Names and Titles: The Right Honourable Sir William MacGregor, GCMG, CB, AM, PC, FRSGS in Papua

19 October 2020

By Gregory Bablis

The impact of Papua New Guinea’s (PNGs) recent history of European contact is most tellingly conveyed in the place names, street names, and names of geographical and natural features in the country. From the Bismarck Sea and the numerous hafen’s (German for port or harbour) between the Morobe and Madang provinces, denoting 19th Century German influences, to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the D’Entrecasteaux Islands in Milne Bay Province indicating 18th Century French exploratory activities. Most secondary school students learning about the exploration and colonial history of Papua and New Guinea will be familiar with the name William MacGregor. He was appointed the first Administrator of British New Guinea (BNG) in 1888, serving the British Government as well as the Australian colonies who were worried about German activities in the northeastern half of the island of New Guinea at the time. BNG encompassed the Southern Region, from Northern (Oro) Province down to Milne Bay. But why the interest in a major proponent of colonialism and of British imperialism? He was a man of his time but also a man out of his time, as seen in some of his personal views and official policies in Papua. The measure of MacGregor’s significance might also be seen through the place names, exonyms, particularly in Port Moresby, that are now common linguistic currency when describing or giving directions within Port Moresby.

Let us first look at the name MacGregor, which is the Anglicised form of the Scottish Gaelic MacGriogair. The Gaelic name was originally a patronym, and means son of Griogar. The Gaelic personal name Griogar is a Gaelicised form of the name Gregory. The surname is used by members of the Scottish clan Clan Gregor, also known as Clan MacGregor, which is one of the largest clans in Scotland. MacGregor’s mother, Agnes Smith died on 4 July 1885 and his father, John MacGregor, died on 13 January 1890. William was the eldest son of Agnes and John MacGregor, who had other children of which not much is on record about but who are important to this story as will be seen at the end.

William MacGregor’s story ends where it started in 1846 when he was born on 20 October at Hillockhead Parish of Towie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The family was large and poor so William worked as a farm labourer. However, his intellectual promise was fostered by his schoolmaster, the minister and the local doctor. With their help and his own perseverance he entered Aberdeen Grammar School in April 1866 and enrolled at the University of Aberdeen in October the following year. Intending to enter the church he began arts but turned to medicine when his future wife Mary Thomson became pregnant. They were married on 4 October 1868 and their son was born the following January. MacGregor studied at Anderson’s Medical College (L.F.P.S.) and the Universities of Aberdeen (M.B.) and of Edinburgh (L.R.C.P.) and was registered on 9 May 1872. He became a medical assistant at the Royal Lunatic Asylum, Aberdeen, but left to join the colonial service as assistant medical officer in the Seychelles, probably attracted by the salary of £250. Between Seychelles and BNG, MacGregor worked for the next 16 years or so in the British colonies of Mauritius and Fiji in various capacities other than in his medical field of training.

41 years old in 1888, MacGregor was a middle-aged man and an experienced colonial administrator by the time he was appointed to the post in BNG, over 130 years ago now. MacGregor was inevitably and axiomatically a man of his times, even if certain aspects of his rule deserve the sobriquet of a man of all seasons. In 1888, as he saw it, the dominant problem for the ruler of New Guinea was to ensure consideration for the rights of Papuans. Nothing could seem more “modern”, when stated so baldly, yet MacGregor’s protective paternalism, his view of undesirable features of the culture of primitive peoples (or alternatively his conviction of the desirability and superiority of British achievements), were essentially views shaped by his time. After BNG, MacGregor would go on to become governor of Lagos (1898), governor of Newfoundland (1904) before being appointed the 11th governor of Queensland in 1909.

In PNG MacGregor’s contributions to the country can be seen in the names of places christened after him. Firstly, most police personnel will be familiar with MacGregor after whom the large police barracks at 9 Mile, Port Moresby, is named after. In 1890 MacGregor oversaw the creation of the Papuan Armed Constabulary, the first legally constituted police force. It had Papuan and New Guinean men as well as 14 foreign men – 2 Fijians and 12 Solomon Islanders from the Fijian police force – sent at the request of MacGregor.

Many older Papua New Guineans would know of MacGregor Street, also named after William MacGregor. On this street stood what was initially the Legislative Council from 1952, then the House of Assembly from 1964 and finally the National Parliament of PNG from 1975. Today the old building on MacGregor Street has been declared a historic site and is being looked after by the National Museum & Art Gallery (NMAG). The building has been renamed Haus Independens and houses a national exhibition titled Their Dreams, Our Future.

