoot birds for him to eat.”
“Let me see your papers.”
So I showed him my papers and he said, “Okay, go.”
So I went and found a friend of mine. His name was Tudi. I said, “Hey, Tudi. A bigman gave me a gun and I haven’t shot a bird yet. Could we both go and you shoot?”
So we both went and stopped at an onzali tree and two hornbills were there. So he went and planted his knee and shot one and it fell down. So I was really happy and ran and got it. We kept going until he shot a cockatoo.
So after I thanked him, I said, “Give me the gun and I’ll see if I can shoot.”
So he gave it to me and we kept going until we saw some wala birds, and I said, “I’ll try to shoot. Shall I shoot or not?”
So, okay, I fired and I shot a wala bird to add to the others. So I said, “Okay, we have enough, so I’ll take it and go.”
So I tied the wings together and hung them over the gun and carried them back over to Buansing. I went and all the Japanese bigmen were sitting in a, dakine, committee. They were talking about the coming battles. They were sitting there talking and their bigman said, “Look, here comes my man,” and the guards saluted him. And I was invited in.
So I entered the building and the guard at the door said, “Ha!” When he said that I replied, “Ha!” And I bowed three times and he bowed three times.
After we finished, okay, I went up to the second guard and he went, “Ha!” And I said “Ha!” And I bowed three times and he bowed three times. Okay, then I walked on.
So then I went up to the man who stood at the steps up to the bigman. When he said, “Ha!” then I said, “Ha!” and we had both bowed the third time, I went up the steps.
I went up the ladder and the people who were sitting in the meeting, they stood up and went “Ha!” to me and I said “Ha!”, then I went up and they gave me a chair. I sat down.
And the bigman glanced at his cook. And, okay, he took smokes and opened a pack and passed them around until they were gone. Okay, then he struck his lighter and gave everyone a light, then we all sat down. We sat and sat, maybe a half-hour. Then he told his people, “Okay, the talk is over.”
So they all split up and went out leaving just him and me still sitting. We stayed sitting until he said, “I’ve already given you a blanket and a mosquito net. Here’s a knife. Here’s your lavalava. Over there are your bags of rice and dried bonito, two tins of meat, a tin of fish.”
I said, “Oh, you’ve given me so much. How will I carry it?”
He said, “Oh, it’s all right. Take it away.”
So I asked him, “You’ve given away so much. What does it mean?”
“Oh, there’s a reason. I guess I’ll tell you. After you leave, a ship will come tonight, a submarine will come and I’ll board it and go to Rabaul.”
I said, “Why are you going to do that?”
“Nothing. All us bigmen are going up to Rabaul because the bigmen and a whole lot of soldiers are at Rabaul. And these people, their job is to stay behind, and fight the Australians and Americans when they come, and destroy them, destroy them here. And us bigmen will be in Rabaul.”
“Oh, all right.”
Then he told me, he said, “You go get a good night’s sleep so that when you see the crack of dawn you’ll get up quickly.”
Listen to the fuller story in Numbami here:
The following story was told to me in 1976 by a Numbami man who was a noted traveler and storyteller whose nickname was “Samarai,” because he had once spent time there.
In this rough translation, I’ve tried to capture the storyteller’s idiom without presuming too much specialized knowledge on the part of my readers. We can be sure the story has “improved” over countless retellings, but it nevertheless conveys a third-party perspective on the Pacific War that is too rarely heard. For more local reactions to the Pacific War in Papua New Guina, consult the Australian-Japan Research Project.
We went and slept until the first crack of dawn when it was my time to sound reveille. So I went and struck the, dakine, slitgong: “Kuing, kuing, kuing, kuing, kuing.” So then the boys woke up and bathed and washed their faces. When they finished, okay, the bell rang.
The bell rang and all the people went to school and were singing. As soon as they finished, I ran right up behind the school and stood atop a rock.
When I looked out, I could see as far as the Huon Gulf and, okay, it was completely dark.
I said, “Hey guys, come look at something. The boys said, “What is it?”
“Come look!” And when they looked, “Guys, let’s scatter!”
Okay, they went and gathered up their things and fled into the forest. Before we left, the guns started sounding, “Bum, bum, bum.” They were firing at the soldiers at Singkau and Kabwum and Lae and Salamaua. You could see fire and smoke all over the place.
Okay, all the Bukawa and Hopoi people went into the forest. I ran to my house and roasted some taro cakes under a tree. I planned to take two to eat in the forest.
I was doing that and our teacher Gidisai and his wife and kids came up. And just then a crazy Japanese man came up. He had no gun, no knife, just walking around empty-handed.
So I said, “What?”
“E, Kapten, Japan boi hangre, ya.”
“Oh, I don’t have any food.”
“A, banana sabis [= ‘free’], ya? Japan boi hangre, ya.”
The teacher said, “Are you crazy or what? You go fight!”
“O, nogat [= ‘no’], ya. Japan boi sik na hangre, ya.”
“Oh.” I heard that so I stayed and thought, “Oh, if he stays there, the guns will kill our teacher for sure.” So I stood by and didn’t go into the forest.
I was standing there waiting and, suddenly, “Japan boi, yu mekim wanem [= ‘you do what’]?”
“Boi, hangre, a, imo [= ‘tuber’] sabis, ya? Imo sabis?”
“O, imo planti planti istap faia [= ‘are on the fire’]. Olgeta sabis [= ‘all free’]! Kam kaikai [= ‘come eat’]!
He went and sat down and ate taro and I said to the teacher, “You all go quickly!”
