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A Novel Against Racism  
By Arnold Perey

Glossary of Names, Places, Words  

Note: Place names and people’s names have been changed or rearranged to protect the privacy of persons living in Home Valley, Papua New Guinea. Scholars who need to know these more exactly can contact me and can see Oksapmin Society and World View1. Meanwhile the culture area Gwe lives in can be found on the map: it is Oksapmin (see  Introduction).   

Pronunciation: In general pronounce all Mengti and Tok Pisin words as you would if they were Spanish or Italian. Note, however, that the i sound may either sound like "ee" as in "peel" or the English short i as in "kitten." 

To make pronunciation easier I used English spelling for several Mengti words that I used often, such as Divanna and Bettiana, and some other words like wesso-lee (thank you).   

Agbenni Gwe’s uncle. Famous hunter and marksman. Older brother of Yug-wek-kek and Bettiana.  

Alan (Alan Hull) Anthropology student, son of Arthur and Marion Hull, friend of Gwe.  

Awam The Mengti word meaning sacred. Awam corresponds to the Hebrew kadosh, to the Melanesian mana, and the Native American wakan. The word taboo or tapu in English and Polynesian is also closely equivalent to awam.  

Bettiana Mother of Gwe, born in Mindanna. Wife of Itulieng, sister of Yug-wek-kek, Agbenni, and Dara.  

Bian Father of a small girl, a generous child. He is a fearful man whose constant worry over not being able to grow sufficient food to nourish his child is admirable but also goes too far and hurts him.  

Dara The older Dara is the surviving sister of Gwe’s mother. She and her battle-scarred husband, an ill-natured man, moved into Gwe’s family house because of the poverty of their land in Mindanna. The younger Dara is a teenage cousin of Gwe and Leah-cooh.  

Divanna A part of Home Valley where numerous members of Gwe’s clan and their associated friends and extended families live. About 200-300 people.   

Fovot Young friend of Gwe, son of the widow Yetwes. He was born outside of Divanna when his mother married a man of Sanaptianap: his father. Leef is his brother.  

Good-duk One of several tiny springs in high Divanna where people close to Gwe draw drinking water. Good-duk is central in Gwe’s neighborhood.  

Fred Brutelle Patrol Officer (or Kiap), born in Australia. He was the officer who ran the Patrol Post in Oksapmin when Alan lived with the Mengti people.  

Gwe Young man of the Nkuma Clan. Son of Itulieng and Bettiana, nephew of Yug-wek-kek. The name Gwe also means seed or egg in Mengti.   

High Divanna is where Gwe’s neighborhood is located. It is an upper altitude part of Divanna, bordering on Wowla, beside a tributary to Home River. About 30 people.  

Home Valley The large valley where Gwe lives. It contains Wowla, Divanna, Mindanna, and other closely-related communities. About 800 people. Home Valley is within the Mengti-speaking system of valleys  

Itulieng (or Itul)   Gwe’s father; expert arrow carver and marksman. Religious thinker. Husband of Bettiana, father of Leah-cooh (his teenage daughter), Ebot, a young boy, and Bobot, a younger boy.  

Kiap Patrol Officer  

Killik Shaman and herbal doctor of Divanna. A flatterer of Yug-wek-kek but a friend of Itulieng.  

Lamat Young man from outside of Divanna. Husband of Lara, son-in-law of Yug-wek-kek. Known as strongest man in the community and possibly the fastest. Married into Divanna and allowed only the least fertile land to farm. Husband of Lara.  

Lara  Wife of Lamat, daughter of Yug-wek-kek. Perhaps the most suffering woman in Divanna.  

Leah-cooh  Younger sister of Gwe, in love with Leef. She is a practical jokester.  

Leef  Mischievous friend of Gwe, wants to marry Leah-cooh. Not given to working. Older brother of Fovot. Like his brother,he was born outside Divanna but takes it jauntily, not as an affront.   

Mindanna Mindanna shares a border with Divanna. These people are traditional allies whom the Divanna people marry. Many of Gwe’s female relatives are from this community. A high rocky place, Mindanna is also where the Rainmakers of Mengti live.  

Mengti (1) The name given in this novel to the Oksapmin language spoken by the people of Home Valley and their neighboring valleys. Mengti means the speech of people and the song of birds in the Mengti language.   