Visitors to the NMAG galleries at Waigani, beside National Parliament, will hear much of the MacGregor collections. During his tenure in BNG MacGregor surveyed much of the territory himself even scaling the heights of Mt Victoria, the highest peak in the Owen Stanley Range. On many of his expeditions, he collected items that would later on become the basis of a national collection that the NMAG continues to preserve and curate today.      

So what of the long list of titles behind Sir William MacGregor’s name. Some of them will look familiar as titles seen behind Sir Michael Somare or Sir Paulus Matanes’ names. GCMG is an award for the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, both military saints. CB means Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath. The AM is an award for Member of the Order of Australia. The PC title means that MacGegor was a Privy Counselor or member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council which is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. In PNG today, apart from Sir Michael Somare, only Sir Julius Chan, Sir Rabbie Namaliu and Sir Mekere Morauta are Privy Counselor’s. The final title FRSGS is for a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and says something of his work in surveying territories and in collecting ethnographic items for preservation as he believed he was bearing witness to a fast disappearing society and way of life in BNG. Today items collected by MacGregor from PNG are spread over at least 3 countries, PNG, Australia and the UK. Other famous Fellows of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society include Sir Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong and Sir David Attenborough. 

MacGregor’s story started where it ends, in the Scottish village of Towie, Aberdeenshire, where he is buried with his father and mother. Towie is a very small village that is about an hour drive out from Aberdeen International Airport. The lettering on the tombstone in the below photograph is faded from the cold and harsh elements of the Scottish highlands but it states at the end that it was erected by the surviving children of Agnes and John MacGregor. William MacGregors’ remains were cremated and scattered over his parent’s grave so there lies the three of them in perpetuity.

Wordings on tombstone:
















Tok-singsing: danis bilongyumi iet

19 October 2020

Michael Dom

Strangers teach you to sing songs and march to a drum that they own To reject your garamut, your kundu and the stilled speech of wood Their soporific chorus dulls your mind and cheats your Black soul.

Sijo on loss of culture (O Arise, 2015)

It is recognized that most indigenous, non-literate societies maintained a very strong oral tradition as a means of passing on knowledge and information, albeit much of it wreathed in mysticism, of myths and legends, but also as part of a natural creativity and entertainment. These “Hand-made stories” were sufficient for the needs of the time and became part of the foundations of our cultural expression, olsem tumbuna pasin.

Retracing our oral tradition through literature

There is a strong literary tradition of using Tok Pisin in poetry which was represented by

collections in the Papua Pocket Poets publications Wiliwil (1970) and Nansei (1971) edited by Kumulau Tawali. This included indigenous poems, created as songs and chants in various Tok Ples, collected by UPNG students under the tutelage of Ulli Beier circa 1968, and translated into English. These classical PNG works include Alan Natachee’s Aia: Mekeo Songs (1968) and Murray Russell’s Limlibur: Tolai Poems and Kakaile kakaile: Tolai Songs (1969).

Historically the elevation of Tok Pisin into literature was foreseen by Elton Brash in 1975 (Tok Pisin, Meanjin 34(3): 320-327), as Nicholas J.  Goetzfridt summarized in his book Indigenous Literature of Oceania: A Survey of Criticism and Interpretation (1995); “Brash concludes by noting that if the English and pidgin of Papua New Guinea ever converge, a very independent and distinctive Papua New Guinea English will emerge and will hold considerable potential for creativity”. Brash’s words ring true today.

Tok Pisin poems, what I like to refer to as tok-singsing, stand out clearly to demonstrate facets of our cultural identity like shining shells to adorn a dancer. I find such gleaming examples in the intriguing De na nait by Lazarus Hwekmarin in Kovave (Vol.3 No.1, 1971) and the Tok Pisin Ondobondo poster poems Oloman by Regis Stella, O Meri Wantok by Bede Dus Mapun and Kain Kar Ya by Jerry Daniels. There is also the rare gem of a Hiri Motu poem Song of the Winds by Nora Vagi Brash (PNG Writer, 1985).