So they ran way over into the forest and hid themselves in the rocks. And then I said, “Japan boi! Yu kaikai. Yu stap. Yu slip haus. Mi go.”
Okay. I took my things and ran into the forest.
Listen to the fuller story in Numbami here:
Numbami words < likely Guhu-Samane sources
abo ‘goodbye’ < abo ‘goodbye’, aipo ‘leavetaking’
abuabu ‘mud, muddy’ < qapu ‘clay pot, saucepan’
ausama ‘warclub’ < usama ‘wooden fighting club’
egaŋaiŋai ‘wallaby’ < eka gahigahi ‘wallaby’
eloma ‘amethystine python’ < eromara ‘snake type’
gaiboli ‘echidna’ < gaipori ‘echidna’
gaweta ‘emerald monitor lizard’ < kabesa ‘small green lizard’
geleŋgau ‘tree frog’ < kerengau ‘type of frog’
gobe ‘rat, mouse’ < gope ‘rat, mouse’
ibaluwa ‘tree kangaroo’ < iparuba ‘tree kangaroo’
kaebe ‘sugar glider’ < khaebe ‘sugar glider’
misimisi ‘sandflea’ < misimisi ‘mosquito’
siliwo ‘ground skink’ < siriquba ‘smaller lizards, geckos, chameleon’
suni ‘small bat’ < suni ‘bird type’
ubela ‘gecko type’ < (q)upera ‘gecko’
ubu ‘pandanus type’ < upu ‘inedible pandanus type’
zimani ‘acorn’ < ttimani ‘oak with edible acorns’
zole ‘termite’ < tore ‘termite, white ant’
This Numbami story was first told to me in Numbami in 1976 by former village head Abu Bamo, who said his ancestors were inlanders who had shared a village with the coastal Numbami for a time after the latter fled inland to avoid attacks by people from farther down the south coast, toward Morobe Patrol Post. (Stories of giant twin monsters are common among inlanders, while stories about a giant sea eagles, octopuses, and moray eels are common among coastal peoples.) My English translation is based on the Tok Pisin version translated by Leah Sawanga from my Numbami host family.
Long, long ago, Numbami villagers used to fear several kinds of monsters. Two were giant men called Ilimolo and Dolimolo. Others were the Sea Eagle, the Octopus, and the Moray Eel. These bad creatures would kill and eat people, so the Numbami were afraid and wanted to take refuge on a small island called Awayagi. All the men and women gathered at a canoe, but one young woman who wanted to go with them lacked a paddle, so one man told her to stay back. This man rose and said, “This is a bad time for all of us and we can’t allow anyone to come along without a paddle.” He said, “Everyone must have a paddle so that we can quickly paddle to the island.” The mother of the young woman said, “All right, we two can stay while you all go.” So all the people paddled to the island while the old woman and her daughter went back and stayed at a little point of land called Maito. The two of them built a village there for themselves. At this time, the daughter of the old woman was with child.
After the two lived there a while, the forest had covered up their house, so the people who went to Awayagi thought maybe the monsters had killed and eaten them. The two of them stayed there, and one day the old woman stayed home while her daughter went off to work in their garden. She trimmed the sugarcane and pulled weeds. As she was working, a sugarcane blade cut her hand. Blood gushed out. She got scared and dug two holes and drained her blood into them. After filling the two holes, she covered them up and carried food back home.
After that, the two of them didn’t go back to the garden for a while. While they just stayed home, the girl’s blood that filled the two holes turned into two little boys. Their names were Lefthand Man and Righthand Man. They lived in the holes but would sometimes go up to the garden and sit in the sun. They kept doing that until they had grown up enough to work in their mother’s and grandmother’s garden. Then one day the old woman and her daughter went to the garden. When they got there they were shocked to see that people had been working in their garden. “Who has been working in our garden?” they wondered. They finished their garden work and were about to go back home when the old woman’s daughter told her mother, “You go back home and I’ll stay and find out who’s been working on our garden.” Her Mother replied, “Won’t the monsters kill you if you stay?” But she got up and carried all their food back home, while her daughter stayed hidden inside the sugarcane.
The two boys waited until the afternoon then came out to the garden. When they arrived at the garden, Righthand Man told Lefthand Man to hold the stick while he held the taro so they could plant food for their mother and grandmother. As they planted taro, they talked among themselves, “All the people afraid of the monsters went away to Awayagi and Mama wanted to go but didn’t have a paddle, so she stayed behind. Grandma wanted to go, too, but wanted to stay with Mama. Listening to this, the girl thought, “Maybe my blood that I put in those two holes turned into these two boys.” When they finished planting taro, Righthand Man suggested to Lefthand Man that they go stick grasshoppers and eat them, but Lefthand Man said, “No, we have to go eat eat sugarcane first, then go hunt for grasshoppers.
They went to look at the sugarcane and liked the very canebrake that their mother was hiding in. As they were about to cut the cane, their mother jumped out and grabbed both at once, telling them, “I’m your mother.” The two boys were very happy and said, “This is our mother!” Their mother took them both back with her to their grandmother’s house. When they got home, she left them behind the house and went up into the house and her mother asked her, “What’s up?” Her daughter, “Nothing to worry about. That time I went to the garden and the sugarcane leaf cut my hand and blood gushed out and I dug two holes to drain my blood into, well, they turned into two boys. Their names are Lefthand Man and Righthand Man. I brought both of them with me and left them outside the house. The old woman went down to get them and her daughter brought mats down for them to sit on. The old woman went and asked them, “Where did you two come from?” They replied, “Nowhere, Grandma, we’re Lefthand Man and Righthand Man.” Their grandmother rejoiced and brought them into the house. They went and sat on the mat their mother had made, and their grandmother fetched ripe bananas for them to eat. While they ate, she told them, “All the people of this village are afraid of all the monsters, so they left for the island. I wanted to go away, too, but I worried about your mother and stayed back. Your mother didn’t have a paddle so one man sent her away, and that’s why we’re here.
