Pohnpei cultural ceremony with Piper methysticum

This term the cultural ceremony was held in Paies, Kitti, up on the side of the mountain just to the southeast of the campus. I started off from the campus at roughly 15:30 with a few students. By 15:42 we were in lower Paies inbound St. Barnabas. The climb was slow and it was 16:02 by the time the students were gathered at Lepen's nahs. More detailed information on some of what follows is in the course text.

Jayleen, Sonya, Nagsia, Regina, and Francina

Soumas in place

Sakau comes in with the stems intact, they are cut in the nahs. Donovan and Frankie volunteer in along with the author to pound the sakau. Shirts are removed to show respect. 

We pound happily, the stone playing a tune. Or we should be pounding happily for our Soumas. 

Brady, Kanoa, Jaynard. Menindei on the far right.

Sonya, Junida.

Suzanne and Jayleen had the camera during the sakau pounding

Keidihd (koaidihd) is called, time to flip the sakau


Four is the number of pounders. 


Wengweng using Hibiscus tiliaceus to wrap the sakau (Piper methysticum)

Soumas with his oarir (server)

Kanoa, Donovan

Austin and AJ

Kitti wekisang wehi teikan - sapw ni alem. Soakoahs, Uh, Noat, Moadoaloanhimw - sapw ni oapoang. Kitti kingdom is different in having five cups. Sokehs, U, Nett, Madolenihmw have four cups.

  1. Pwehl to Nahnmwarki or Soumas en kousapw
  2. Arehn sakau to Nahnken or Peliental (spelling not 
  3. Esil to Dauk
  4. Oapoang to Nahnalek (highest titled woman present)
  5. Sapw returns to Nahnmwarki who can then redirect to honor someone.

Jayleen Rensile is honored with oapoang, she will be our Nahnalek for the day. 16:25.

By 16:41 the ceremony is wrapped up and the students were released

The after session continues

Frankie was the last to leave, sometime after I did

Headed down the mountain. Note the new coral just visible in the distance. One student drove a four wheel drive all the way to the volleyball court behind the author.

Bishop Amando visited St. Barnabas for a confirmation ceremony

On campus 18:40 and sunset. I am reminded of fall term and a December ceremony are not a real option. Early dark precludes spending quality time with the family. To "nohpwei and run" is not the tradition, but the students often have no option. Evening rides, activities, mean they have to be back on campus by 17:00. 




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