Simon, a leader of his clan,  is an elderly man who has no use for shoes and the clothes that the white man brought in more than 50 years ago.  This proud Hela elder is one of hundreds whose world revolved around traditional symbols of wealth and status.But all that is being torn to shreds as the whiteman’s cash takes precedence over headresses, bird plumes and pigs.  The whiteman’s law has also rendered centuries old  traditional commandments  unapplicable in the 21st century.

These days Simon refuses to leave the confines of his village and venture into the Tari township -the capital of the new Hela province. His whole world – the world of the Hela man – is slowly crumbling around him. 

For laws enforced to the letter by armed police dictate that he abandon his cassowary bone dagger that a Hela  man always  carries after initiation. The whitemen from gas project are fearful of the Hela with their strange headresses and their “offensive weapons,” -the cassowary bone daggers. Police tell him that he can wear everything else but the bone dagger. Some of his tribesman have chosen. To wear shorts and trousers to avoid hassles with the police but not Simon. He doesn’t care much about Exxon Mobil’s multibillion dollar gas project but what worries him are ancient prophecies of strife and turmoil that will befall his people if the land is disturbed and the “fire” given to the outsider.

What also worries him is that his land is being invaded and trampled on  by foreigners and he is unable to defend it.

1 comment on “THE BONE DAGGER

  1. Anonymous


    Nice and interesting story. Can I ask you where does that man live? (which village?)
    I don't find any way to send you a private message.
    Thank you



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