The two boys stayed with their mother and grandmother and after they grew into big men, they asked their grandmother about how to build a canoe. She said, “You can’t just say ‘canoe’ because the same damned thing can be found not just on the sea but also in the mountains.” They replied, “It’s because we hear the name, that’s all.” Then the two went exploring in the forest and leaves of the canoe tree fell into their hair. When they returned home, their grandmother picked off their lice and found plenty fallen leaves in their hair. She asked, “What were you two doing that you got so much rubbish in your hair?” She looked for lice and found leaves from the canoe tree in their hair, so she said, “You know that thing you asked me about, I found its leaves in your hair.” When she showed them the leaves of the canoe tree, they said, “We’ll search around and find it.”
They looked around and came upon the place the canoe tree was standing, then they cut it down, hollowed it into a canoe, lifted it onto their heads, and carried it back home. They asked their grandmother what kind of tree people make into paddles and spears to fight with, and she said, “You can’t make those things.” The two went hunting for game in the forest and the leaves of this tree fell into their hair, and when they came back home and their grandmother picked their lice, she found the leaves and showed them to the boys, telling them, “These are the leaves of the tree you asked me about. The two went into the forest and cut down the tree and carved it into paddles and spears for fighting and carried them back to the canoe and then returned home. They did all this without telling their mother or grandmother. They asked themselves, “Who will show us the ropes and woods for building a canoe?” and the grandmother heard them talking and told them, “The leaves of the rope vines are long, the leaves of the wood for canoe parts are short.” The two of them went into the forest and cut the vines and the wood and left both of them in the sun to dry. They finally prepared everything they needed, then then built a canoe. After they finished they lined up their paddles and spears on the canoe platform, and then went to bed.
When they saw they had finished everything they needed, they wanted to go fight Ilimolo and Dolimolo. Their grandmother told them, “If you do that, then all these monsters will come down and kill us all.” They replied, “They can’t kill us, because we’ll survive.” They told their grandmother that they would just go take a look. And their grandmother replied, “You’ve just arrived, and you can’t just leave us behind. You two send word to all the folks on Awayagi to come and then you can all go see these monsters.” They replied, “What will all the folks on Awayagi come do?” Then they went and pulled their canoe to the mouth of the river, and carried all their weapons up the mountain where the two giants lived.
Both monsters weren’t together there when they arrived. Dolimolo had gone hunting in the forest and Ilimolo was left to take care of their house when Lefthand Man and Righthand Man came. As they approached the monsters’ house, the two boys left all their weapons beside a little stream and went up and called the old monster. The old monster came and said, “Where did you two grandchildren come from?” They replied, “We came to see you.” He said, “All right. You two wait and I’ll come.” But he just went and got his two big fangs. He fastened one of them in place and just as he was about to do the other one, it slipped out of his hands and into the boys’ hands. The old monster called out, “Did you see something of mine fall down?” The two boys replied, “We found something here.” They told him to come down and get it. He got the other fang and didn’t want to got back in the house, so he went outside to attach it, but he didn’t hold it well and it fell down and the two boys got it. Then the old monster went down to the boys. Just as he was about to stab Lefthand Man, the two boys threw their spears at him and killed him. They killed him and pulled out his fangs and Lefthand Man held onto them while Righthand Man went up into their house and gathered up all their things and set fire to the house.
They set fire to their house and burnt up everything the two monsters had. As smoke rose from the fire, Dolimolo saw it and said, “I think something has happened to Ilimolo while I’ve been away.” He got up and ran back home. When he got there he saw his counterpart lying dead. He saw Lefthand Man and Righthand Man and asked them, “How did this happen?” The two replied, “Nothing. We came to see you.” He told them to wait and he would come down. He ran to find his fangs, but he couldn’t find them, and came down to the two boys. They took him to the stream where the boys had left all their things. They laid sugarcane stalks across the stream, like a ladder, and they walked across to the other side. The old monster asked them how he could get across and they told him he could walk across the ladder as they had done. Dolimolo walked across the ladder and it broke in the middle, and he fell down into the water. The two boys jumped up and got their spears and stabbed him to death. They carried his body back and put it next to the other one, then carried the fangs and all the weapons back to where they had left their canoe. They put everything into the canoe and paddled back home.
After they finished working in the garden and planting taro, they asked their mother and grandmother where exactly the Sea Eagle could be found, and their mother and grandmother said, “Ilimolo and Dolimolo were humans, and you two killed them, but this thing is really bad. If he flies down the whole sky will go dark and his long talons will pluck out your eyeballs.” The boys replied, “Even so, we just want to go have a look.”
The boys paddled away, then drifted while Righthand Man pounded on the canoe. The Sea Eagle came flying. He was so big he almost covered up their canoe. Righthand Man told Lefthand Man, “Grab the axe and chop here.” And he did, and they chopped the Sea Eagle until he died, then they paddled back home. As they arrived home, the grandmother told them, “You two have killed Ilimolo, Dolimolo, and the Sea Eagle, but one more thing remains.” They asked her what it was, and she told them it lived in the sea and has lots of limbs. “If it comes to the surface, its hands will pull your canoe down into the sea.”
