When the Chauka calls, the world responds

Like the fine jewel on a woman’s hand is the prepossessing Manus island to its young mothering island nation, Papua New Guinea. Formerly known as the Admiralty island, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Where the white, sandy beaches and glass-like ocean meet.

Loniu, Manus

People dislike the Manus islanders (Sunamist in slang) for being boastful of their home at most times, but from my point of view they have every reason to!

At any Papua New Guinea traditional showcase, they are one of the loudest and most active groups to perform.

Manus women are very loud and active during their dancing. They demand attention! They will not accept ignorance towards their performance, chanting louder if that is the case. Judging fairly, they always, ALWAYS win the entire crowd even before they try.

All the boys need is a stone axe, black paint and traditional bilas (costume) to have short girls in the arena on their tippy toes.

The boys perform for the crowd, moving away from their girls. They tend to have a quiet but “cheeky and flirtatious” behavior. These attributes are portrayed when they quietly, but obviously tease the ladies in the crowd.
The screams from the crowd always drowns the sound of their reverberating garamut (traditional hollow wood drum).

That is why I say,
“Taim Chauka I singaut, bai you no inap lo tok Nogat”

By Marcella Bihoro, revised by The Inker

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