The Morobe Province Mural has left a distinct impression on writer and TV broadcaster Scott Waide’s mind. Here he writes…
The mural of the Morobe province is a magical work of art. The artist who painted this master piece of languages, cultures and personalities definitely had fun doing it.
Just as part of the world is packed into a country with 800 languages and a multitude of distinct cultures, Morobe is a cross section of a the whole of Papua New Guinea. It is the four regions in one landmass.
There are coastal peoples stretching from the border of the Madang province to the Oro province border. The language groups and family links blending, unending in seamless transition from one end of the province to the other. Their many tongues are like words of a song adhering to no particular beat with each, a song unto itself. Malasanga, Karnai, Kinalakna, Migabac and Bugawac, Kate, Yabem…
It is a long band of sandy beaches and rocky, porous coral punctuated by river mouths – some warm, gracious and generous while others cantankerous, moody and unpredictable.
Then the master creator looked to the North to Wasu and paid special attention to the beaches and rivers. Let’s give them a mixture of black and white sandy beaches. Some with bright white pebbles and some with dark sand. It must be like their languages – a cacophony of color and beauty. Let the leatherbacks take refuge there on their way to distant shores.
On the other end of that band of sand beaches, let them be sheltered from the rough seas by the islands of Lababia and her sisters so that the warriors of the Suena, the Zia and the Yekora will also learn how to stand together in times of strife.
In my mind’s eye, I see an artist, a master speaking to his peers – those who created the masterpieces of the Navaho, Sioux and the Inca. Fellow creators, he says. Now that I’ve created what will be known as the Eastern Highlands, let’s take the most nimble and agile bowmen and put them in the highlands of Morobe where Aseki and Menyamya will be.
The ferocity and bravery of the Hamtai, the Menya and the Angaatiha must be matched by nothing less than the towering mountains and the mighty gorges for This is a place not for the faint hearted. They must be hardy enough to survive the rigors of a thousand year journey.
In the distance, the Markham River beckoned. Taking a handful of various colors, he sprinkled them on the valley at the feet of the mighty Sarawaged and the Finisterre. There, the Wampar, the Adzera and the Numanggang were allowed to roam on the flat plains as far as the eye could see.
As the sun darkened on the Zia and set behind the mountains of Wantoat, he left in the hope that this wonderful mural would be given the respect and honor it so deserved.