Warriors Became Worriers

*Bipo bipo tru, long taim blong tumbuna, we were Warriors.

When we were warriors there would be certain people that were skilled at fishing or hunting or were skilled in gardening or some other craft. When we were warriors we lived in harmony with plants, the rivers, the fish, our *masalais and Mother Nature knew us like we knew her. When we were warriors we did things that would benefit our family, tribe or our clan. When we were warriors honor and self-respect were extremely vital in all parts of Papua New Guinea.

During that time the Kerema’s and the Motuan’s traded ceramic pots for sago and canoe hulls. The Kiriwina’s/Trobriand Islander’s exchanged primarily *mwali and *bagi and the Hageners had their pigs…be it Kula or Hiri, Moka or Tee… apparently what we did in those times was Trade.

This present day many of us do what we do for our personal gain. We worry about our family, we worry about our clan, we worry about our tribe…these days we are worriers. We worry but we don’t feel inclined to do what we must for our family, our clan or our tribe. Forget Mother Nature we have completely lost touch with her! Who is she to try to dictate my day, my week or my month?!

These days we feel the need to attend some sort of workshop or get training in order to learn how best to get people to want to exchange a good or a service for some *Kina, this is called Business. So business and trade are two completely dissimilar terms right?

WRONG!!! Business and trade are pretty much the same thing, exchanging one or several things for another thing or several things.

Seems to me that the main difference between the trade we did then and the business we do now is motive. We do business in order to gain and this gain is usually personal gain. We traded our communal autonomy for national sovereignty and in the process we lost more than just our trade.

In this present day and age, we are Worriers.


*Bipo bipo tru, long taim blong tumbuna = A long long time ago, in the days of our ancestors

*mwali = Mwali is an armband made from shell

*bagi = also called Soulava are spondylus shell necklaces

*Kina = Papua New Guinea's legal tender

*masalai = demon/spirit or sacred