Ethnobotany class observes Pohnpeian sakau ceremony

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class wrapped up the term with a visit to the home of Senator Dakker Daniel, Nahnmadau, soumas en kousapw Pehleng, Kitti, Pohnpei, to observe the formal sakau ceremony nohpwei.

A driveway across the road is framed by oahr, Premna serratifolia/Premna obtusifolia small leaf variant.


Bus arrival at 3:43 P.M. suggests that while time lines would be tight, the class could venture further into Kitti. My own travel time was about six minutes.

 The sakau, Piper methysticum, arrives in the nahs.

A large and old plant is brought in.

The branches are ceremonially cut.

The root stock is separated.

Sunet, Helen, Twain, and Rogan.

Gathered family and friends.

Kerat, Sonja, Sandra. Stewart and Jason at the back, Angela far left behind Kerat.

Chance videos, Sweena, Cherlylina, and Rebeseen watch.

A legal consultant invited by Nahnmadau, Ravelyn, Chance, Sweena, Rebseen.

Kerat, Angela, Stewart, Jason, Sonja.

I am moved to the front platform to perform translation duties for Soumaka. My translations skills are limited, extremely limited, and mostly I suspect I mistranslated and missed key points.

Sokamah coordinated by Soumaka on a singing stone

After the nohpwei and my translation of remarks made to the class by Soumaka, Nahnmadau conferred on me Lahp en Pahdak, Pehleng, a title in kousapw. I felt deeply honored and thoroughly unworthy of respect being shown. 

Wie koanoat/wie sak.

Our hose provided a wonderful spread of food and refreshments, with a full dinner being served to all guests later in the evening.

Sonja, Angela, Rebseen, Twain, Cherlylinda, Sage

The after session, family and friends both gathered around the evening stone to share story, talk, and catch up on the day.

Reloading the stone: the evening carried on long after I left.


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