They just got up and paddled to where the Octopus lived. Righthand Man dropped a rock on the Octopus and the Octopus came up and put his arms all over the place to grab their canoe. The boys jumped up on the bed of the canoe and cut one Octopus arm after another until its head fell back into the sea. Now, little children of Lefthand Man and Righthand Man used to follow them around. They were not real humans but little fish called Mudskipper, Blenny, and Siyabudo. When the Octopus head fell, these fish went down to fetch it. They tried and tried without success until finally Siyabudo was able to bring the head up. They all took it back home to show their mother and grandmother.
Now that Lefthand Man and Righthand Man killed all the monsters, they began building houses. They selected a huge pig, called Omadede, so that they could send word to all the folks on Awayagi to come for a big feast. They would kill the pig for everyone and also kill the man who had exiled their mother. After they finished preparing everything, they sent the Blenny to Awayagi to tell everyone to come to the party. The Blenny didn’t go in the shape of a man, he went as nothing special. When he got there everyone had gone to the garden. Only one woman remained at home because she was carrying a child. When the Blenny arrived at the island, he jumped into a floating coconut shell. The sea carried it onto the beach, and when the woman came to bathe in the sea she saw the Blenny. She said, “I’ll lay this big fish aside while I bathe, then take it back to cook and eat.” While she was bathing, the Blenny changed into a very big man and stood up.
When the woman finished bathing and came to get her fish, she couldn’t find it but saw this big man standing there, so she asked him, “Where did you come from? Did you see my fish here or not?” And the man replied, “That was me.” The Blenny told the woman that he had come to tell everyone to go to the village for a big feast. The woman took him back to her house and told him that all the men and women had gone to the gardens. The Blenny stayed with the woman until the afternoon, when all the men and women came back from the garden. After everyone had come together, the Blenny told them, “The woman you exiled, along with her mother who stayed behind, she drained her blood into two holes and grew to young boys. Those two boys killed all the evil monsters and they would you to go to their village and we will all have a big feast. Then the Blenny went back home.
All the men and women on Awayagi stayed until the morning then they all went back to their old village. They all went and no one stayed behind. They put just their canoe in one place and went up to the village where Righthand Man and Lefthand Man had built them a house. They just went and stayed in the house while the two boys finished lining up all the pigs. Then the men and women walked around looking at all the pigs and they swallowed hard. The two boys carried a big fighting pole and looked over all the pigs until they came to the big pig they had marked to kill along with the man who had exiled their mother. They came to this pig and Righthand Man threw the pole and killed the big pig. Then the two turned and threw the pole again and killed that man. Everyone began to run away and the boys called them to come back, telling them, “We’re not doing the same to you. This man exiled our mother, so we killed him.” Everyone came back and they all had a very big feast with portions enough for everyone. They finished eating and stayed home and no longer returned to Awayagi.
This Numbami story was first told to me in Numbami in 1976 by former village head Abu Bamo, who said his ancestors were inlanders who had shared a village with the coastal Numbami for a time after the latter fled inland to avoid attacks by people from farther down the south coast, toward Morobe Patrol Post. (Stories of giant twin monsters are common among inlanders, while stories about a giant sea eagles, octopuses, and moray eels are common among coastal peoples.)
In 1982, my wife and I invited Leah Sawanga from my Numbami host family to visit us in Honolulu, where she typed up a Tok Pisin version of the same story. Her rendition follows, scanned and converted to text, then lightly edited by me to regularize spellings and word breaks. I’ll post it here while I work on an English translation and then a Numbami edition.
Long bipo tru long ples Numbami ol man save pret long ol dispela lain masalai. Tupela em man, naem bilong tupela Ilimolo na Dolimolo. Ol sampela em, Tarangau [Sea eagle], Kulita [Octopus], na Maliu bilong solwara [Moray eel]. Ol dispela lain samting nogut save kilim ol man na kaikai olsem na ol Numbami i pret na laik i go i stap long wanpela liklik ailan ol i kolim Awayagi. Olgeta man na meri i bung long wanpela kanu tasol na wanpela yangpela meri tu laik i go wantaim tasol nogat pul bilong em olsem na wanpela man tokim em long i stap bek. Dispela man kirap na i tok, nau yumi i stap long taim nogut na wanpela man or meri noken i kam nating na nogat pul bilong em. Em i tok, olgeta man mas i kam wantaim pul long bai yumi pul hariap i go long ailan. Mama bilong dispela yangpela meri i tok, em orait bai mitupela i ken i stap na yupela i go. Em nao olgeta man na meri pul i go daun long ailan na lapun meri wantaim pikinini meri bilong en i go bek na i stap tasol long wanpela liklik poin ol i kolim Maito. Tupela i wokim dispela hap kamap ples na tupela i stap long en. Long dispela taim pikinini bilong lapun meri i stap wantaim bel.
Tupela i stap long dispela hap i go, na bus i karamapim haus bilong tupela olgeta. Ol lain i go long Awayagi ting olsem, ating ol lain masalai i kilim tupela na kaikai pinis. Tupela i stap long ples i go na wanpela taim lapun meri i stap long ples na pikinini bilong en tasol i go long gaden na wok long gaden bilong tupela. Em i klinim suga na kamautim ol gras. Em wok i go nau lip bilong suga i katim han bilong en. Blut i no isi long i kam daun. Meri ya i pret nau i digim tupela hul na putim blut bilong en i go insait long tupela hul ya i go pulap pinis na i karamapim pinis na i go karim ol kaikai na i go long ples.
