Showing posts from October, 2018

Items of material culture

Keanu explained the traditional, family, and personal meanings of his tattoo.

Michsane and Venister showed the difference between the Pohnpeian kiam (kuom in Kosraean) and the Kosraean fohtoh used for carrying traditional foods.

Both are made from coconut fronds, yet the designs are vastly different. The kiam is used to hold yam, breadfruit, and pig. The fohtoh is used for hard taro, coconuts, and fish.

Via-Marie brought in a koapoanok en Pohnpei/Kitti.

 This Kosraean dok is actually made of basalt, but some are made of hard wood.

Arlynn presented the tok.

Justin brought in a Mwoakillese pandanus mat called a rohp that was made on Mwoakilloa.

Tulpe Suselyn brought in a model of a Kosraean tok and tohp for fahfah. The word tohp may derive from the English word "tub" and is thus somewhat puzzling. Fahfah is, as far as I am aware, a pre-contact food in Kosraean culture. One might expect the material cultural objects that accompany the production to be pre-contact words.

Tulpe …


The class used the traditional material for Pohnpeian thatching, Metroxylon amicarum (oahs). There are two styles of Pohnpeian thatching, doakoahs en Ruk and doakoahs en Pohnpei or simply doakoahs. Doak means "to pierce" with a needle-like object. Oahs is the Pohnpeian name for Metroxylon amicarum. This term no student attempted doakoahs en Pohnpei. Rain blew in as an area of convection moved into the waters of Pohnpei state.

Salvin and Bredalynn working together on a piece
On Pohnpei, in the past, the tip of a marlin (a bill fish) was used as a needle. Nowadays the sharpened end of a toothbrush with a hole in the end is a good needle, nails are also sometimes used. Nails with heads, however, do more damage to the frondlet due to their heads. The class often uses needles carved from bamboo.

AB working on first thatching
Expert craftsmanship and skill shows in the even spacing of stitches and the tightness of weave. String is not typically used to stitch the thatch together. …

Foods of Micronesia

Venister and AB led off with a description of Kosraean usr boil kaki - boiled banana topped with coconut milk.

Usr boil kaki

Pohnpeian uht idihd: ground banana baked in an uhm
Kosraean ainpat usr: cooked smashed bananas with coconut milk

Arlynn describing ainpat usr
Pohnpeian uhter: taro and coconut balls
Pohnpeian mahi lihli. 
Pohnpeian mahi lihli. Breadfruit baked in an uhm and then pounded. The resulting dish is wonderfully creamy. The breadfruit is ripe when baked, which contributes to the smoothness. The dish also has the wonderfully smoky flavor of the uhm. This is a personal favorite of mine.

Epilette explained that mahi lihli can only be prepared by those who have completed nopwei mahi to their nahnmwarki. Because of this, there is a season for lihli.

Pohnpeian uht mwahngas

Justin Lemuel brought in the special treat of Mwoakillese pilolo. Ground banana is mixed with coconut milk and molasses made from the sap of the coconut palm. The same sap that is used to make tuba (skalui…

Wave forms and the speed of sound

Monday would start with the laying down of a waveform using the RipStik. Heavy rain threatened to flood the sidewalk and the sound of rain on the walkway roof prevented any communication while outside.

Heavy rain fell during the class.

Flooding especially from here was a possibility.

Finding a no drip location was challenging.

Laying down the wave.

Due to the noise, we returned to the classroom for an explanation of what I had been writing on the paper. Note that the poster pad was completed out on the sidewalk in silence during the rain.

Wednesday I did a demonstration with a rope, following by a golf ball, and then the meter stick. Finally I used a tuning fork and an oscilloscope app running in Android on a ChromeBook. I also demonstrated the pitch of sounds using a sound wave generating app.

A triangular rock again marked the zero point, and, as done last Spring, the start was moved west to the first tree after the eastern turn-in to crescent drive. This helped keep the clapper out…