by Tarali T. Hibuya 1

There are many myths and prophesies spoken and recited in Hela history. Among them were, stories of four (4) sons of Hela; slaughtering of Payapaya (which meant “good-good” or “Good man”); myths of Gigira Laitepo; and myths of coming mighty Hela leader. My description of Hela’s four sons, leading to slaughter of Mr. Payapaya and myths of coming Hela leader founded with their mythical fulfillments in the following passages, and will make you to be tolerant with reasons to rationalize who that Hela’s “prophesied” leader be in this modern era.

All the mythical prophecies told and retold in Hela nowadays lies around Hela’s four prodigal sons, so one may be snoopy about who those four were. Mythical Sons of Hela Hela’s first prodigal son was Huli Hela or Hulugumaya who was blessed as middle man, mediator, trade negotiator and leader who can build kunai thatched buildings (known as Tangianda). Hulugumaya was given only first territory Hela
himself had lived. HULUGUMAYA progenies are people living in Tari Basin, Hulia Basin Hayapuga LLG, parts of Tagali LLG and Tepia LLG in Hela Province. Also, those people in South Koroba are partly descendants of Huli Hela. HULUGUMAYA is distinguished with its splendor of hair growing and round wig-makings (manda wakaroro bi). Its big and heavy bags are made of ropes derived from skins of the special trees which are worn on their hairy backs (Nuú ngaloropa hene) and can huff tobacco from dexterously hewed bamboo pipes (mundube giligilibi yi).

The capital of Hela Province is in the heart of Huli territory which in itself coincided with historical sentiments that told anecdotes as the centre for trade and communal gatherings for all Hela’s sons. Second son was Opena Hela. He is an ancestor to people of Upper Wage, Lower Wage, and Margarima in Hela Province whilst modern PNG boundary separations have secluded Kandep, Laigap, Ipili, Payale and Porgera and others into Enga province. Forefather, Hela blessed his second son with mineral, precisely “sweet/shiny salts” known locally as “Herre Ipi” and given a black pig known as “Noko mindi”. Hela sent his spawn towards the blue mountains of Mt. Tundaka to surmount and proliferate. Opena and Noko’mindi’s trail footprints are seen cemented nowadays on rocks, and mystical stone walkway constructions for their journey are perceptible in the mountains between Mt. Tundaka and Kumbapara (Porgera).

So to say, salt is rare trading commodity in the old days in the highlands, which can be acknowledged when interpreted as mineral (gold rush) in Porgera today. However, some say, Noko Mindi was the blessing which literally happens to be Gold mineral in Porgera nowadays. Opena Hela is illustrious with its edifice of pitpit thatched houses (known as kambeánda) in its lands; he can craft and grip the strident spears (ngiawe ngiawe yandare yi) effortlessly and with efficiency. Hela Opena dresses the long and squally frontal waistline kilts (pau yapa tambale pi) delicately hewed from casings of special trees in the forest.

Hela’s third son was Tukupa Hela or Tukuyawini and he is ancestor to people in Hides, Komo, Beneria, Homa, Pawa and Mt. Bosavi. Before Hela send his son into the greeneries of mountains of Mt. Gigira and Mt. Haliago, he is sanctified with shiny Oils (Mbakua) which can be related as oil and hydrocarbon discovered in Tukuyawini territory nowadays. Tukuyawini can build Huge Houses (known as Lapaánda) which can be big enough to house whole tribe.

Before he sent him off, Tukuyawini was gifted with orange pig (Noko Para Tambuka) to conquer the territories, live and multiply. Hence, before the farewells Tukuyawini was told that beneath the Tukuyawini’s Mt. Gigira burns a fire (Laitepo) which when sparked, its flames will illuminate territories of all his sons (now Hela Province) and the lands afar. And went on to warn that “there will be time when a stranger who looks different you and your brothers with orange legs and yellow hairs whacking at your ingress asking for a kindle of fire from you, so allow him to lid the fire on his own ignitable material and evade giving away that ever glowing shaft (Laitepo) from our own cinders itself. He further went on to say that Tukuwini’s glowing shaft (Gigira Laitepo) will one day roast or cook a pig (Noko Mindi) in Kumbapara in Hela Opena territory. So to speak, mythical Mt. Gigira Laitepo happens to be “Gas & oil “which unknown white man have tactically played by letting our brothers into signing agreements in Goroka in 1991 for Hides Gas Field that lid up Porgera (Kumbapara) to smelt its Gold (Black Pig) in Enga Province. Further, Kokopo UBSA signing have led us to forsake our forefathers warning against giving fire-shaft (Laitepo) from ashes and let our gas to be piped to Papa-Lealea in NCD.