Long dispela taim tupela i no i go long gaden liklik, tupela i stap tasol long ples i stap na blut meri ya, i putim long tupela hul ya, i kamap tupela liklik boi. Naem bilong tupela Kaze Kole [Lefthand Man] na Ano Kole [Righthand Man]. Tupela i stap long hul i go na sampela taim tupela save i go antap long gaden na sindaun long san i stap. Tupela wokim olsem i go na tupela i kamap bikpela boi liklik nau tupela i wokim gaden bilong mama na tumbuna bilong tupela. Wanpela taim nau lapun meri na pikinini meri bilong en i go long gaden. Tupela i go kamap long gaden na tupela i kirap nogut long lukim ol man i wokim gaden bilong tupela. Tupela i tok, husat tru wokim gaden bilong mitupela. Tupela i wokim gaden bilong tupela i go pinis na laik i go bek long ples na pikinini bilong lapun meri i tokim mama bilong en i tok, bai yu go long ples na mi stap na lukim husat tru wokim gaden bilong mitupela. Mama bilong em i tok, bai ol masalai kilim yu or nogat na yu laik i stap? Em i kirap tasol na karim ol kaikai bilong tupela na i go long ples. Pikinini bilong en i go insait long suga na hait i stap.
Tupela boi i stap i go apinun na tupela i kam antap long gaden. Tupela i kam kamap long gaden na Ano Kole i tokim Kaze Kole long holim stik na em i holim taro na bai tupela i planim kaikai bilong mama na tumbuna bilong tupela. Taem tupela i planim kaikai, tupela i tokim tupela yet olsem, ol man na meri pret long ol lain masalai ya na i go pinis long Awayagi na mama laik i go tasol nogat pul bilong en, olsem na em istap. Tumbuna laik i go tu tasol tingting long mama olsem na i stap wantaim mama. Meri ya wok long harim i stap na tingting olsem ating dispela blut bilong mi, mi putim long tupela hul ya kamapim tupela manki ya. Tupela i planim taro pinis na Ano Kole i tokim Kaze Kole long tupela i go sutim ol grasopa na kaikai, tasol Kaze Kole i tok nogat, mitupela mas i go kaikai suga pastaim, orait bihain bai mitupela i go painim ol grasopa.
Tupela i go lukluk long ol suga i go na tupela laikim dispela suga mama bilong tupela hait long en. Tupela i go na laik katim suga nau, mama bilong tupela i kalap i kam na holim tupela wantaim na tokim tupela olsem, mi mama bilong yutupela. Tupela manki i hamamas nogut tru na tupela i tok, dispela em mama bilong mitupela. Mama bilong tupela boi i kisim tupela wantaim i go long ples long tumbuna bilong tupela. Ol i go kamap long ples na em lusim tupela i stap long baksait long haus, na em i go antap long haus na mama bilong em i askim em, olsem wanem? Pikinini meri bilong em i tok, nogat, dispela taim mi bin i go long gaden na lip bilong suga bin katim han bilong mi na blut i no isi na mi digim tupela hul na putim blut bilong mi long en na em tasol i kamapim tupela boi. Naem bilong tupela Kaze Kole na Ano Kole. Mi kisim tupela wantaim i kam na lusim tupela long baksait bilong haus. Lapun meri i go daun long kisim tupela na pikinini meri bilong en igo kisim mat i kam daun na putim long bai tupela sindaun. Lapun meri i go na askim tupela, yutupela i kam long we? Tupela i tok nogat, tumbuna mitupela Kaze Kole na Ano Kole. Tumbuna bilong tupela i amamas tru na kisim tupela i go antap long haus. Tupela i go sindaun long mat mama bilong tupela wokim, na tumbuna bilong tupela kisim banana i mau i kam na tupela kaikai. Taim tupela i kaikai, em i tokim tupela olsem, ol man na meri bilong dispela ples i pret long ol lain masalai nogut ya, na ol i go pinis long ailan. Mi laik i go pinis tasol mi tingting long mama na mi stap bek. Mama nogat pul na wanpela man rausim em olsem na mitupela i stap.
Tupela manki i stap wantaim mama na tumbuna bilong tupela i go na tupela i kamap bikpela man pinis nau, tupela i askim tumbuna bilong tupela long wok bilong wokim kanu na tumbuna bilong tupela i tokim tupela long no ken kolim kanu long wanem ol samting nogut i stap long solwara na tu long maunten. Tupela i tok, bilong wanem bai mitupela i harim tasol. Tupela i go raun long bus i stap na lip bilong kanu i pundaun long gras bilong het bilong tupela. Tupela i go bek long ples na tumbuna bilong tupela i painim laus bilong tupela na i painim planti pipiya bilong lip long gras bilong tupela na i tok, yutupela i go wokim wanem i stap na planti pipiya tru i stap long gras bilong yutupela. Em i painim laus i go nau em i painim lip bilong kanu long gras bilong tupela na em i tokim tupela olsem, dispela samting yutupela askim mi long en ya, mi painim lip bilong en long gras bilong yutupela. Em i soim lip bilong kanu long tupela nau tupela i tok, bai mi tupela i raun na painim.
