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A Wealth of Culture The culture of Papua New Guinea in the timeline

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Old 19-08-2002, 11:56 AM
Janelle Janelle is offline
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A Legend from Miline Bay - The Ugly Wicked Witch:

Returning home one night, after a long day of work collecting drifters, and piling them up on the sand, Tapa rested beside his mother. Like all good mothers, she told a story of an ugly, wicked witch.

“What is the name of the wicked witch?” he asked. “Sineialoi,” the mother replied.
“Waooo. Does she really travel on a swing is made of a rope that extends from the heart of the sky.”
“And is she bad?” “Yes.” “She eats naughty children?” “Yes.”
Tapa moved closer to his mother and, and begged her to tell the story of the ugly, wicked witch, called Sineboudalili. For the love of her mother, she told him the story but Tapa fell asleep. Yet, he was not isolated from the story. He dreamt about it.
Tapa could see himself in his dream collecting drifters and carrying them onto the sand. He was asking them where they came from but because logs do not talk, he received no reply from them.
Thus, he continued collecting and talking to them when suddenly he saw two moon-like eyes watching him from high above the clouds. He stopped and watched the strange objects. In a split second, the ugly, wicked witch lowered herself and sat on her swing just above him, laughing.
He looked at her. Her reddish eyes were almost falling of their sockets and they looked ugly.
Her ugly fingers barely held in place the long, spiral-like finger nails. They could tear a human into pieces. Her teeth looked sharp and dangerous.
“Collecting drifters, ha?” she asked. “Yes.” “ You do this all the time?” “Yes.”
“I see.” “You must be the ugly, wicked witch, called Sineboudalili?” “Wicked? Did you say?” “Yes, I did.” “Ugly, yes, but not wicked. I’m a good witch. I befriend children. I help them.” “Help them with what?”
Without saying a word, she extended her arms far and swept drifters all over the island into the little inlet. Tapa speechless, looked at the sea, now filled with drifters.
His eyes widened and he bit his lips in bewilderment. He ran down and greeted them by extending his hands into the sky. Added to his surprise, the witch spread her fingers above the drifters and lifted them, like a magnet and lifting metal rods and dropped them on the beach.
“Waooo?” “See, I’m helping you.” “How did you do that?” “Magic.” “Can you teach me that magic.?” “No.” “Please?” “No. Now, tell me are your parents home?” “Yes. They are home.”
The witch paused for a while licking her saliva with her eroded tongue. Her eyes rolled and her nose twisted. She was hungry for human flesh and thirsty for human blood.
“Call your mother.” “Sinagu. Sinaguuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.”
Tapa called his mother. The wicked witch looked at him and he looked at her. There was silence.
“Tapatapaaaaaaaaa. I’m home my child.” Tapa’s mother replied. The witch closed her eyes and sighed in disappointment. Tapa gave her a broad smile. “Call your father.” “Tapatapaaaaaaa. I’m home my child.” “You hear my father, too, is home.”
“Yes! Yes! Oh, yes! I hear!” Suddenly the witch lost her speech and started mumbling to herself. She scratched herself and was pulled into the sky by a rope that extended into the infinity. “Come-back. Please, come back. You are my friend,” Tapa begged. But she was gone. From above the sky her moon-size eyes watched him closely.
Tapa returned home and joined his parents for dinner. After dinner, his mother wove a new basket while his father mended the broken-net after sharpening his axe and the spears.