That’s the reason nature has hit the LNG establishments in Komo and Hides and whole Hela with 7.5 MHz of earthquake recently. I guise, devils were also led out from its secluded caves to bewilder Hela men into fighting and killing each other as well for that matter. Hela’s fourth son is Tuna who is locally nicknamed as Mi’rila. Forefather Hela gave a gift of white Pig (known locally as “Nogo para Pakapua”) and sent his last but adored son towards Mt. Mullar Ranges to conquer and multiply. He told him to guard the tributaries and banks of Aweya and Egobia rivers. Local mythology and history vaguely told that Hela Tuna went away with their last sister known as “Pali Sina” whose ancestors are living under the shades of Mt. Ki and Kopia, Mt. Angari, Mt. Kaloma, and Mt. Poro and Piangale. But, we generally categorize them as “Mi’rilas” as they are renowned by their uniqueness of wearing cassowary or feather plumps on their back (Malungu mayaki pulene) with special red leaves on their head (tumbiyu tangi tolene); can handle bows and arrows with ease and precision (tanda kekeno yulene); and can wear swine canines on their nostrils (noko nekaya nguria tolene).

Their hunting skills are so terrific just as terrifying as their Strickland River itself. He is well-known for building houses with local palms, known as “Tawaánda”. Beneath the splendor of those mountains, lies tranquilising historical wonders, which the world is yet to learn. Hela told them to live in harmony with the environment. Hela Tuna myths have foretold that whenever Mt. Mullar range is exploited and made known to the world about its splendor, their forefather promised to shed its last vacillating tears as agitating as Tagali and Strickland Rivers themselves. Nowadays, Tuna, Kore, Pokaya and Tinali people are living peacefully in Lake Kopiago Basin LLG, and neighboring Awi Lagayu and Pori partly share the same culture of Hela Tuna. So, we can deduce here that Hela Huli was not given any pig as gift but given a gift of leadership. Hela Opena was given a gift of rare salt and black pig which appears to be gold dug out from black mountains in Kumbapara (Porgera) today.

Tukuyawini was given Orange Pig with shiny oil, which confirms to be the colour of the oil and hydro-carbon discovered in Hides, Komo, Mananda and Kutubu today. And we are yet to learn what that white pig Mi’rila had taken in the near.

Slaughter of Payapaya

It all happened within the territories of HULUGUMAYA where it is strategically placed as foreground and central place of all Hela sons. In those days, many gathering houses were built by Hulugumaya upholding his father’s advice for other sons to gather and discuss about trade into other parts of Hela sons’ territory or beyond and share knowledge and wisdoms of the land. Mythically, two common houses of gathering were known to be in existence to date are at Pepenate which is in Dauli in Hulia LLG, and the other was at Kelote which is in Pureni, South Koroba LLG. The huts or houses in those two locations were ancestrally secret and out of bound areas for women folk, and the men who dwell in them were all wise folks, who have knowledge of all Hela land. The myths we are hearing today are all told and kept in there and shared for common good. From them and others alike pours the wisdom to nurture, conquer and multiply in the land of Hela in those days.

Someone can enlighten Hela, with who actually is Payapaya the Goodman or where he came from, but Hela myths have been told and retold that Payapaya was killed and slaughtered by Hela sons and his red blood was shed at Pepenate. We called “tikili harei” or “red soil” Igini (son) to Late Anderson Agiru and his tribesmen because that time Payapaya’s blood made their land in Pepenate to be red in colour. Many people in Hela today relates the story of killing of an innocent or good man, Payapaya to the crucifixion of “Jesus Christ” told in saintly Bible. Like sharing pig meats, all communal or gathering houses in Huli territory were to share Payapaya’s meat. There is a common trading place known as Iriari (Iriari can be translated as “give take”) and that’s where Payapaya’s flesh were butchered and shared according to gathering houses in Huli territory. Thus, Kelote house was given Payapaya’s “head” and parts of ribs, whilst other parts were taken by other houses.

Sharing of Payapaya’s edibles in Kelote House

There were five (5) Kelote house occupants and Payapaya’s head and ribs were shared accordingly among themselves in the night.