Alternatively, in his poem Dancing yet to the Dim Dim’s beat (Ondobondo, 1984) Vincent

perceived that “We have been dancing / Yes, but not for our own tune”, and he forewarned of the “dull drumming” signaling “the impending crisis”. It is apparent that the narrator here was displeased with the legacy of colonial rule “the fetters of dominance” over Papua Niugini society which “still insist” / on dominating / Holding us down”.

Similar idioms of drum beats and dancing are used by other writers to reflect their thoughts on the socio-cultural and political agenda of nationhood.

In his early opinion essay The Necessity and Reality of Oral Literature (PNG Writer, 1986, pp37) Steven Winduo emphasized the need for writers to record, preserve and promote our cultural stories, myths and legends, chants and songs for future generations to better understand their own society. Winduo later elaborated, in “Unwriting Oceania” (New Literary History, 2000, 31: 599–613), how “the “leaving out” practice of the authorities on Pacific literature” resulting in indigenous literary interpretations and intellectual pursuits being left behind in the matrices of history like traces of pottery work. He refers to this act as an “epistemic violence”.

Winduo posits, with reference to Samoan writer-scholar Tialetagi Poumau, that; “By working through trace, Pacific writer scholars reinstate what has been crossed out, but is visible even in erasure. It is through the trace that Pacific societies are able to reclaim their cultural memory: “The cultural memory is the collection of wisdom, history and tradition that provides us with the basis of cultural action in our nation”.”

One solution to this, and the objective of my book 26 sonnets (2020) and Tok-singsing, is best expressed by Winduo (2000): “Therefore, the only way to maintain cultural independence is to incorporate and adapt other cultural practices into their own to forge an independent identity”.

A related objective was promoted by the Crocodile Prize (2011-2017) and Pukpuk Publications, that is the writing of our own stories, which was achieved by producing books such as The Flight of the Galkope (2013) by Kelakapkora Sil Bolkin, My Chimbu: a short history of Chimbu in the highlands of PNG (2018) by Mathias Kin and memoirs, poems and short-stories in Brokenville and Bougainville Manifesto (2014) by Leonard Fong Roka.

Rewriting our stories: re-imagining ourselves

The description provided by Steven Winduo of a poet/writer as The Dancer (PNG Writer,

1985) seems very apt, “In solitude with the spirits / A silhouette / Dances against the blaze / Letting words and chants re-echo”. This presents us with culturally relevant imagery and context for understanding the poem in English. The idiom here is associated with “toktok wantaim ol tumbuna”, communicating with ancestral spirits through spiritual possession.

But in the same edition of PNG Writer we can find the cultural and socio-political descriptive poem Wanpisin Painim Welpik by Ambrose Waiyin. This tok-singsing affords a unique story-telling method in the way expressions are crafted, by their connotation (nuance) and intention (meaning).

There is much to be learned, explored and advanced from the PNG literary texts available at Athabasca Online Library. In hindsight, it is instructive for me to compare Waiyin’s prose poem Wanpisin Painim Welpik to my Terza rima poem The Political Economy of a Pig Farmers Life (O Arise!, 2015; pp 47). Although the agenda are similar the two poems were published thirty years apart.

Particular lines such as “Wanpisin i sot tru long hap pik / “Big man ino tilim gud” ol i tok”, which is echoed in the heroic couplet “If you will not share the gris pik with all / One day your house built from our bones will fall”, provide the indigenous idiom associated with “kastom wok” and “bigman pasin”, customary practice and expectation of chiefs to share out pig meat equally. This is symbolic of distributing wealth and resources and where such largesse may also raise issues of “wantokism” and cause malcontent.

In contrast, in my translated poem What now Ongagno (pp 25) I ‘unwittingly’ extended Winduo’s metaphor of the Lomo’ha spirit dancers to suggest that, in the modern context of lost cultural heritage, “Perhaps our singsing, / will not be as sweet as it used to be?” But when read in the original Tok Pisin version, the questioning becomes more pronounced and authentic in its expression, “Ating singsing bilong yumi nau, / em ino inap swit tumas olosem bipo?” so there is a subtle nuance of ‘voice’ in the utterance.

What is also interesting about these two poems is the narrative tone and approach, whereas The Dancer narrates mystically with an air of authority, in What now Ongagno thevoice is conversational with an inquisitive note. These different modes of narration in the oral context may be likened to different forms of writing poetry.

There remains however the challenge of reading a poem crafted in different tok ples which may be complicated when translated to English. Poets must determine in what form their poem speaks and, for the multilingual, in which language do the idoms and expressions emerge fully formed.