Tupela raun i go kamap long ples kanu sanap long en nau tupela i katim i kam daun na sapim i go pinis na kalamapim i stap long het bilong en na tupela i go bek long ples. Tupela i askim tumbuna bilong tupela long wanem diwai ol i save wokim pul na spia bilong pait na tumbuna bilong tupela i tok, no ken wokim ol dlspela samting. Tupela i go painim abus long bus i stap na lip bilong dispela diwai i pundaun long gras bilong tupela na taim tupela i kam bek long ples na tumbuna bilong tupela i painim laus bilong tupela i go na painim lip bilong dispela diwai na em i soim long tupela na i tokim tupela olsem dispela em lip bilong diwai yutupela bin askim mi long en. Tupela i go long bus na katim diwai ya i kam daun na sapim i go kamap pul na spia bilong pait pinis na karim i go putim wantaim kanu i stap na tupela i go long ples. Tupela i wokim ol dispela samting na ol i no tok save long mama na tumbuna bilong tupela. Tupela i askim tupela yet olsem, husat tru bai soim mitupela long rop na diwai bilong wokim kanu, na tumbuna bilong tupela harim na i tokim tupela olsem, lip bilong rop em longpela na lip bilong diwai em i sotpela. Tupela i go long bus na katim rop wantaim diwai na karim i kam long ples na putim rop long san long bai drai. Tupela i redim olgeta samting i go pinis nau tupela i pasim kanu. Tupela i pasim kanu pinis na lainim pul na spia bilong tupela i go long pret bilong kanu na long baksait i go long bet.
Tupela i lukim olgeta samting inap pinis nau tupela laik i go pait wantaim Ilimolo na Dolimolo. Tumbuna bilong tupela i tok, sapos yutupela wokim dispela pasin nau bai ol dispela masalai i kam daun na kilim yumi. Tupela i tok, ol i [no?] ken kilim yumi, bilong wanem bai yumi i stap. Tupela i tokim tumbuna bilong tupela olsem bai tupela i go lukim tasol, na tumbuna bilong tupela i tok, nau tasol yutupela i kamap na i no inap long bai yumi i stap i go bihain, na bai yutupela salim tok i go na ol lain long Awayagi i kam pastaim na bai yupela i ken i go lukim ol dispela masalai. Tupela i tok, ol lain bilong Awayagi i kam wokim wanem? Em nau tupela pul i go na putim kanu bilong tupela long maus bilong wara, na tupela i karim ol samting bilong tupela long pait, na tupela i go antap long maunten tupela masalai i stap long en.
Long dispela taim tupela masalai wantaim i no i stap long ples, Dolimolo i go painim abus long bus na Ilimolo tasol bosim haus bilong tupela i stap na Kaze Kole wantaim Ano Kole i go. Tupela i go kamap long haus bilong tupela masalai nau tupela i lusim ol samting bilong tupela long pait klostu tasol long wanpela liklik wara na tupela i go singautim lapun masalai. Lapun masalai i kam na i tok, tupela tumbuna yutupela i kam long we? Tupela i tok, mitupela i kam long lukim yu. Em i tok, orait yutupela wet bai mi kam. Em i go tasol na kisim tupela bikpela tit bilong em na putim wanpela i go pas pinis na laik putim narapela nau i aburis na pundaun i go daun na tupela boi i kisim. Lapun masalai i singaut long tupela tok, yutupela lukim samting bilong mi ya pundaun i kam daun na tupela boi i tokim em olsem, mitupela painim dispela samting na i kam. Tupela i tokim em long i kam daun na kisim. Em i kisim narapela tit bilong em na i no laik i stap insait long haus orait putim long maus bilong en, nogat em i go autsait na putim na i no holim gut na pundaun i go daun na tupela manki ya i kisim. Em nau lapun masalai i go daun long tupela na laik sutim Kaze Kole nau tupela i tromwe spia bilong tupela i go na kilim Ilimolo i dai olgeta. Tupela kilim em na pulim tit bilong en na Kaze Kole holim i stap na Ano Kole i go antap long haus bilong tupela na bungim olgeta samting bilong tupela wantaim pinis na putim paya long haus bilong tupela.
Tupela i putim paya long haus bilong tupela na i kukim olgeta samting bilong tupela masalai olgeta. Simok bilong paya i go antap na Dolimolo lukim na i tok, ating mi kam i stap na wanpela samting kamap long Ilimolo. Em i kirap na ron i go long ples. Em i go kamap long ples na lukim narapala bilong em idai istap. Em lukim Kaze Kole wantaim Ano Kole na i askim tupela, olsem wonem? Tupela i tok, nogat mitupela i kam long lukim yu. Em i tokim tupela long bai tupela wet bai em i kam daun. Em ron i go long kisim tit bilong em tasol i painim nogat na i kam daun long tupela. Tupela i kisim em i go long dispela wara tupela putim ol samting bilong tupela long en. Tupela i putim wanpela namel bilong suga, olsem lata, i go kamap long apsait bilong wara na tupela wokabaut longen i go kamap long apsait. Lapun masalai i askim tupela long bai em i go olsem wonem na tupela i tokim em long bai em i ken wokabaut long lata tupela bin wokabaut long en. Dolimolo wokabaut i go long namel na lata i bruk, na em i pundaun i go daun long wara. Tupela boi kirap tasol na kisim spia bilong tupela na kilim em i dai olgeta. Tupela karim em i go putim em klostu long narapela bilong em na tupela karim tit na ol samting bilong tupela long pait na tupela i go long ples kanu bilong tupela i stap longen. Tupela i putim ol samting bilong tupela long kanu na pul i go bek long ples.
Tupela i wokim gaden na planim taro i go pinis na tupela askim mama na tumbuna bilong tupela long wonem hap tru Taragau save i stap na mama na tumbuna bilong tupela i tok, Ilimolo na Dolimolo em man na yutupela kilim, tasol dlspela samtlng em samtlng nogut tru. Sapos em i kam daun bai ples i tudak olgeta na longpela han bilong em bai rausim ai bilong yutupela. Tupela i tok, olsem mitupela laik i go lukim tasol.
