1001 Papua New-Guinean nights

(cited by Wantok issue # & by p. # in Masalai translation)

issue -- transl.

Papua (tribe, province)


50 -- p. 1

Originally, women were all in heaven, while men were on earth; until the women descended via rope.

(Bon) Women in heaven, men on earth. (South America) The first women descended from heaven to earth via a rope.

63 -- p. 8

(Madang) Dew is tears from Star's weeping.

"Thy dew is a dew of lights." = punctiliform lights [in Qabbalah]

66 -- p. 10

The sun bathed in bird-bath in crotch of ton-tree.

(Maori) Sun batheth in water-of-life of Tane. (Chinese) According to the S^an-hai Jin, "The suns bathe in the hot waters ... and rest on ... a mulberry tree" (ChM2/2)

69 -- p. 12

(Warapu, west Sepik) Man slept in pond at the will of his life-token fire-making black hound.

(Canada) Shamans slept winter in frozen pond. (Chinese alchemy) fire originateth in water.

75a -- p. 16

Captive turtle, in order to escape, climbed a coconut tree, and from that vantage shot one of the moon's eyen with a multi-pronged spear.

(Ibo) Turtle in tree. (Maya, in codex) turtle atop pillar.

80 -- p. 19

(Kerema, Gulf) For the sake of a mangrove-crab, "the [mangrove] fruit had heard the insects talking about their dreams of fire coming to burn the rat."

(Maori) insect of primordial dawn-fire

82 -- p. 20

(Tarawai I. of the Boiken, east Sepik) The man Laho climbed, upside-down, a coconut tree to fetch nuts, at the behest of his wife, who then killed him.

(South America) Man climbed, upside-down, a fruit-tree to fetch fruits, at the behest of his wife, who then killed him.

100 -- p. 32

(Enga) Chipped stone (flint?) is found by feeding to ancestors the aroma of cooking malga-marsupial.

Gandha-rva-s as "aroma-eaters"

104 -- p. 34

(Kewa, southern highlands) The woman Paiyali lamented her teat, having been struck due to her brother Kuta.

(Eskimo) Sister cut off her own teat to offer to her brother.

115 -- p. 41

(Enga) Sleeping women were carried off within a bamboo tube by the man Samb.

(North America) The sleeping ghosts of the dead were carried off within a container by Coyote.

124 -- p. 48

(Meni, southern highlands) Pumpkin is to rejuvenate the aged.

'Pumpkinification' (of emperor Claudius) = apotheosis (PC)

151 -- p. 65

(east Sepik) The karua-fish, upon being eaten, brought about the first sleep among humans.

The fish (Matsya)-god praevailed during the sleep of Brahma (MA). (Tillamook) half-eaten fish revived while its captor slept (Th&Wh)

152 -- p. 66

(Madang) Younger brother's wife always rode him, on his shoulders.

The wife of Aristoteles rode him, on his back.

153 -- p. 66

(Hagen [= Mul "sprout" -- p. 96], western highlands) 2 co-wives, the black & the red: hunting frogs,

KM-t ("black") & DSR-t ("red") were lower & upper Aiguptos. [In Hellenic,] Phrune "frog" was,

p. 67

"Their mouths were wide open", "The husband ... put his two hands into the mouths of the two ... women, then he died".

on account of its wide mouth, a commonplace name for a whore.

172 -- p. 82

(Hamtai, Morobe) Snake ate man's tree-fruit, which was forbidden to be eaten in a woman's praesence,

Snake suggested eating of tree-fruit, which had been forbidden to be eaten (B-r>s^yt 3:1-5),


but gave to him, in compensation, as secondary wife

to the woman H.awwah who thus became secondary wife (the primary wife being Lilit) to the man >adam.


an invisible woman.

Invisible h.uriyyah ("freedom") women become men's wives after the men's death [according to >islam].

173 -- p. 83

(Enga) Women unsuccessfully hid, within hollow log, from man who desired them as wives.

(North America) Coyote's mother-in-law unsuccessfully hid, within hollow log, from him when he desired sexual intercourse with her.

174 -- p. 83

(Wiru, southern highlands) Having been transported across a river by a duck,

Having been transported across the sea to Penelope ("duck"),

p. 84

Yoroka was informed that an old man was conspiring with that old man's wife to murder him;

Odusseus was informed of the suitors' conspiracy to murder him;


with that informant's assistance he succeeded in slaying the old man (together with the old man's wife?).

with that informant's assistance he succeeded in slaying the suitors together with their confoederates the maid-servants (GM 171.i).


Therefore hounds no longer understand human language.

He had also encountered (GM 171.d) his pet hound Argos.

175 -- p. 84

(Abelam, east Sepik) Cassowary magically opened underwater trail for breadfruit-picking woman.