“Going somewhere?” he asked. “Ssh. It’s darkness,” his father replied. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he replied. “Son, we are visiting friends on the other islands,” his mother said.
“I’m not coming,” he said. “I know that,” his father replied. I got a bunch of bananas to look after you. Eat the flesh. But don’t throw the skin away. They will answer all your calls when the witch asked you to call us. Understand? Understand? “His mother said. “Yes mother I do.” He replied.
“What did I say?” she asked. “I’m to eat the bananas and not to throw the skins away.” He replied.
“Good.” “Now, we must have some rest.” The mother suggested.
When he woke up the next day, he found his parents had gone on their fishing expedition. He ran down the beach and found the canoe missing so he sat on a log and ate a banana. Like any forgetful child, he threw the skin away. “Aaaaaaa? You were told not to throw the skin away,” the banana said. “I’m sorry,” he replied. He picked the skin of the banana he had just eaten and placed it carefully on the log. It slid to the side and landed on the sand. He peeled another banana, ate it and threw the skin away. Again, the banana reminded him not to throw the skin away. Again, he apologised, brought the skin back and placed the skin on the log. It too slid on the side and landed on the sand.
High above the clouds, the wicked witch saw him. Her eyes glittered in the daylight. He knew she was watching him. But, he took no notice of her. Then she came charging down, laughing and mumbling to herself, happily. He looked up and saw her suspended above him.
“Where are you going to go where now?” “Nowhere.” “I will catch you, kill you, and eat you. I will eat your tender flesh and drink your young blood.” “You want to eat me?” “Yes, yes, yes.” “My father will kill you.” “Do you take me for a fool? I see far. I have a nose that smells from a distance.” “My parents are home.” “Call your mother, first.” “Sinagu, Sinagu. Sinaguuuuuuuuuuuuuu.” There was silence. They looked at each other without talking. “Tapatapaaaaaaaaaaa! My child I’m home,” the banana replied. “No, no. This can’t be. No, I say your parents leave.” “I told you my parents are home.” “Call your father.”
“Tamagu, Tamagu, Tamaguuuuuuuuuuuu.” Tapa looked at her smiling. She looked at him with a blank face. There was intense silence. “Tapatapaaaaaaaa. My child, I’m here,” the banana answered. Disappointed the witch pulled the rope angrily and away she was pulled back into the clouds.
Tapa danced on the sand teasing her as he ate all the bananas and threw the skins away. Singing to himself, he collected the logs and peeled them away on the sand. Behind the clouds the witch watched him.
“Call your father again?” said the ugly, wicked witch as she plunged to earth by her swing. Cheeky little Tapa took no notice of her but she continued, collecting his wood believing that the bananas were around to answer his call. What he had forgotten was that he had eaten up all the bananas and thrown the skins away. “Go on. Call your father,” she demanded. “Just wait,” he said. “ I can’t wait,” she replied. “ Alright. If you insist. Tamagu. Tamagu. Tamaguuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.” Tapa looked at the ugly wicked witch and she looked at him. Both did not blink nor say a word. Their hearts beat faster and louder while all around there was silence. For a good while there was no reply so Tapa called his father again and again. Still no response. Happily the witch jumped of the swing and landed on the sand. She danced around him without music, plunged on the sand, rolled and twisted, laughing.
”Please don’t harm me?” “Beg me not to harm you?” “No, I will not harm you. But, I will kill you and eat your flesh bit-by-bit drink your blood, and chew your bones inch by inch. Aaaaaaaaaaaaa. I got you at last.” “Please, don’t kill me. Don’t.” “Never you mind begging for your life. Your life is not that important as your flesh and blood.”
Frightened, Tapa ran into the bush and hid behind the shrubs. But the ugly, wicked witch extended her hands, picked him up and away they swang back to the witch’s island. She placed him in a huge pot, gathered her basket and mumbled her way to her garden. Inside the pot, Tapa kicked and cried. “Child? Do not hit and kick my stock,” the pot said. “Help me please, pot. Help me.” “I will help you.” “Oh, thank you, thank you.” “But, you must listen to me.” “What is it?” “Collect wasps, ants, snakes, and climb a coconut tree.” “Why?”


“When she finds you throw them onto her.” “Which coconut tree should I climb?” “The one that stands alone on the beach.” “I see.”
Happily, the pot opened its belly up and Tapa was set free. Collecting wasps, ants, lizards and snakes, he climbed the coconut palm and watched the ugly, wicked witch return from the garden.
She went inside the house and returned almost immediately with the pot she hurled onto the rocks breaking it into pieces. She searched the house but she found no sign of Tapa. She searched the entire island and still she found nothing. She searched the caves, rocks and everywhere but found nothing.
Not giving up hope, she sat on the sand thinking. Suddenly a thought came into her mind. She stood up and started dancing to lure Tapa out from hiding. She jumped into the air and landed into a funny dancing movement. Every dance movement she made could have made the rocks laugh. Tapa held firm to his breath and did not laugh. But, finally he could not hold no longer and laughed, giving himself to the ugly, wicked witch.
“So, all the time you were up there?” “Bawleeloom. Bawleeloom.”
“Where are you going to go to? Will the sky split up and you escape?” Bawleeloom, Bwaleeloom. Bwaleeloom.” “I’ll get you now.”
The ugly, wicked witch ran to the coconut and climbed it. Up there Tapa waited for her with the baskets of lizards at her. She fell, landed bottom first but, got up and climbed again.
Tapa was ready with the bark of snakes. When she was close enough, he emptied the snakes on to her. She fell and landed breast first, but got back to the coconut and climbed it for the second time.
Tapa was ready with the baskets of ants. When she was close enough, he emptied the ants onto her and she went tumbling down and landed back first. She turned and twisted removing all the ants. Then, she got up and climbed, for the third time.
When she was close enough, Tapa emptied wasps onto her. She fell with wasps’ buzzling in her ears and bitting her all over. She screamed to the top of her voice and landed headfirst. Her head dug deep into the soft sand, her legs into the air. With all her might, she pushed herself out of the sand, and crawled on the sand crying in agony as she fought the wasps.
High upon the coconut, the jubilant Tapa saw his parents approaching.
“Daddy, Mummy. Daddy, Mummy. They are coming.” “Where?” “There.”
Forgetting the pain, the ugly, wicked witch ran down to the beach. To here the disappointment she saw Tapa’s parents approaching. She jumped into the sea and surfaced like a child dolphin jumping off it’s mother’s back and landed on the sand.
“Come down, be careful. Come down. You are a naughty boy. You shouldn’t be climbing coconuts.” “Daddy, Mummy."

Story Series by John Wils Kaniku.
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Last edited by Janelle; 19-08-2002 at 11:59 AM.
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