Words and music: adapted by Raunisi Theatre Group, Wewak Papua Niu Gini
Additional harmonies: Jean Anne Jones, 1995 and Miguel Heatwole, 1998
The songs in this medley come from the Sepik River region of Papua Niu Gini and were brought to Australia in 1995 by Henrik Ason, a member of the Raunisi Theatre Group in Wewak. His visit was part of a campaign called ‘Big Bush Bugarup’ exposing the depredations of the logging industry in PNG. The songs were collected from the Bondna people living in the mountains ‘half an hour’s walk from where the road ends’, and arranged by Raunisi.
Ambore is about hunters returning to their village and their children, having been successful in gathering food from the forest. The steady increase in volume is intended to depict the growing excitement at their approach. Pe Pe Pe Pelesi Imo, a song handed down through several generations of Bondna elders, reminds us how transient our lives are compared with those of ancient forests. Emo Kikimo finishes the medley on a celebratory note, expressing the joy of people who live in harmony with their forest home.
[Call] Ambore [response] Ambore. Ambo lima ka ambore.
Pe Pe Pe Pelesi lyrics:
Pe pe pe pelesi imo
Ni i pak ke
Siri o ria le
O salum tana lum mulah eh
Emo Kiki Mo lyrics:
Emo kikimo soran ne e e kikimo
Emu ta emu ta ki o o o. Emu ta emu ta ki o o o
The parents who went hunting came back with lots of food
Pe Pe Pe Pelesi translation:
Hello hello hello
Are you alright? You okay?
We will not be here for too long
In a short time we will be gone
Emo Kiki Mo translation:
Game is plentiful, the forest is beautiful, everything is fine!