(Kemetian) Magician magically opened underwater trail for net-wearing women.


That woman's husband found there (underwater) skins of snake-people.

Britomartis, who invented (GM 89.a) hunting-nets, was amorously pursued (GM 89.b) by Minos, who engendered (GM 89.c) serpents.

176 -- p. 85

(mountain Arapes^, east Sepik) Atop a betel-tree at YAuBuL, the language of the younger brother Lakito was changed, when a maliniti-insect bit his tongue.

Atop the tower at BABeL, the language of the builders was changed (B-r>s^yt 11:9).

178 -- p. 86

(Finungwa, Morobe) Food-plants originated from ogre whose hand had been trapped.

(Indonesia) Food-plants originated from woman Hainulele, whose arms had been amputated.

182 -- p. 89

(Wahgi, western highlands) "If you want to get married, then go make a fire at the base of this mountain [Koimbol] ... Then you'll be able to find women who will come to you to marry."

[In an episode by Carlos Castan~eda,] he lit an outdoor bonfire in the wilderness so as to attract the Moth-deity (cf. [Aztec] goddess Itz-papalotl, who came for the men Mimic^ & Xiuh-nel).

183 -- p. 89

(Tumleo I,, west Sepik) The 2 boys Kairoro & Lesautum were sons, by urine, of a female snake.

Otos & Ephialtes, twin-brethren, were sons, by a sea-wave, of (CDCM, s.v. "Iphimedia") goddess Gaia, who was a serpent (P).


This mother was "burned" to ashes.

These twins had as their human stepfather the king (GM 37.a) of Asopia, on the Asopos which was "burned" (GM 66.b) to coal.

184 -- p. 90

(Abelam, east Sepik) Whilst man picked breadfruit for an ogre,

Atlas picked apples for Heraklees,


the ogre tonsured himself.

who was to "put a pad on his head." (GM 133.e)

186 -- p. 91

(Yawiyufa, eastern highlands) By murdering a cave-dwelling boy,

(Homeric Hymn to Hermes) By animals stealing into a cave (GM 17.a),


the boy Pakure offended his elder brother Hune.

the boy Hermes offended (GM 17.c) his elder brother Apollon.

192 -- p. 96

(Mul [= Hagen], western highlands) NINing planted tree at

NINweh of >as^s^ur; NINIGo i. in Pacific; [S^into] prince NINIGi


AROwa on the r. NeBiLyeR

r. ARO in BoLivaR state, Venezuela

194 -- p. 98

(Boiken, east Sepik) Mushrooms were ornaments of Miaka the spearman, who became alkali-lime (for betel), and who

Mushroom were shields for spearmen of Phaethon (AD 1:16 -- LSFN, p. 105), of asparagus, [Hellenic] aspharagos <


cast into a pond the teats of a [menstruating, p. 97] woman.

*-SBHARago- : [Skt.] SauBHARi, contemplator of sexual affairs in the river (BhP 9:6:39).

195 -- p. 98

(Boiken, east Sepik) The alternative to the path to "where the sea ... swirled" was

The alternative sea-route to the whirlpool of Kharubdis was


the path to "a tree's shadow."

that to the fig-tree. (GM 170.v)

196 -- p. 99

(west New-Britain) Log-man came to his brother "and spoke to him in a dream."

[Stoic] doctrine concerning the dreams by plants

202 -- p. 102

(Madang) "the marsupial ... found two young women who were fishing inside the water. .... The marsupial ... stole the first woman's "grass" skirt ... The women came out of the water and ran naked after the marsupial."

Acyuta found women bathing in a river, and stole their skirts; so that they came to him naked (SG).

212 -- p. 109

(Sawos, east Sepik) Because he had gossipped about scandalous sexual behavior among humans, the mouth of Koluwi ("hound") was sewn shut.

(Norse) ditto, as for Loki

215 -- p. 110

(Faiwol, western) Rolling head of mother is pursued

(North America) rolling head

218 -- p. 113

(Hamtai, Morobe) Goddess made a fire on four sides.

(Vaidik) 4 fire-altars on the 4 sides of residence of brahmin


The native people she pulled out from the tree hole.

(Mixtec) the first people emerged from tree

219 -- p. 114

(Madang) Sorcery originated from huge 2-headed lizard.

(Maori) lizard-sorcery

222 -- p. 116

(Mendi, southern highlands) "She worked at turning herself into something else, but the boy still held her tightly."

Goddess Thetis was transforming herself into successive animals, but Peleus held her tightly (GM 81.k).

223 -- p. 116

(Enga) When grasped by a god, "The woman turned into a tree".

In order to escape the god Apollon, the heroine Daphne became a laurel-tree (GM 21.k).

