IT’S TIME TO ENTER THE 2019 CROCODILE PRIZE – AWARDS OF K5,000 - THE ONLINE ENTRY FORM IS HERE

Need more information about entries? Check out the award category criteria below:
  • All you need to know about the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature
  • Read about the requirements for the Cleland Award for Heritage Literature
  • My Tolai way of life

    By Majella Diulen

    An entry in the Cleland Award for Heritage Literature

    I am a Tolai, I am a friend. Come to my house and I’ll make you a delicious aigir of taro, bananas, aibika and native chicken meat. A bunch of betel nut and mustard will be prepared for you.

    I am a Tolai. I dance to the beat of the garamut, with my red laplap wrapped around my waist and stretching down to my knees. Totally shirtless.

    My basket under my armpit, distinguished by pes kambang, shouting and twisting as the kangal on my head sway back and forth and from side to side in time with the twists and turns of my tumbuan.

    I am a Tolai. I dance to the beat of the bamboo drums. My chicken feathers wrapped in scented green leaves sway to and fro as my arms swing back and forth, from side to side with the rhythm of the bamboo drums.

    My face is covered in red and green paint with dotted white spot under my eyes. As I do my moves, my colorful headdress of birds’ feathers sway blissfully. In my red laplap and stringed tanget leaves around my breasts, I sing and dance with pride in my famous Kuanua language.

    I am a Tolai. I mourn the dead with sorrow. I show my gratitude to the mourners with my Tolai money, the tabu. It is my wealth and my identity.

    I am a Tolai, I am a friend. With me is my basket, full of buai, daka and kambang. My lips are red with my mouth full of betel-nut. My home grown tobacco, the brus accompanies my buai. I chat in Tolai dialect everywhere I go. Being a Tolai, my identity, my pride.

    Leave a Reply

    Close Menu