Tupela boi i pul i go na trip i stap na Ano Kole i paitim kanu i stap nau Taragau flai i kam. Klostu em karamapim kanu bilong tupela. Ano Kole tokim Kaze Kole holim tamiok na katlm long hap na em i katim long hap. Tupela i katim Taragau i go na i dai olgeta na tupela pul i go bek long ples. Tupela i go kamap long ples na tumbuna bilong tupela i tokim tupela olsem, yutupela kilim Ilimolo, Dolimolo, na Taragau pinis, tasol i gat wanpela samtlng moa i stap. Tupela askim em long wonem samtlng tru, na em i tokim tupela long dispela samtlng i stap insait long solwara na i gat planti han bilong em tru. Sapos ikam antap bai han bilong em i go na pulim kanu bilong tupela i go daun long sol wara.
Tupela i kirap tasol na pul i go long ples Kulita i stap longen. Ano Kole i sutim ston long Kulita i go na Kulita ikam antap na han bilong em i go karamapim olgeta ples na ikam antap long holim kanu bilong tupela. Tupela boi i go antap long bet bilong kanu na katim olgeta han bilong Kulita pinis olgeta na het bilong Kulita i pundaun i go insait long solwara. Ol liklik mangi bilong Kaze Kole na Ano Kole i save bihainim tupela olgeta taim. I no ol man tru tasol ol liklik pis. Naem bilong ol em Kotekote [blenny], Simbaya [mudskipper], na Siyabudo. Taem het bilong Kulita i pundaun i go, ol dispela lain traim long i go daun na karim i kam antap. Olgeta i traim i go i no nap tru na taim Siyabudo i go daun nau i karim i kam antap. Ol i kisim i go long ples long soim mama na tumbuna bilong ol.
Kaze Kole na Ano Kole i kilim olgeta samting nogut pinis na tupela kirap na wokim ol haus. Tupela i makim wanpela bikpela pik tru, naem bilong en Omadede, long bai ol i salim tok i go na ol lain long Awayagi i kam na bai ol wokim bikpela kaikai tru. Na dispela pik em bilong ol kilim na bai kilim dispela man rausim mama bilong tupela. Tupela i pinisim olgeta samting pinis nau, ol i salim Kotekote i go long Awayagi long tokim olgeta man long i kam long pati. Kotekote i no i go olsem man, em i go olsem wanpela samting nating tasol. Long dispela taim olgeta man bilong ples i go long gaden na wanpela meri tasol i karim nupela pikinini olsem na em i stap long ples. Kotekote i go kamap long ailan na wanpela sel bilong kokonas i trip i stap na em i go insait long en. Solwara i kisim em i go pas long waitsan na dispela meri i kam long waswas long solwara na lukim Kotekote. Em i tok, bikpela pis bilong mi bai mi putim i stap na waswas pinis bai mi kisim i go kukim na kaikai. Taem meri ya i go waswas i stap na Kotekote i senis i go kamap traipela man tru na sanap i stap.
Meri ya i waswas pinis na i kam long kisim pis bilong em nau i painim nogat na lukim bikpela man ya sanap i stap na em i kirap askim em, yu kam we, yu lukim pis bilong mi i stap ya or nogat? Na man ya i tokim em olsem, em mi tasol. Kotekote i tokim meri long em i kam long tok save long olgeta man long bai ol i go long ples long wokim bikpela kaikai. Meri ya kisim em i go long haus bilong em na tokim em long olgeta man na meri i go pinis long gaden. Kotekote i stap wantaim meri ya i go inap long apinun na olgeta man na meri i kam bek long gaden. Olgeta man na meri i kam bung pinis nau, Kotekote i tokim ol olsem, dispela meri yupela bin rausim em na tupela mama bilong em i stap bek ya i putim blut long tupela hul na kamapim tupela yangpela boi. Dispela tupela boi i kilim olgeta samting nogut pinis na ol i laikim bai yupela i go long ples na bai yumi wokim bikpela kaikai. Em nau Kotekote i go bek long ples.
Ol man na meri bilong Awayagi i stap i go long moning na ol i go long ples. Olgeta i go na nogat wanpela man i stap bek. Ol i go na putim kanu bilong ol long wanpela ples tasol na ol i go antap long ples we Ano Kole na Kaze Kole wokim haus long en. Ol i go tasol na i stap long haus na tupela boi i lainim olgeta pik i go pinis na olgeta man na meri wokabaut na lukluk long ol pik na daunim spet bilong ol. Tupela i kisim wanpela diwai bilong pait na wokabaut wantaim i go lukluk long ol pik i go kamap long bikpela pik tupela i makim long bai kilim na kilim man i rausim mama bilong tupela. Tupela i go kamap long dispela pik na Ano Kole tromwe diwai ya i go na kilim bikpela pik ya i dai olgeta. Tupela tanim tasol na tromwe diwai gen i go na kilim dispela man ya na olgeta man na meri kirap ronowe na tupela i singautim ol i kam bek na tokim ol olsem, mitupela i no wokim dispela long yupela. Dispela man i bin rausim mama bilong mitupela olsem na mitupela kilim em. Olgeta man na meri i kam bek na ol i wokim bikpela kaikai tru na tilim inapim olgeta man na meri. Ol i kaikai pinis na i stap olgeta long ples na i no moa i go bek long Awayagi.
