Thursday, February 26, 2015

Indigenous Knowledge

If you haven't noticed already, I am obsessed with anything to do with our indigenous knowledge.Before Christianity tried to stamp out our 'savage and primitive ways' our ancestors were skilled navigators, planters, fishermen/women and knew their environment. 

No thanks to Christianity and the Western World, we have lost so much of that knowledge and in turn, our relationship with our environment. Now, decades later, the westerners are suddenly realizing that we 'savages' had the answers and are now trying to recover it.

Case in point, Bi Ki Moon declaring an emphasis on Culture. 

But ----I'm not one to sulk and cry over split milk, yes - the damage is done especially to our language BUT, its not all lost.

And we are relatively better off than our neighbors who lost their independent in the process. 

Now that we are in 2015 ---my personal and professional mission is geared towards Innovation. 

 Before you roll your eyes one more time, (keste), let me explain. Aue!

All around me today are pacific people who are in a different world, a modern world. We have major problems at the moment (refer to the rest of my posts about the problems) and the solutions are coming from everywhere. 

What I am really loving at the moment, is meeting people, both old and young who have cracked those err, barriers and are 


oh shet, sorry, gotta go.....TBC (to be counted).  

 

But here's  fascinating research done by Penehuro Lefale which you will love. 

Penehuro Lefale 

"Is there a role for indigenous knowledge of weather and climate in improving scientific understanding of future changes in the climate?"

The Samoan seasonal calendar and its origins

Samoan seasonal descriptions are listed under the approximate equivalent month in English, followed by an English translation and explanatory notes.
January
Utu va muaFirst yam digging. Utu va mua and Utu va muli, two brothers, fled to the earth and brought the January storms with them when there was war in heaven and their party was beaten. During a great war on earth, they escaped to the heavens. The hills are the heaps of slain covered by earth dug up from the valleys. When the two brothers look down upon them, their weeping, wailing and exasperation causes the storm or hurricane.
AituGreat Ghost
Tagaloa TeleBig God
February
Toe utu vaDigging yam again. Further digging up of the yams to raise storms.
March
FaaafuWithering. From withering of the yam vine and other plants, which become coloured “like the shells” in March.
Ta'a fanuaRoam or walk about the land. This is the name of a god worshipped in April.
Atiu itiSmall gods. From the household gods worshipped at the time. They are specially implored to bless the family for the year “with strength to overcome in quarrels and in battles”.
April
LoA kind of fish. From the name of a small fish which comes in plentiful shoals at this time of the year.
FagonaDestruction. The name of a god worshipped at the eastern extremity of the Samoan group of islands at this time.
May
Au nunuStem crushed. This is from the crushed or pulverized state of the stem of the yam at that time. Others say the month was so named from multitudes of malicious demons supposed to be wandering about at that time. Even the fish of the sea were thought to be possessed and unusually savage in this month. May is often an unhealthy month, as it marks the transition from the wet season to the dry – hence the sickness and superstition.
SinaWhite. From the worship of a goddess of that name.
June
Ologa manuThe singing of birds. Named from the unusual joy among the birds over a plentiful supply of favourite buds and berries. The bright scarlet flowers of the Erythrina indica thenbegin to come out and attract a host of parakeets and other happy chirpers.
July
Palolo muaThe first Palolo. Palolo “virides” are the worms that swim out from certain parts of the barrier reefs for three days every year and of which Samoans are very fond (all the more so from its rareness). Pa means to burst and lolo, fatty or oily. Hence, the origin of the name probably lies with the fatty or oily appearance of the worms as they break, burst, and are mixed up in heaps after they are caught. This is the first month of the half-year called the Vaito'elauo season. The other half of the year is Vaipalolo season.
August
Toe paloloPalolo muli
The last Paloloorthe last of the palolo.
September
Muli faEnd of the stem of a taro, Arum esculentum. The month is unusually dry and the scorching rays of the sun leave little of the taro stem except for a small piece at the end. Another derivation of Muli fa is the end of the season for catching the fish Fa.
October
Lotu o uagaRain prayers. Named after the special prayers which are offered to the gods for rain.
November
Taumafa muaThe first of plenty. Fish and other food become plentiful at this time and this is followed by the so-called palolo feasts. Public dinners in the houses of the leading men of the village are the order of the day.
December
Toe taumafaThe finish of the feasting or final supper. Food is less plentiful after some of the December gales or tropical cyclones.

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