The Most Prolific History Recorder for Papua New Guinea Dies


10 October 2017

Bird Jackpot – Picture Story


The crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotesis) is one of two species in Australia with a black spike on its head. This one is a remainder of two I had on my property. I believe the wild cat (abandoned house pet) has eaten one. In the picture also are lorikeets, honey eaters and magpies.

A hot day in Brisbane can be uncomfortable and irritating, but for me, it was an opportunity to see who was visiting the blue waterhole at Bellbowrie. When I got closer, two days ago, I hit a bird jackpot. Ten-twelve birds of four species had come to drink. Photos are ordinary because I had a short lens and had to go behind the tree. And when the birds had drunk and started to fly away, my feathered son caught me behind the tree so he lingered on to say hello.

Kaz and a honey eater or noisy minor as they are known. Noisy miners usually gang up and attack larger birds, but on the property they are quite sweet and tolerate all the other birds.
Katz the feathered son.

Sweet Humming: Bees of Bellbowrie


Sweet Humming – J.K. Leahy Poem

Sweet humming;

low vibrations drumming

Rhythm of life

spins the hunt for sweet vibe,

and the taste of real honey –

that requires no money

My afternoon walk passes this tree and many others in Bellbowrie, Brisbane. Yesterday, I was drawn by its brush petals and the low humming of the bees so I entered the lower leaves and stood  undercover. The tree is called cadaga or cadaghi gum which the Brisbane City Council has declared a weed. The exhilarating thing about the moment was, the bees were humming all around me without attacking me and enjoying the sweet nectar. Above me the birds were enjoying the same sweetness and singing on top of their voices. I don’t know why we need to cut these trees when so much is dependant on them. These photos were taken by my iPhone, so I hope the quality is enough for you to see the bees.

 

    

Simply Falling – Iyeoka


Music and words from Iyeoka Okoawo, Boston-based Nigerian-American poet and performer. Daughter of Nigerian-American born parents who both hold Doctorate degrees from Boston University, Iyeoka was a practicing pharmacist before launching her career as a poet, singer, activist and educator. Read more

My Birds: Photography


Jenny Campbell my poet friend recently visited me and took pictures of the birds that live on our property.  These were the birds present. We have others including Kookaburra, Pheasant Coucal, crows, wild ducks, pigeons, butcher birds, and other parrots. Jenny referred to the birds as “Joyce’s birds”, so I’m agreeing with her and calling them mine.

Some of you know Kaz the lorikeet who is pictured here with his partner and Zack the magpie who grew up with us is also in the photos. Amongst the birds are two silky roosters (black one pictured above and the white below) and our beloved hen “Meri Buka”, who has survived many challenges, and is still well and healthy and laying daily.

Blue Well – Poem JK.Leahy©

Before their song-burst

beyond trees and hurst,

they bare their souls,

and quench their thirst

 

 

 

 

Kalem: Warrior Woman Fashion


Kalem: Warrior Woman Fashion and Accessories

Some of you may know that I have spent quite a lot of time on art this year. It doesn’t men I have left storytelling for good. I’ll be back soon. One of the reasons is that I have been looking at and working on business options for my art and I am proud to launch my new collection of clothing and accessories, produced  with my art and designs I created. Let me know if you like it.

More on this story as soon as I get all the photos done.

Kalem – Warrior Woman silk scarves.
Kalem – Warrior Woman goats leather bags.

 

The Art of a Doctor: Powesiu Lawes


A self-taught artist, this man showed artistic skills as a child by simply drawing fishermen on the sandy beaches in his remote Papua New Guinea village.  Years later, he ventured into higher education and became a medical doctor, yet never leaving behind his love of drawing.

Dr Powesiu Lawes on the beach at his beloved Loniu Village, Manus, Papua New Guinea.

Born in 1957 in Loniu Village, on Los Negros Island, in Manus Province, Powesiu Lawes’ art began as drawings in the sand. He recalls that he always enjoyed capturing images of fishermen catching fish on the reef at dawn and later at dusk.

A gifted school student, he quickly accelerated from Primary to Secondary School in Manus Province, during the Australian colonial administration. From his home province, Manus, he was selected into the elite Sogeri Senior High School outside Port Moresby (now PNG Capital) in the early 1970s. He was recognised at each school he attended as a talented artist, actor, sportsman and gifted student whose abilities would enable him to do anything he wanted in the soon-to-be newly independent Papua New Guinea. PNG gained its Independence in September 16, 1975.