In his more recent comments while attending a Poetry Slam at the Port Moresby Arts Theatre; “Dr Winduo saw weakness in Tok Pisin for written work because expression is shared equally by word choice and the demeanour of the person speaking those words and, as such, meaning is lost without the author’s presence. However for live recitals, such as the Poetry Slam, Dr Winduo was a tremendous advocate for Tok Pisin and it was easy to appreciate this view when I heard the entrants recite their pieces” (Ben’s PNG Diary – Day 2: The poetry of Tok Pisin, April 2013).

What’s more, Winduo also wrote in his book Transitions and Transformations: Literature, Politics and Culture in Papua New Guinea (2013) that; “I share the view of Chinua Achebe

that whatever language I use must bear the burden of my experience. English provides the structure of literary experience by which I am able to create a tapestry of my experience”.

This suggests to me that although our cultural expressions are relevant, the framework in the language for communicating needs to be structurally sound. In other words, there must be known borders, a landscape and space in which to craft a poem in a form which displays its artistry; art which explores beyond known territory by using our own poetics.

Reclaiming our indigenous poetics

It is my understanding that the communication of a poem by oration or through written works, destined for oral recitation, should utilize a form relevant for placing the audience in a position to ‘look thru the eyeholes’ of the narrator. This is in fact a challenge taken on by poets in every piece of work they begin, and should be undertaken while bearing in mind that this form may be either in free or fixed verse.

Winduo also remarks in his foreword to 26 sonnets (2020); “Though I am curious how Tokpisin poems can fit into these forms, I think we can learn that the frames of expression are there; all we have to do is give it flesh and life through poetry in our own language.”

Edwin Brumby supports this activity of expressing our poetry in Tok Pisin or Papua Niuginian tok ples. “In sum, then, there are no defensible technical or functional reasons why TP should not be used as a literary medium. Isn’t it also the case that PNG writers have some responsibility to foster an indigenous literary tradition and to create bodies of work which encompass and reflect PNG’s changing society and culture, and which are accessible to their fellow countrymen? (Tok Pisin is well equipped for PNG’s literature, May 2013).

Writers in the Crocodile Prize have provided a large volume of work which may now be assessed for their indigenous literary value. The framework must be understood, and this requires review and criticism of poetry and literature.

In the past a number of international writer-scholars provided literary reviews and criticism of PNG poetry. In his 1987 Library prize essay Dancing yet to the Dim Dim’s beat: Contemporary poetry in Papua New Guinea, Richard Hamasaki noted that “Papua New Guinea’s creative written literature is not confined to poetry. A significant body of indigenous writing exists in the form of plays, radio drama, short stories, novels, contemporary oral histories and songs, film scripts, and essays. These works have been composed in a variety of languages, including tribal languages, English, Motu, and Tok Pisin. Some authors have also utilized a combination of languages in their written work”. A number of the articles have great historical and cultural value.

In his essay Hamasaki provided a startling comparison of PNG literary development post-independence with that in African nations and exposed to us the thoughts of key African writer-scholars of the period. One of those comments regards the facilitation of discussion about literature and dialogue between national writers as suggested by Nigerian scholar Biodun Jefiyo that; “the postcolonial argument which posits Africa-for-the world tends to overlook what he regards as the central issue of African cultural politics, which ‘is the relationship of Africa to itself, the encounter of African nations, societies, and peoples with one another’. Africa’s internal dialogue with itself, and indeed Africa’s self-representation, is important before Africa could unfold her being on a world stage”.

If we substitute Papua Niugini for Africa in the text above it still reads as true and relevant to the present context. In short, there are conversations we must have amongst ourselves to determine who’s drum beat we are following and why. This is also the message from Winduo’s Dancer and what I myself had begun to unconsciously extract through my experiments with the Korean poetry form when I wrote Sijo on the loss of culture (O Arise, 2015). We should encourage the development of indigenous forms of expression in literature. This will broaden and deepen our national conversation. We should dance to the drum beat of our own kundu na garamut.

During my early poem experiments and poetry explorations I wanted to go one step further than my past contemporaries. In my collection 26 sonnets (2020) I intentionally appropriated popular Western and Eastern forms of poetry. The poetics however were indigenous. As Konai Helu Thaman wrote in her review “although this form originate from elsewhere, Michael has used it successfully, contextualized and made it his own, including the Tok Pisin poems”. Tok-singsing, then, is one antidote to the “current, fashionable ideology of globalization” towards which Konai reckons “we need to re-thing and re-claim our own approaches”, danis bilong yumi iet.

