Chapter 1: A First Ancestor

It all started in a village called Kumunim, in the land northwest of Wautogig. Two brothers from Kumunim quarreled over an eagle’s egg called kumunib yuhurɨb, kumun being the Buki (Arapesh) word for ‘eagle’ and yuhurɨb meaning ‘an egg’.1

One of the brothers was the first to see an eagle’s nest in a tree. The other brother saw the nest later and climbed the tree and collected the egg. The brother who saw it first rebuked his brother and drove him out of the village. The runaway brother collected some banana suckers and went east. His aim was to settle wherever the land was good. He would know this because the bananas he planted would sprout shoots. He tried several spots, but the banana did not sprout. When he came to Dogur land, he turned his back to the sea and looked inland to the south. He saw the Kotai mountains that resembled his own Kumunim mountains and made his way inland. He tracked past what is now the new Kotai village at Nidumim and climbed Worikaɲ mountain. That ancestor was Wacerogu.2 The other brother's name is not known. When Wacerogu reached the top, he decided to camp. He dug a hole and planted the banana tree. On the next day, he noticed the banana had sprouted. He decided the land was rich and friendly enough for him to settle. So he settled there on the mountain top.

The place where he settled is not Wautogig village. It is generally known as Kotai land, already inhabited by several Arapesh nations. It is not known if the runaway went with a woman or if he went alone. What is known is that he did marry and settled on the land known as Yomunihi, a mountain ridge some distance away.

The people of Yomunihi are known as Yomunihim. They are quite distinct from other nations of Kotai. For example, the Hohwiguim people are different from the Yomunihim.3 From the runaway man, two brothers were born. They are Suonu and Yəhələgɨr. There are disagreements about these two boys. All narrators agree the two are direct descendants of the runaway man. Narrators will disagree about who was the elder. Some say Suonu, others will say Yəhələgɨr. I say Yəhələgɨr was the elder brother.4

This is a test paragraph.5 Here is a pronunciation of today's date.6


1 Some say that what they fought over was not an eagle’s egg. Rather, they believe it was maɲinib ihurɨb, a pigeon’s egg.

2 Discussion of whether the name is Wacenogu or Wacerogu. Wacerogu is the name they use elsewhere, "long hap", presumably in Kotai. Listen.

3 Jacob Sonin talks about the Kotai “nations” or “tribes” and the lands they occupied. He talks about the Yomunihim, Hohwiguim (from Hohwigu), Worɨbebɨs (from Totokwim), Urahim, Warepim, Kuɲadokum (from Yanehi, who came to settle with the Hohwiguim). He agrees that Yomunihi is where the first man from Kumunim settled. Listen. Jacob explains that the Kuɲaduwokum have a story similar to that of the Coduokum discussed in Chapter 10. Listen.

4 Jacob Sonin believes that Suonu was the elder brother and Yəhələgɨr was the younger brother. Listen.

5 This is a test message. Listen.

6 Additional test content, "I am really excited to start law school in August." Listen.

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