Miriam Evajoyce Arenadi
An entry in the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature
Papua New Guinean women are precisely unique in this world.
Papua New Guinea the land of the unexpected as they call is unexpectedly exclusive. Unexpected is the diverse culture and tradition. Unexpected is the rich flora and fauna. Unexpected is the most amazing sunset, and sunrise spectaculars. Unexpected is steep and rugged mountain terrains to the white, brown and black sandy shores. Unexpected is the virgin green untouched vast natural habitat, crystal like fresh splashing rivers flowing from the mountains to the seas. Moreover, unexpected are the women of PNG so altered among selves. Papua New Guinean women from all four corners of this nation we come. Signifying the four regions, we call home.
The women of this region are elegant and loves inherently.
Symbolized by the crane for unity on their flag, this race
of women are admired of their grace and diligence. So known of their fluent
English-speaking, are they charming and simple of nature.
Going east are the Haikakares’, the women of Gulf Province.
The women of this province symbolized by the white seagull
on their flag are all about pushing further in Life. Of tremendous courage with
a strong sense of humour, you surely can’t reject their rousing friendship.
Moving further southeast along the coastline are the kekenis’, the women of Central and NCD.
Central and NCD
The women of the nation’s capital are of fair skin and curly
long hair like a pearl they glow with confidence. Symbolized by the Lakatoi on
their flags, a traditional boat used for the Hiri trading in the olden days are
they gratified of their heritage and beauty that they keep on sailing no matter
what Life throws at them?
Shifting northeast a couple of miles over the Oven Stanley ranges through the famous Kokoda track right down to the coastline of Tufi where the largest butterfly in the world is found are the Gagaras’.
The women of this area symbolized by the Queen Alexandra
Birdwing butterfly on their flag are as alluring as the birdwing itself and the
most welcoming of hearts. However, never take advantage of their kindness
simply because if not treated right, remember they can fly away.
Further southeast is the land of size 28 women.
Milne Bay Province
Ewaah that one how? Symbolized by their white sandy beaches on their flag are their fair skin as white as their beaches. Of delicacy and considerable diligence are they so passionate and dedicated in their calling. Known of their small built as size twenty-eight, don’t you underestimate them by size though? They say little creatures are beautiful and somewhat powerful. Well, there you have it, little lovely women who are capable of doing great things.
The women of this region are determined, down to earth and flooded with buoyancy.
Asa Sumba! The women of this part of the nation symbolized
by the Spectacular Bird of Paradise locally known as Kumul on their flag are
they so rare and modest. Defined by the distinctive beauty of the Kumul are
they beautiful both inside and outside.
Going northwest are the women of the land of flying fox.
These women symbolized by their lighthouse as coast watches
are they so upright and straight, indeed a light to the lost and helpless.
Possessing the characteristics of a flying fox, they are intelligent and
Moving further northwest is the East Sepik women.
East Sepik Province
Symbolized by their uniquely designed traditional haus
tambaran are they unique in their own special way with a strong self-esteem and
as thick as the skin of a crocodile are they unbreakable.
Just a couple of miles west is the home to the spectacular sunset.
West Sepik Province
The women of this land embrace the last of the country’s sunlight as it sets spectacularly before disappearing into the horizon. As stunning as the sunset are the women of West Sepik, so hard working yet calm they can be but do not push them to the brim you may regret.
Niugini Islands Region
The women of this region are majestically courageous and classy.
East New Britain Province
Recently recognised and known for its tourist attractions with amazingly beautiful sights and places to visit and discover so are the women of East New Britain too beautiful they are with their exceptional blonde features. Symbolized by their traditional money called Tabu on their flag are they of value to their families and societies with a strong character ready for anything.
West New Britain Province
Meanwhile on the other end of the island is the women of
West New Britain, one of the strongest and friendliest race of women in PNG.
They can work as hard as men can and are committed to their families and
communities. Symbolized by their conch shell on their flag used for
communication are they known for their best of communication, the pasin west
they call it.
Just miles north New Britain Island lies a long strip of island, the New Ireland.
New Ireland Province
The province known for its incomparable white sandy beaches and perfect surfing waves so are the women of New Ireland. Like a sunflower, they dazzle with their sparkling eyes complimenting their blondness. Symbolized by the silhouette of a paradise drongo (a bird found only in New Ireland) as a black fur bird are their dark skin under the super blonde hair tips looking unbelievably attractive. Like the characteristics of a drongo, they are upright when they are at the top feeling like a Queen.
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
To the southeast of New Ireland is the Autonomous region of
Bougainville. These halumas’ are the powerhouse, the most beautiful black women
with aggressive perseverance for success. Surrounded by their atolls are their
fair skin women race with the same attitude of determination and ingenuity.
Going northeast is the island of Manus.
These women astounding they can be as their white sandy shores. Symbolized by the chauka (a local bird found only in Manus) the locals use to tell time from its regular singing so are the women daring, ambitious and simply adorable. As loud as the garamut (a traditional wooden beating drum used for ceremonies in their culture) beats, are they very extroversive and cannot be outtalked.
The women of this region can be complex if they intend to but are very cultured with massive persistence in Life.
Eastern Highlands/Simbu Provinces
Symbolized by the coffee branches on these two provincial flags is the provinces main cash crops best described as organic coffee of superb quality are their women who knows no limit in hard work with great enthusiasm to simply provide and be the best in everything they do.
The women of this province symbolised by the white dendrobium engae orchid stands out amongst the crowd. These women find pride in their mother tongue. They’re short thinking but of big hearts.
Southern Highlands Province
Symbolized by the Cassowary feathers, (muruk garas locally known) and the bird of paradise feathers representing bride price on their flag are the women of this province so valuable in society and strong in nature. Very defensive they can be over their cultural and traditional norms respecting and upholding their identity.
Western Highlands Province
Symbolized by the white line of peace on their flag, the women of this province are very supportive of their husbands enhancing peace and love not to mention always-finding pride in their pride price.
Despite the recent massacre in this area and traditionally treated as second class, the women of this province with so much strength and power would not step back or down but courageously fight their rights with all due respect of their men.
Symbolised by the White stripe line in the middle represents the big mighty rivers. These women are so persistent and mighty like their rivers they are firm, crushing rocks downstream with fortitude contesting to be treated with dignity in their societies.
Now you tell me a country in the world that has such diversity of women from 800 backgrounds and origins all known to one country.
From the mountains to the coastlines we come together as the daughters of this land, one country, one race, one hope, one dream, one purpose, all with one source of strength from above as we strive to articulate for freedom and equality with hope for the future. Our vulnerability as women gives us the power to overcome circumstances, obstacles with fear of the consequences as our ability to love beats all odds. Nevertheless, in that aggressiveness of the type of women we are lies the sweetest of all placidness. To this unbeatable uniqueness, we stand with resilient simply as united diversity and pledge; we are beautiful and powerful, together as Papua New Guinean women, we are unique.