Mengti (2) The name given in this novel to Oksapmin, the system of valleys in which Gwe lives. At the time the novel is set in, there were about 4000 people living in these easternmost valleys of the Mountain Ok area. The Oksapmin valleys occupy some 200 square miles circled by geographical barriers (a cliff, steep declines, frigid mountains, a chasm-like river valley) that once separated them effectively from the neighboring language areas.  

Mountain Ok The Mountain Ok: perhaps 30,000 people living in the mountains at the center of Papua New Guinea between Mt. Juliana in the west and the Strickland Gorge in the east. Home Valley is at the extreme east of this area.  (Reference: Barry Craig and David Hyndman, editors, Children of Afek: Tradition and Change among the Mountain-Ok of Central New Guinea, University of Sydney: 1990.) 

Namgas Wife of Yug-wek-kek. Born in Mindanna, she moved to Divanna upon marriage. Disappointed in love, her serious dignity has made her respected among the Divanna women.   

Neo Melanesian See Tok Pisin.  

Pidgin English See Tok Pisin.  

Taro Old staple food crop in this area (Colocasia) related to arrow-root plant of N. America. Taro has underground a large, delicious, starchy vegetable; above-ground, wide triangular edible leaves growing on long stems. On the Chinese menu taro is sometimes called yam. In Jamaica (the Caribbean) taro is called dasheen.  

Myana Valley adjacent to Home Valley, belonging to Mengti language area. Fovot has maternal relatives in Myana and the Patrol Post is located there.  

Tok Pisin Formerly called Pidgin English and now also called Neo Melanesian. At the time this novel takes place in, it was unknown to nearly all Mengti speakers but learned by Gwe from police and interpreters at the Oksapmin Patrol Post. Used by persons of diverse New Guinean languages to communicate amongst one another. Newspapers and national media are in Tok Pisin. The Bible is in Tok Pisin, Parliament is conducted in Tok Pisin. Beginning as a trade language it developed largely from a modified English vocabulary and a Melanesian-based grammar. To pronounce Tok Pisin words use the Italian or Spanish pronunciation of consonants and vowels. For example, wara (English: water) has ah sounds and a rolled r. In Home Valley the letter l is pronounced the same as r.  

Water Child Name of Rainmaker of Mengti. Lives in Mindanna.  

Willow Adopted daughter of Garavok and the object of Gwe’s most fervent love interest. Her biological parents are unknown.  

Wogeo Lieutenant Wogeo, born in mountains which are 5 days’ walk from Gwe. One of the few people in his area to learn white people’s ways as a child.  (See chapter 2.) 

Wowla Wowla shares a border with Divanna. They are traditional enemies whom the Divanna people marry.  

Xotil (or Old Xotil) An elderly relative of Gwe known for his courage in battle as a young man.  

Yug-wek-kek (or Yugwek) Youngest brother of Bettiana, Agbenni and Dara. Richest man in Home Valley. Owner of large quantity of the best land. Itulieng’s brother-in-law. The only man with three wives. His third is named Yibunnlis.  

Yuwan The Goddess Creatrix of Mengti. Yuwan is the Mengti form of Afek, the preeminent deity who gave birth to the different Mountain Ok peoples, each in the locality where they now reside. Like the highest god in animist Africa, she is not seen as active in human affairs (see The Children of Afek).  

1Arnold Perey’s doctoral dissertation, Oksapmin Society and World View, Columbia University, 1973. See website of Bell + Howell Information and Learning (formerly University Microfilms, Inc.). 

See: Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology
About Arnold Perey
Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Aesthetic Realism Online Library
Aesthetic Realism Consultations
The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method
What People Say: Links to Aesthetic Realism Resources
John Singer Sargent's Madame X, an Aesthetic Realism Discussion
Friends of Aesthetic Realism--Countering the Lies

Anti-Racism Resources:

See articles by writers whom I esteem. Writing by Ellen Reiss, the Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, includes her "Difference and Sameness: The Human Question" and "Racism Can End."

Nancy Huntting is represented by her "On Racism & How to End It".

See Capt. Allan Michael's "It Is In Contempt That the Root of Racism Lies" and Alice Bernstein's book, Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism.

Articles by New York teachers who demonstrate how the standard curriculum, K-12, can be used to encourage kindness include: "Prejudice Changes to Respect" and "Students Learn, Prejudice Is Defeated!"

image of book cover

Gwe Is Born   
The Attack  
Five Years Later
Alan Comes to New Guinea  
Equality & Difference 
A Story of Famine

You can order this book directly from Waverly Place Press, or from Google Books or

 "Nothing human is alien to me." Terence 


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Copyright © 2004-2017 by Arnold Perey