The words of the late great Australian poet and author Clive James (Poetry Notebook, 2014) are also emblematic, “a new nation doesn’t project itself to the world by flaunting its characteristics. It projects itself as a creative personality, which finally comes down to a tone of voice”.  Although James was addressing Australia once again the statement applies to PNG because the creation, nurturing and celebration of culture are universal across all communities.

Papua Niugini is emerging as a nation and it is vital, therefore, that we continue nurturing our culture through national literature and arts programmes, by contributing as individual authors or in organized writers groups. We may yet achieve Apisai Enos dream of “national unity through literature” (Kovave, Vol.4, No.1, Nov. 1972, 46-49.).


Papua Niugini has a growing literary tradition with good roots in history and a respectable volume of classic works which provide us with modern day cannon.  However, literary output alone does not afford a basis for understanding ourselves and our literary culture. There is a need for interaction and dialogue about our literature, apart from literary criticism by writer-scholars, in a process which is supported nationally. There rests the importance of using our indigenous poetics, as expressed in all our available languages, but particularly in Tok Pisin and Tok Motu.

By publishing this collection of poems in Tok-singsing I am completing one phase of my exploratory voyages of external discovery and turning back to converse locally. I want my Tok Pisin poems to be lyrical and musical and give back a dance which is our own – Tok-singsing igatim danis bilong yumi iet.

The Historicity of Orality

19 October 2020

Papua New Guineans must unite to create their own history. Papua New Guineans must speak to establish their own history. Papua New Guineans must write to establish their own history. Papua New Guineans must dare to create to make their own history. – – Bernard Mullu Narokobi, 1980


History is one of the oldest forms of knowledge among academic disciplines. It should come as no surprise that it is also one of the most diverse forms of knowledge, for what is history but the functional abode of all human knowledge and experience. The principle tenets and guiding framework that might govern the discipline of history operate at such a high level that it becomes ambiguous and may even seem invisible to specialised practitioners of different branches of history and especially to practitioners of other related disciplines within the social sciences, like anthropology, archaeology and sociology. The truism that everything and everyone has a history cannot here be undermined and it is when one understands this simple, albeit platitudinous, statement that one can truly appreciate the task that a historian of anything is faced with. Historicity is an omnipresent quality ineradicable in all things. Writing a history of anything must then employ an interdisciplinary approach if it is to make a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge of the subject.

In essence, the aim of Ples Singsing is to broaden the scope of how history is written in PNG and encourage oral history, orature and other traditional forms of cultural expression as legitimate ways in which PNG’s past can be historicised. This entails creating and promoting a Papua New Guinean historiography in the form of audio and video recordings and a strict observation of other traditional forms and sources of history. It goes without saying that the turn to the medium of writing since the early 1930s is now a form of expression of our Papua New Guinean ways and Papua New Guinean literature. It is important to promote a sense of history among Papua New Guineans that our historical movement is worth actively recording and is imperative for the future development of PNG and understanding itself within the global context. It is not enough to just assume that traditional societies had no sense of history, or to deem them inferior to ‘hard evidence’ dug out of the ground devoid of context; rather, it is better to analyse our traditions and customs to understand our past and how it can facilitate the writing of our own histories through our own research models, cultural frameworks and forms of expression.

Students Writing to Support Their School

19 October 2020

This year, the Education Department has transferred the functions of schools in the nation’s capital to the National Capital District Commission (NCDC). NCD Governor Powes Parkop believes that this will improve the level of education and will also solve imminent problems currently faced by schools in Port Moresby. One such school that is dealing with the imminent problems in NCD is the New Erima Primary school which has performed well despite the challenges it faces. The school is an eight-level school and one of the largest primary schools in the country, with more than 2000 students and 43 teachers. Currently, the school is planning to upgrade to New Erima Academic school status and decided to take grade nine next year and grade eight students will either do grade nine or be enrolled into Technical Education System (TVET).

