The Yam Hole – A Discovery


The Yam Hole – Oral History Part 3

Read parts one and two here

The story was told that when Kemampum heard strange sounds coming from nearby bushes on the edge of the water, he approached cautiously. He wondered whether it was an animal or a bird.

To his amazement, in a basket on top of a pandanus bush, he found an infant. Such was a case of the biblical story of Moses. He exclaimed: “ngamalac!” (which translated means ‘a human’).

Earlier that day, there was a battle between the Ahi and Labu people at the mouth of Bumbu River where the baby was found. In the late afternoon as Kemampum was trying to fetch sea water for cooking he found the baby. Due to fear, Kemampum was cautious in approaching the baby in the basket. The tide was rising and the child was about to drown, and there was no-one else there. Kemampum rescued the baby.

The next day, Kemampum took the child to known Ahi hamlets to seek the child’s parents, but no-one claimed the baby. Since no-one had claimed the baby, Kemampum kept and raised the child with his two biological daughters, Awelu Jalecsu and Geyamtausu Ngongwe.

The child was named Hamalac, which came from Kemampum’s initial exclamation when he discovered the baby on the water’s edge, near the Yam Hole.

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