July 17, 2008

Meaning of Tobian tatoo? Question from Mokodong Bismarck

Hi my name is mokodong bismarck daughter of Maria and Felix...I writing to u to ask if you or any tobian knows the meaning of our tobian tatoo? It come's to my sense's that all this event going on back in Palau the elder draw a tattoo on the younger when they go out and dance the tobian dance and showing the tatto that that they have on their body? Does the dance show the true meaning of our ancestor's tattoo, or is it just something that tell everybody that our ancestors were warriors of something important? People been asking what does our tattoo stands for? I can't respond to their question cause i don't know what it really means to me as a tobian girl? So if u know what it means please do tell me or post it on FOTI's blog so all tobian can answer my question. Cause i think everybody from tobi should know what it means? And why do they have to do it?

well than that's all im asking and i'll be more appreciate if i know what it means so as the young generations too. thank you and hope for the best...god bless:)


July 15, 2008

Helen Reef and the Future

Helen Reef Resources Management Project
Huan Hosei: August 19, 2003 2:04 PM

Hi Sharon, Prof. P W. Black, et al,
Sharon views are interesting as she alludes to money-making schemes. I suggest that FOTI sets up a new post-it forum on Helen Reef Resources Management Project (HRRMP). Our Helen Reef project is at its transitional period now where we (Tobians) should start thinking of sustainable financing means to support our marine resources management efforts. In short, keep in mind that we manage or conserve our marine resources today for our future generations. I believe we have stewardship obligations to ensure that our future generations enjoy the same kind of marine resources we enjoy and appreciate today.
I welcome any thoughts on sustainable revenue generating mechanisms that are viable whether on Hatohobei or Hotsarihie.

Ira bana werimihir,

How do you spell?


Sharon Patris included the following in a an email message she sent me a while ago:

"A classmate once asked a simple translation for some simple phrase. I can't remember the phrase, but I do remember not knowing the RIGHT spelling of the phrase (if there's such a thing as the right spelling). It brought up a great point about the Tobian language. Most of the younger generation know the language, but have a hard time spelling it out. From my understanding, there is no standard spelling, at least not like the English language where you learn to speak, read and write it. It's especially sad for me to not know how to spell it right so that when others read it, they would understand what I'm saying. Do you have any input on that?"

And then a couple of days ago Wayne Cruthirds a former Peace Corps in Eang said the following in his email to me:
"I've looked over the FOTI website and am amazed that so much has been done in studies of the __haparifarue__. (As you can see I'm having problems with the spelling!".

Does anyone know if there is a CORRECT way to spell the Tobian Language? I never know what to do myself. For example there is that very hard "h" in words like the one for "night" or "evening." The Germans used to use an "x" for that sound. I used to use a 'gh' or even a 'k.' But now most people just write it 'Fuhaf.' How about the word for "cold?" How should it be spelled? And what about those vowels that sound like the English word "you?" or the ones that sound like the English words "ow?" and "owe?"

What are your thoughts about how to spell the language of Tobi/Eang etc?

Tobi School

Here are two messages about Tobi school that just came in. The first is from Huan Hosei who said:
"I am trying to keep up thesis proposal deadline and final submission date. My research project is on Tobi Elementary School ....now the status is hanging in the air ...what can be done about it .. is what am try to achieve...in other words ...retelling the story a research perspective. If you, Pete or folks out there have some ideas that can with the current school issue on tobi...feel free to share."

The other is from Mike Guilbeaux who said:
" I would like to see the project begin to focus on community education programs and the summer camp idea that we have all discussed."

So here is a good first topic for the FOTI FORUM. What's happening with the school and what should happen with it?

The summer camp idea Mike mentions is the notion that maybe there could be a summer program on Tobi for school kids, in which they spent half the day working on English and math skills and the other half working on island skills like gardening, thatching, and fishing. Maybe the story of what happens with that idea/proposal would make a good thesis topic.

Or maybe Tanya who is doing graduate work in education has an idea or two.
What do you think?

Pete (Yonghoihar)

Songs of Tobi

Hey, people. What happened to our FOTI? The last time it's been updated was in May. NOthing else to add on? Well, as you can tell by the title, this is about Songs of Tobi. I've been reading the documents, and I began to wonder what songs of Tobi do we have? Has it ever been written down? Does anyone know a song other than Wichie wei Banana? A cultural song? Let me know, and please try to post it. I'd really like to learn some songs that I can possibly carry a tune. hehehe...