So far, students in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 have used their writing skills to help the school by taking part in the School Writing project. The School Writing project is a first of its kind voluntary project. It is currently being carried out at the New Erima Primary School because of fears that the standard of education has dropped and most students are not encouraged to read and write which leads them to speak poorer English. To avoid this situation, schools must immediately start implementing a school writing plan to encourage students to write and publish their school anthologies so that students can read their own works. The School Writing project has sent a proposal to Governor Parkop seeking government support for the programme and are still waiting for feedback from his office.

In the School Writing project, students are encouraged to write essays, short stories and poems regarding what they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDs, tribal war, culture and traditions, violence against women, their own villages and other topics.

In the Kids Kona section of the new Ples Singsing website, we will be featuring some of their writing and we hope this will garner more interest in the School Writing project.    

“Re-thing and reclaim our own approaches” to express our story

19 October 2020

Michael Dom

A small sample of PNG literature.

LAE – In her review of my poem collection 26 sonnets (available for free on PNG Attitude) Professor Konai Helu Thaman of the University of Hawaii provided a task to Papua Niuginian writers which I believe is central to our current dual objectives which are to, firstly, make our own contributions to national literature and, secondly, establish and maintain a national literary society in some manner, perhaps as Phil Fitzpatrick expressed in June.

In my thinking the two objectives we have are rolled into one very doable task within what Konai instructs us is our responsibility as writers, readers, poets and pundits.

“We need to re-thing and re-claim our own approaches to appreciating if not attempting to find solutions to issues such as community conflicts and contradictions, education, environmental degradation, politics, social and interpersonal relationships, many of which are directly linked to existing inequities and injustices in our various island nations and are linked directly or indirectly to the current, fashionable ideology of globalization.”

I have been thinking about what it means to “re-thing and re-claim our own approaches”. Although I am sure that Konai and Professor Steven Winduo of University of Papua New Guinea, both eminent writer-scholars, would be able to provide a detailed and deeply thought out expression of these terms but here I provide my own liklik tingting.

It is my understanding that to “thing” means ‘the act of naming, identifying, presenting and placing’ the elements within our own environment, of our lives and society, in our collective consciousness, in the context of our material and imaginary world – the world of Papua Niugini culture.

We have names for the objects and subjects within our own cultural milieu and we should ‘take back’ this societal activity, recover that act of “thing-ing”, we should “re-thing”. By doing so we can re-claim the process by which we define ourselves; as one people.

We reclaim our history, our society and our cultural knowledge and traditions, and by doing so we are able to reorient ourselves in the modern world; as one nation.

In a true sense, this reclamation of our own nationhood is also what Hon. Gary Juffa first propounded in what the Marape Government has now placed as their revival slogan ‘Take Back PNG’.

Writers and poets may often comment on politics, a long standing tradition for which, in the Pasefika context, it was argued that;

To some extent literature cannot divorce itself from politics. George Orwell is by and large correct maintaining that “There is no such thing as genuinely non-political literature, at least of all in an age like our own, when fears, hatreds and loyalties of a directly political kind are near to the surface of everyone’s consciousness.” The statement has particular relevance for South Pacific literature. There is an inherited political element in it because it has emerged as part of a counter ideology to colonialism.

Subramani, South Pacific Literature, from Myth to Fabulation, (Suva, 1985), 154.

The taim bilong ol masta are gone but today we often speak and write about so called neo-colonialism, and the repercussions of global politics and the world economy on our national predicament.

As a poet it seems to me that the environmental slogan “think globally, act locally” has taken over all other facets of human society. So, what does this mean to us in PNG literature?

Whereas, our political leaders immediate objectives are directly within the political and economic agenda of Papua Niugini, writers and poets must “re-thing and reclaim” the cultural and intellectual territory of our nation in order for our literature to flourish, through the application of our rich cultural heritage.

This task also includes giving back our own names, using our own languages and expressions, and reviving our own metaphors, metonyms and allegories.

While in today’s modern world the agenda of politics and economics have achieved a status above all else, and are the main drivers of many global conversations, Ples Singsing harkens back to a taim bipo, when the well being of our own society was central to our discussions before stepping into the domain of relationships with other tribes or nations.

Hausman emi ken istap olsem Paliamen, tasol Ples Singsing em hap bilong olgeta man, meri, pikinini na tumbuna long bung wantaim.

The Ples Singsing blog is created to encourage and facilitate this process to “re-thing and reclaim” our own stories, poetry and drama. Here we may interact with each other through our writing, in literature which expresses what it means to us to be Papua Niuginian.