At that time, Powesiu was expected to train to become one of PNG’s first airline pilots, but he rejected this path and began medical school. While studying medicine,  he produced a collection of work published in his first book of art – Wati Kui: “I always wanted to help people, so medical school was a natural choice and my art and the first book – Wati Kui – was one way to pay my way through my medical training”.

After graduating from medical school, Powesiu Lawes spent some years as the senior medical officer in the PNG Navy. Then he began his private medical practice in Port Moresby. He maintained his art rugby union coaching and stayed closely connected to his beloved Loniu Village, by regularly trips home.

In 2009,  he retired from medical practice and returned to Loniu Village where he was elected the Councillor of Loniu, Los Negros’ largest village. The village has its own distinct language and cultural practices and is also known for producing  PNG’s educated elite such  as PNG’s Supreme Court judges, academics, diplomats, doctors, scientists and lawyers. Powesiu Lawes’ art is one central strategy in keeping Loniu’s cultural practices alive, along with his aim of establishing a Loniu Culture House in the village to teach Loniu’s youth their unique practices.

“Without a good grounding in the tradition of their birth” he said,  “many of them will lose their way once they leave the village for the bright lights and temptations of Lae, Port Moresby and beyond. I never did, because of the very grounding I had”.

About art, he said he has tried many different mediums – using brushes,  spray painting for murals, and coloured inks; but the result that black ink on white paper gives, is the medium that gives him the greatest satisfaction. He has completed a second book – Wati Kui 2 – and its drawings are currently shown in Redlands Performing Art Centre in Cleveland (Brisbane, Australia). It is part of the Melanesian Wantok Showcase. Here are some of  Dr Lawes’ artwork and their stories

The ‘Loniu Files’: Some customs and traditions of the Loniu people. Pen and Ink drawing by Dr Powesiu Lawes, Papua New Guinea artist

 

The ‘Loniu Files’: Some customs and traditions of the Loniu people

Loniu, like many other societies, has a well-developed set of cultural practices and traits that have provided reference points for Loniu’s cultural, social and spiritual development over hundreds of years. These have contributed to refined sets of knowledge and skills that have sustained and maintained Loniu society. The Loniu Files is a set of shared and understood ideas, idiosyncrasies, beliefs, values, knowledge and language. The substance of these has stood time’s test and cannot be disproven nor proven.

Aspects of Loniu’s culture are respect (u-uie), being sorry (kolumwamwa) and having shame (pulemachi), to whom, for what, and why; clans, their names, their number and the existence and origins of sub clans, along with each clan’s and sub clans’s origin stories and particular practices (reke pwen); in the various fishing methods, by which clans they are owned them, for what fish and whether for private or public consumption; the layout and size of a clan house (haus boi); utterances made by whom, when, where and for what purpose; who can make public speeches, where he sits or stands and why; land and sea uses and how and why, in the case of land or other property, it is given away; stages of custom and traditional practice during or after a death, when a woman is ready to marry, and gets married; and in the case of two or more wives, the use and distribution of land and other property; who is considered a leader and why; who gives advice to and stays with a young girl in her first menstruation, the advice given and why; who speaks in a haus boi during a customary event, gathering or happening, and why; circumcision of young males, the curses (pen) shouted at them by patrilineal relatives (lau-a-niataman, family of father) and why.

These are but a few of Loniu’s cultural traits with many more needing documentation. Efforts are being made to document the Loniu culture and to preserve its language. It is our identity that, because of modern influences and intermarriage, has deteriorated. Because of ignorance of the power of new ideas, practices and attitudes, not recognising these causes early enough, we have failed.

“Traditional Wealth in Transaction”. Pen and Ink drawing by Dr Powesiu Lawes, Papua New Guinea artist

 

Wealth is always used in very important transactions in Loniu society. Clay pots, wooden bowls, grass skirts, arm bands or waist bands, shell money, dog’s teeth and sometimes cowry shells.

They can be used to reciprocate for a large supply of food given to a husband’s people as bride price or as death payments to a deceased father’s people; again as in reciprocation for previous work done or land used and money or other customary events and obligations, such as in a circumcision ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melanesian Wantok Showcase – Art and Music


Melanesian Wantok Showcase

Limited edition prints, paintings and bliums, a collection of art at the Redlands performance Art Centre, Queensland.

I am proud to announce that a collection of my artwork (art, textiles and pencil drawing) will be in a community art exhibition to celebrate the Melanesian Wantok Showcase. This exhibition opens in the Redland Performing Art Centre in Cleveland tomorrow. The music concert and will be on September 17, featuring musicians from Papua New Guinea and other Melanesian countries.