Coming to the USA?

I am trying to write a page to put up on FOTI called something like: THINKING ABOUT GOING TO THE US TO STUDY? HERE'S SOME HELPFUL TIPS.
Are you thinking about it or have you already made the trip? If so I need your help.
So far I have written a few lines about food. What other topics do you think I should cover? Post your ideas here and let's kick them around.
Posted by Pete Black some time ago in 2004.

Will HSG Survive

Posted by Pete Black May 1, 2005

The Palau Constitutional Convention (Concon) is getting ready to start working on modifying the Constitution on May 17. There are all kinds of rumors about "streamlining" Palau's governmental structure and writing in Palauan custom and tradition. Here are some questions it might be good to talk about:

Will Hatohobei State Government go the way of Tobi Municipality and be streamlined out of existence?

Are there any good arguments for doing away with HSG and SSG?

What are the arguments for keeping them?

And what about the legal status of the customs and traditions of Palau? If they become part of the Constitution, what happens to South West Island customs and traditions?

Will minority rights be protected?

Betel Nut Chewing

Posted by Peter Black: I suppose all you betel nut nuts (sorry) know that there are health issues to think about. And everyone knows that when chewers come to the States finding betel nut can be a HUGE problem.

Back in the day, Southwest Island people didn't chew. Betel did grow on Tobi but not the pepper leaf, and on Sonsorol it was the other way round. (Or am I remembering it backwards). So no one living on the island chewed. Even the people living in Eang didn't chew. During that time just about everyone smoked tobacco and smoked a lot. But now, many people don't smoke at all. So that's a big change. My question is: Is it harder to quit betel than tobacco?

A discussion about Memorial Day

A good discussion developed in October around the Webmaster's question about how holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, would be translated into Tobian for a calendar. The main participants were Justin, Huan, and Crispin. The discussion was about language and about culture and how Tobians are the only people who know what English words or ideas have Tobian meaning and what that meaning is. They also discussed what Hatohobei memorial day might be used for and the idea of Hatohobei Heritage day.

At the end of the discussion, everyone agreed it would make a good FOTI Forum topic since everyone has such good ideas about it.It is complicated and raises many questions and issues. So, I've copied some of their discussion here to get started with? I hope I've gotten it right.

Mohori Nifari Posuch ma Mirach: Health & Wellness

There's a page on FOTI called Mohori Nifari Posuch ma Mirach: Health & Wellness in Echang

Have you seen it? What do you think? We are just starting and we could do lots of different things. We'd like to hear your ideas for what we could put on that page.

What ideas do you have about health concerns in Echang? What information would you like to see? What would you like talked about?

Some suggestions we've heard so far are--
  • What people ate on Tobi? Was it better? What kind of food is good to eat now?
  • Pregnancy information--what to know.
  • Old age--what we need to know about staying healthy in old age.
  • Drinking, smoking, betel nut chewing and other things that can make us sick.
Let us know what you think is most important.

What do you call that fish?

We're beginning to put together lists of fish, their names, how to catch them, photos and descriptions. This is pretty tricky, because of spelling and identification problems. We want to use this forum to ask questions as they come up.

One question we asked for help with was:

Paho. We think this is the general term for shark. Is that right? And what about the spelling of this word? Paho is the way Johannes spelled it. Marcus thinks it should be spelled pahou and Sebas spells it pohowo.

July 1, 2008

Oil Exploration in Hatohobei State Waters

Peter started this discussion in 2006, saying that we had heard from Sebastian and the Governor that Hatohobei State signed an agreement on March 23 for oil exploration in Hatohobei State waters with a company called Palau Pacific Energy.

Peter's original post and the comments that people made are here.

The Governor said that before anything can happen, the Hatohobei State Legislature has to approve and ratify the agreement. We hope there is time for everyone in the community to think about this, discuss all the issues, and talk to the Hatohobei legislators before the vote.

The Governor says that Palau Pacific Energy is currently waiting for a permit from the Palau government to drill exploratory wells up at Velasco Reef in Kayangel State. Palau Pacific Energy wants to explore for oil in all the outlying states of Palau including Peleliu, Angaur, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei.

Sebas worries that this might put Helen Reef "right in the bull's eye." Didn't something like this happen sometime in the 80s, we wonder?
Use this space to talk about oil exploration and what you think about it.