(There are a lot more subtypes in the full dictionary.)
ai usi butterfish (spotted, humpbacked)
aigulu parrotfish (half-toothed)
alongana tang, surgeonfish type (small); tang type
baidume emperor fish type (variegated or reticulated)
bawi snapper type (rosy)
bawila snapper type (dark barred)
bela parrotfish type (red speckled)
besule gudgeon (freshwater fish)
boboli tuskfish; parrotfish type
bobowila snapper type (dusky-striped)
bogala sweetlips type (banded)
bokiyo wrasse type (black-eyed, thick-lip)
bola amala halibut, flounder, sole
bolongawila coralfish (with dorsal protrusions)
bonga mullet (with large scales)
bota scorpionfish (freshwater)
bui dabola saury, lizardfish, grinner
buna parrotfish type (barred)
buna-wa-kalawa parrotfishes (in general)
butumana Moses perch (with dark spot)
buza tang, surgeonfish type (white-tailed)
daboki triggerfish type (lined)
dangala parrotfish type (violet-lined)
denala rabbitfish; spinefoot
doga pufferfish, blowfish
dogi tuna; albacore (yellowfin or bluefin; largest of tuna)
dudusama fusilier fish
gama hardyhead fish
gibugibu sweetlips fish
gilangana smoothhead unicorn tang
guniaula parrotfish type (long-nosed)
iliwiya bigeye fish, bullseye fish
iwonggona freshwater eel
iya ali parrotfish type (surf, streaked)
iya alu garfish type (medium-sized, plain)
iya dogi tuna type (solid colors)
iya lasi leatherskin, dart (elongated, with lateral dots)
iya linga mangrove jack; snapper type (dark red)
iya molosa whiting fish
iya tatalinga anemonefish, clownfish
iya wasawa mackerel (very small)
iya watu cowfish; boxfish (smaller)
iya yawowo threadfin (giant)
iyo amberjack; rainbow runner; yellowtail
iyusi emperor fish (spotted, reticulated)
kadaba fish type (small, freshwater)
kaita fish type (freshwater)
kalawa parrotfish type (red-lipped or orange-bodied)
kale yambatuna parrotfish type (hump-headed)
kalo rainbowfish (freshwater, striped)
kamumila barracuda (large, near reefs)
kau mullet type (smaller, freshwater, yellow eyes and fins)
kembala archerfish (brackish water dweller)
kembombo butterfly fish, coralfish (undifferentiated)
kima sergeant-major fish type (banded)
kiyami niwo blue tuskfish, parrotfish
kiyaota goatfish (in general)
kolangkolang sprat, round herring
komba moray eel, reef eel
kombiyo sand bass (small)
kosipama filefish, leatherjacket
kotekote blenny (with single long dorsal fin)
kulawi rock cod
kundu atila soldierfish (estuarine, pink, lined)
laki watu stripey
lau razorfish (stays vertical)
lelenggana garfish type (larger, with markings)
liliya walasa triggerfish type (spotted, blotched)
linggalingga damselfish, puller fish (small, plain, blue or green)
lulunggamina barracuda (large, in deep water)
mala tang, surgeonfish type (large dark)
mamambu catfish, catfish eel
mamina tuskfish type (blackspot)
mamu parrotfish type (blue-barred orange)
manatala trevally, crevally, jackfish, scad, ulua
manimbom sailfin tang
manungala sea perch (banded)
mangalana red bass, kelp bream
matele sweetlips (spotted)
menamena parrotfish type (bright-faced)
menggola tang, surgeonfish type (bright-colored)
monzala fish type (sweetlip emperor)
mumila rabbitfish, spinefoot (dull-colored)
nawatu da unicornfish
nemiye cardinalfish, soldierfish (dark, among mangroves)
neuwa scorpionfish type (dull-colored)
ngaogeya red emperor, red snapper, sea perch type (bright red)
ogou dabaya freshwater fish (small and colorful)
okou Papuan trevally, crevally
pangga flying fish
pokala trumpeter fish type (banded)
pulu damselfish, puller fish, sergeant-major fish (plain)
sagawa long-tom, needlefish
samasama flathead fish
sambi sea-pike (smaller, inshore, near sea grass)
sasauti monocle bream, spinecheek fish (dark-striped)
sasuwana sea perch (yellow-banded pink)
saumala rock cod (white-lined)
semambula bony bream, herring type (small)
sembaya mud-skipper (with two separate dorsal fins)
siu scorpionfish (bright-colored)
somba tina garfish (small, in-shore)
sobu garfish type (smaller, plain)
sosoyala slingjaw wrasse; telescopefish (uses telescope jaw to pry off shellfish)
soulana wahoo, mackerel
sowaya perchlet (shallow-water school fish)
sumbama triggerfish (wedge-patterned)
suwala damaka wrasse (sharp-nosed)
talowana rudderfish, drummer fish
tangaola dottyback (red and green)
tangginggi remora, suckerfish
tangili marlin, sailfish
towiyawa trumpetfish, flutemouth, cornetfish
tuwa makada boxfish (larger)
ulana herring (large), ladyfish, tarpon
ulawa parrotfish (long-nosed)
undi bibi wrasse (various small), rainbowfish (marine)
waisa sea perch type (blue-banded yellow)
walaminzi emperor (spangled)
walomina murray cod (huge freshwater fish)
wowai daba silver biddy, ponyfish
yabae snapper, threadfin bream (in general)
yabami dogtooth tuna, mackerel tuna (smallest of tuna)
yabeyala bonito, skipjack
yamboli kinali moorish idol
yota gaigai freshwater fish (small)
yoyowila emperor fish (long-nosed)
yuwaya pipefish, seahorse
zabuwana coral trout, coral grouper, fairy cod, barramundi
bogimolo shark type (black-tip)
dimbo guitarfish, shovel-nosed ray
gotamuna carpet shark, cat shark, wobbegong
gotamuna tina blind shark
inde shark ray
koeawila shark (in general)
koeawila niwila tambauna hammerhead shark
koeawila samana whaler shark