230 -- p. 121

(Madang) Men, women, and children, all divested of their clothing, climbed a fig-tree in order to eat its figs.

>adam & H.awwah went nude until they put on fig-leaves.

236 -- p. 126

(Mendi, southern highlands) The man Repes had no anus nor urethra, and so could not defaecate nor urinate, until these were opened bt his kinsman Muripumb.

(common South American Indian myth)

238 -- p. 127

(Kombio, east Sepik) A father was killed by a wild swine, whose grove was afterwards cut down.

Karmanor was killed by (GM 136.b) a wild swine at the place of Tmolos, owner of a canebrake (GM 83.g).

241 -- p. 129

(Baining?, east New-Britain?) The woman Korikuku married (her hair having been well-tied by her father);

At the marriage-feast of woman Di[w]a, (set for her father [W]ei[h]oneus,)


her husband Tomaiang

her groom [W]iksion


"went to sit down. But no, he fell through a hole" into a pitfall (after he had been followed by his bride's brother the blue-tailed lizard, p. 128).

"laid a pitfall ... into which the unsuspecting" [W]ei[h]oneus fell (GM 63.a).

244 -- p. 131

(Boiken, east Sepik) Two women offered themselves to a man by seeking to bathe with him.

Troian brides (= Akidousa, GM 137.t), while bathing, used to offer themselves to Skamandros (GM 137.3).

245 -- p. 132

(Wiru, southern highlands) Woman tore down, at night, "a long ladder up to the sky", which her husband had built.

Accounted for by Laomedon's daughter, Apollon had built for him a structure which afterwards was climbed (CDCM, s.v. "Hesione").

255 -- p. 137

(Golin, Simbu) Amil "looked at the forest and the trees turned blue, all the clouds turned blue too."

In the travels of Gesar, all of each landscape was monochome.

257-8 -- p. 139

(Waskia or Takia, Madang) Giant eagle used to catch and eat people.

(southwest USA) ditto, of giant bird Tuku

p. 140

The 3 boys (named Kinim, Wiwil, and Rukas) who killed the giant eagle are beneath the sea.

(northwest coast USA) giant sea-eagle

260 -- p. p. 141

(Enga) Boy beame mosquito and in that form was swallowed by woman:

(Irish) cf. woman E`tain, by her becoming a purple fly

p. 142

thus he became gestated and re-incarnated.

and thus being re-incarnated

261 -- p. 142

(Madang) Woman met and married the man DiGiNDaGaN.

Dago^n ([Ugaritic] DGN)

264 -- p. 144

(Manam, Madang) Hound, swimming, brought from island first fire thereafter used by humans.

(North America) ditto

265-7 -- p. 144

(Adzera, Madang) Man climbed limbum-palm tree into moon in order to fetch cockatoo-feathers.

(Oregon territory) Man, naked, climbed tree into heaven in order to fetch eagle-feathers (NM).

p. 145

There on the moon were star-people,

(Stoic) The dead "join the stars" (LSFN, p. 85) as (Ploutarkhos: De Fac. 943) noos (mind), after having left the psukhe (soul) on the moon.


who danced at night.

(North America) In their world, the dead dance at night.


These were all one-legged whilst they danced.

A-ja-Eka-pad ("Uncreated One-foot")

268 -- p. 146

(Mt. Mairua [Mt. Marienberg) in Madang) Signal-drum, containing male giant's head, is beaten in order to summon rain.

(South Africa) Ritual drum, containing man's head, is beaten in order to summon rain.


The sea originated from water, with fishes (white Memel, black Dui), issuing out of same drum.

(South America) The sea originated from water, with fishes, issuing out of tree when chopped down.


GM = Robert Graves: The Greek Myths. 1955.

CDCM = Pierre Grimal: A Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology. 1986.

AD = Loukianos: Alethe Diegemata.

LSFN = MNEMOSYNE, Suppl. 179. Georgiadou & Larmour: Lucian's Science Fiction Novel. Brill, Leiden, 1998.

ChM2/2 = http://au.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_781534864_2/Chinese_Mythology.html

PC = Seneca: Apocolocyntosis. http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Pumpkinification.html

MA = www.webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_matsya.html

Th&Wh = http://www.ess.washington.edu/SEIS/PNSN/HIST_CAT/STORIES/legend.html

P = http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~rrelke/pythia.htm

BhP = Bhagavata Puran.a http://www.vedabase.net/sb/9/6/en1

SG = http://krsnabook.com/ch22.html

NM = MYTHOLOGIQUES, Vol. 4. Claude Levi-Strauss: The Naked Man. Translated by John Weightman & Doreen Weightman. 1981.

Thomas H Slone (tr.): One Thousand One Papua New Guinean Nights. Masalai Pr, Oakland, 2001.