Contemporary Textile Art – Papua New Guinea

J.K.Leahy Textile. A contemporary interpretation of the traditional tapa cloth printed on cotton. 2017.

Kalem – Warrior Woman fashion. Designed by J.K.Leahy. A selection of leather handbags and silk dresses on exhibition with natural fibre woven bags in Wantok Melanesian Showcase. Redland Performing Art Centre, Queensland.

Pen and Ink Drawings – Dr Pomasiu Lawes

This is the first time ever artist Dr Pomasiu Lawes will be showing his pen and ink drawings. This blog will feature some of these artwork and stories that accompany each one, in the near future.

 

A taste of Melanesia in Cleveland

Head along to Redland Performing Arts Centre (RPAC) for a night of Melanesian music and culture when WANTOK Musik performs on Sunday 17 September, on the weekend of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Independence. This showcase celebration is a partnership in community cultural development with the Quandamooka Festival and is an exciting opportunity to experience a coming together of Quandamooka and Melanesian communities, artists and musicians.

The evening will feature a fabulous line-up of contemporary and traditional Melanesian musicians.  George Telek from PNG will headline the concert, bringing his signature blend of contemporary and traditional Melanesian rhythms to the RPAC stage. Telek will be joined by Charles Maimarosia from the Solomon Islands who will astound you with his talent on the pan pipes, Tio from Vanuatu with his amazing vocals, ukulele, guitar and violin skills, and Ben Hakalitz from PNG who will bring 30 years of musical experience and amazing technique on the drums to the night of celebration. They will be joined by a number of other musicians from PNG and West Papua, for an amazing night of indigenous music and culture.

There will also be the opportunity to enjoy some Melanesian food on the RPAC Piazza, and browse the art and craft display in the Concert Hall Foyer, to complete your night of Melanesian indulgence. This art and craft display curated by PNG artist/curator Joycelin Leahy in partnership with RPAC’s Elaine Seeto will be open to the public throughout the month of September, to give you more opportunity to enjoy the pieces on display. The exhibition opens tomorrow (September 4).

Don’t miss this coming together of Melanesian, Quandamooka and wider Redland communities at RPAC Sunday 17 September at 6.30pm.  Tickets are $30 and can be booked via www.rpac.com.au or by calling the RPAC Box Office on 3829 8131 (booking fees are $4.10 by phone and $5 online per transaction).

Poetry Slam Winners – Queensland Finals


My friend Jenny came second in the Queensland Poetry Slam finals.

The winner was Vivi Baker with her poem on The Murder of Women. I was unable to contact Ms Baker for her permission to publish her poem, that’s why this post is late, but Jenny Campbell gave me her poem to share. I hope you like it. Congratulations to both women poets who will now enter the Australian national finals.

I wanted an image to go with Jenny’s poem and there was so many to  choose from, but I thought this one was appropriate. It was one of the many Trump images on Digital Arts UK – following his election last year.

This was the cover for German publication Der Spiegel. Translation: The end of the world (as we know it). Published on Digital Arts UK.

 

Anatomy of Terror – Jenny Campbell.

 

Beware the terror everywhere

beneath your skin and in your stare

it’s in the thoughts you dread to think

it’s in our leaders guilty blink.

 

Its terror this and terror that

please remove your welcome mat

for terror lurks and terror hides

it grips our lives, but who decides

 

the terror here and terror there?

Invent a villain, Laissez Faire!

A glance into your neighbor’s yard

may reveal a suspicious bard.

 

Hide your children! Take the stairs!

They come in ones and groups and pairs!

Bombing things, invading shores

they’re using terror as their oars!

 

But don’t protest or make a sound

‘cause there’s a lot of them around;

and they could use a cluster bomb

and who could guess where that came from?

 

So, be you sweet or sharp of mind

they target most of human kind

they take our nature firm in hand

to help us fear them on command.

 

“They” are world leaders, close the door.

To sovereign coin they pimp and whore.

For oil and gas they kill, inflame

but how they fear revolution’s name.

 

They run our countries, seize our lands

our blood and breath drips through their hands

they kick the weak and rob the poor

delivering terror door to door.

 

They use their journos as a prop

who spread the terror news non-stop

to make the nightmare crystal clear

they ‘manage’ what we see and hear.

 

They pillage with psychotic lust

betray their nation’s flagging trust

and then at night they go to bed

indifferent to the lives they shed.

 

Oh yes, world leaders terrify

and brutalize and falsify.

So if the ‘terror’ gets to you

be alarmed: they built this zoo!

 

Jenny Campbell ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tribalmystic is storytelling about people, places, and things that have extraordinary stories. Author: Joycelin Leahy

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