Melanesian Runs Deep In Me ❤

On an island not my own
In an ocean not the Pacific
As I chew pamei pe wara*
Wondering how historians would explain this cultural similarity

As I roll my daka leaf between my palms
I see the hands of the Chilia Women
My grandmothers, my mother and my aunties
The beautiful women of my grandfather’s clan
Their palms that have held families together like the fabric weavings of their Manus baskets
Hands that have always carried the weight of their world
Strong like the kipwe*
Melanesian runs deep in me

The spiciness of the ginger with my pamei ignites
That fire within me of my Melanesian roots
From the early morning karai blong chauka
To watching sunsets long bet blong kanu out at sea
Melanesian runs deep in me

From hiking mountains and collecting greens near rivers on my grandfather’s land
To collecting seashells near pristine blue sea water
And white sandy beaches of my grandmother’s island
Melanesian runs deep in me

It is the way I respect my elders
It is how I learn to carry myself as a woman
It is where I see strong women
It is where I hear wisdom in my father’s voice
It is who I am
Melanesian runs deep in me

By Bschapau


*pamei pe wara – buai na daka

*kipwe – large traditional manus basket for carrying heavy things


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s