Variants of a myth of love and hate from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea

| Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
ISBN 9789027244567 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
e-Book Open Access
ISBN 9789027265890
This volume presents five variants of the Imdeduya myth: two versions of the actual myth, a short story, a song and John Kasaipwalova’s English poem “Sail the Midnight Sun”. This poem draws heavily on the Trobriand myth which introduces the protagonists Imdeduya and Yolina and reports on Yolina’s intention to marry the girl so famous for her beauty, on his long journey to Imdeduya’s village and on their tragic love story. The texts are compared with each other with a final focus on the clash between orality and scripturality. Contrary to Kasaipwalova’s fixed poetic text, the oral Imdeduya versions reveal the variability characteristic for oral tradition. This variability opens up questions about traditional stability and destabilization of oral literature, especially questions about the changing role of myth – and magic – in the Trobriand Islanders' society which gets more and more integrated into the by now “literal” nation of Papua New Guinea.
[Culture and Language Use, 20]  2017.  xvi, 244 pp.
Publishing status: Available
The e-Book is available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: The song Imdeduya and its consequences
Chapter 2. Gerubara’s version of Imdeduya – a “kukwanebu tommwaya tokunabogwa” – a story of the old men in former times
Chapter 3. Mokopai’s version of Imdeduya – the “liliu Imdeduya mokwita” – the real Imdeduya myth
Chapter 4. Sebwagau’s version of the Imdeduya myth documented by Jerry Leach in annotated English glosses as “A Kula folktale from Kiriwina”
Chapter 5. John Kasaipwalova’s poem “Sail the Midnight Sun”
Chapter 6. How do the five Imdeduya texts differ from each other and what do they share with one another?: A comparative text linguistic approach
Chapter 7. Concluding remarks on magic, myths and oral literature
Appendix I. Metadata for the variants of the myth documented on audio-tape tape
Appendix II. The structure of Gerubara’s “Imdeduya” tale
Appendix IIIa. The structure of Mokopei’s version of the Imdeduya myth
Appendix IIIb. Yolina’s journey in Mokopei’s version of the Imdeduya myth
Appendix IVa. The (simplified) structure of Sebwagau’s version of the Imdeduya myth
Appendix IVb. Yolina’s journey in Sebwagau’s version of the Imdeduya myth
Appendix V. The structure of John Kasaipwalova’s poem “Sail the Midnight Sun”


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2018.  In Growing up on the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea [Culture and Language Use, 21], Crossref logo
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2018.  In Pragmatics and its Interfaces [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 294],  pp. 185 ff. Crossref logo

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BIC Subject: CF/2P – Linguistics/Oceanic & Austronesian languages
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017004872