• First man was given “tongue”. In Huli, tongue is known as “Hege”. The mythical Payapaya’s tongue can be related as “voice” because we use tongue to speak voices. The man who ate Hege was named Aya Hegeni and he was blessed with tongue to speak.

• Second man was the one who was sent out to shout for only one occupant not in the house to come. He got left-overs! In Huli “shout” is “Gá” and that’s when Tali Gayalu got his tribal name.

• Third person who was not in the house heard Tali Gayalu’s shout and travelled in the dark with torch and was given “ears” to eat. Hale in Huli can mean “torch” and also mean “ear”. So this third person was named Haleali and gave birth to Haleali (or Hali Halene) tribe.

• Fourth person was given ribs and he had to splinter the rip bones to eat the meat. In Huli, rips are known as “Kopene” and that’s where Tali Kopiya (or Tali Kopua) got its tribal name. (In Huli we say, “Kopiya ibu kopene kope pini”)

• Last man who was sharing the meat greedily had half of the share. In Huli Takane is “half” and that’s were Takapua got its tribal name.

Hela leader is prophesied

In order to reach the territories of Hela Opena and speak in Hela Opena Kambe’anda; to go to Mi’rila Tawa’anda, to go to Tukuyawini Lapa’anda and speak for its underlying “laitepo” and shiny oils, and to build communal Hulugumaya Tangianda for meeting, gathering and for trade, a leader was prophesied and blessed mythically to be a vocal who can speak without fear and stand tall for all
Hela descendants in all circumstances.

It was common myth among Hela folks that a rising star to lead Hela will be the one who has ancestors in Tukuyawini territory, and who had migrated to Mi’rila land. Before becoming a leader, that prophesied man will be white in colour and be educated and nurtured in Kelote House in Huluguya territory. And he will be the one to set foot in the valleys or swamps beneath Mt. Tundaka with White Pig (Nogo Para Pakapua) alongside him as gift on his first visit as a leader of whole Hela territory.

Hulugumaya who is given task of establishing communal grounds and houses was also tasked with leadership. Hulugumaya was not given any pigs or anything of value but was given Hela’s own conquered land and was blessed with the role of leadership. Thus, that leadership has to come out from Hulugumaya’s communal houses A predecessor, also from Hulugumaya territory was prophesied to build big communal house, clear path ways and bridges and prepare for his successor to rule with might and aggressive power. It’s like Joshua and Moses or John Baptist and Jesus in Biblical times!

Fulfillment of Hela leader is prophesy

So who is or was this predecessor to prepare the pathways and build houses? And who is this prophesied white Hela descendent travelled all the way from Tukuyawini into Tuna lands and taught wisdom at Kelote as successor? Who is this man blessed with many tongues and yard stick of leadership to set foot on Mt. Tundaka with his Nogo Para Pakabua (white pig)? Who is this man to turn modern democratic voting system into fulfilling Hela Prophecy miraculously?

It is obvious today that a descendant of Hulugumaya and whose fathers have withheld Pepenate, the man on whose land sheds Payapaya’s blood, Late Anderson Agiru was destined to prepare the paths by laying down plans and dreams, brought LNG project and brought about separate Hela Province. Also Agiru 1, 2 and 3 building foundations were laid and nearly about to completely erect Hela’s huge communal house when he died. And before he died, he blessed his successor who was present on his side at his dying bed to lead leader. Yes, the yardstick of leadership was given to the prophesied successor. In all facets of Hela prophesies and myths, Hon. Philip Aya Undialu befits all stories told and retold as successor. You must learn that Aya’aya and Wara’wara generations are Tukuyawini generations. Aya Hekeni is brother of Aya homani, Yakara Yae, Aya Pakupa, Wara Alia, Wara Wapila, Wara Yukale. His ancestral father went and lived in Tuna in search of cuscus, that’s why his tribe is called “Tia Igini” because cuscus or Tia is of Hela Tuna tribe. If you have heard old women chanting, Ayai Peyai Nakai Tia Igini, these Ayai Beyai Nakai do not relate to any land, rivers or women folk in Pureni (kelote). Those names were brought from Hela Tuna. Also relate Philip Undialu’s ancestor, Aya Hegeni was blessed and destined Hela leadership when he was given Payapaya’s “tongue” to eat. Philip Undialu is a last son of an ECPNG Church pastor Aya Undialu. He was brought up and educated while in Pureni (kelote) in Hulugumaya territory.

Hela generations have passed on wishing to see this man, but fortunately the fulfillment is seen and to be seen by our generation.

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