On the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, where I call home, there is an old proverb that my fathers and my grandfathers taught me. The proverb - Piletik me kin aude pillap. Translated in English this proverb says that small streams fill big rivers. I was originally taught that this proverb was a metaphor for the relationship between younger and older siblings. In my interpretation of the proverb here, I would like to apply it to an even broader spectrum. In this interpretation, the small streams are a metaphor for the younger generation, and the big rivers metaphorically represent the older generation.
Keilahn Aio: On the Other Side of Yesterday [a poem by Carol Ann Carl] Kaselehlie. My name is Carol Ann Carl Home for me is the beautiful island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Pohnpei, one state of four states that make up one island nation. Beautiful islands where people come to dive,... Continue Reading →
"...As they began to stack rocks, they were faced with many obstacles. To combat these obstacles, as the story goes, they called upon the powers that be to provide mangroves, Katengeniak, to secure the land's edge, and a barrier reef to to protect the shore from strong tides. They also asked for Katengeneir, protection from strong winds along with protection against tsunamis. When all of this was done, Sapwkini and his fellow voyagers gave thanks to the powers that be by building their home on this altar which they called Pohnpei, which means "upon a stone altar." In subsequent voyages that would be made to Pohnpei, different clans came and inhabited the island. This was the birth of Pohnpei and the people who call it home... "
"After helping his wife out of the canoe, he told her that in three months time he would return to collect her body so that he could bring her and their unborn child back to his village to hold a proper funeral for them. With a tender good bye and heaviness in his heart he left. No one knew for certain what would come of the woman and their unborn child.
"If sakau is a gift from heaven, as oral tradition states, and heaven is our connection home, then sakau is the thread that holds together Pohnpeian tradition and culture. Written texts by foreign anthropologists state that sakau is no longer used as traditionally as it once was. I argue that it still very much is."
...Upon their arrival the first Pohnpeians (Upon a Sacred Altar) created this DECLARATION: 1. Wahu Pahrekier Sapwekeikat . The seed of immense reverence for life has been planted on this sacred alter, Pohn Pei, to perpetuate peace and unity for its people...
“The ability to disconnect from your identity to engage with an oppressor is a privilege. The ability to disconnect from your emotions and values to engage with someone else’s hate is a privilege.” via My Trauma is Not Your Thought Experiment: On Oppressive Empathy — Discover
James F. O'Connell, the "tattooed Irishman", a foreigner who washed up on the beaches of Pohnpei in the early 1800's. The tattoos that can be seen on O'Connell's arms are traditional Pohnpeian tattoos. In my 23 years of living I have never seen a Pohnpeian tattoo on a living Pohnpeian....O'Connell ended up stranded on a beach on Pohnpei either as a shipwrecked sailor or the more likely scenario, an escapee from a prison vessel on its way to a penal colony in Australia...