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Assignment sheet for teachers and schools in the Marovo area: village-level documentation and transmission of local environmental knowledge. Assignment reports were written in Marovo, Hoava or another language of the area, when this was not possible, English was used. Students could seek help with the language from parents or other adults. The main intention is to focus on knowledge rather than language, but the fullest knowledge is grounded in the language of the place. A complete list of assignments are available below.


Assignment 1: Katiga tingitonga pa idere ba pa kavo / Things of the sea and the river

Write a one-page story, with drawings if you wish, about one of the following topics. You can ask men and women who know about these topics to help you. Most of these topics are not directly described in the book, but by looking at the first four chapters you will get many ideas for doing these assignments about different living things in the sea, mangroves and rivers, and some of the special Marovo ways used catch them. Assignment G allows you to write more about anything from the sea, mangrove or river that you have read about in the book.

  1. A. Vivineina kura makoto: The story of the basketwork trap for triggerfish
  2. B. Vivineina morumoru: The story of the large woven net for catching sea turtles
  3. C. Vivineina kuarao: The story of the long circle of vines used to trap large numbers of fish on the reef
  4. D. Vivineina rumu: The story of the dugong
  5. E. Vivineina deo: The story of the mangrove mussel
  6. F. Vivineina kameje: The story of the freshwater prawn
  7. G. Vivineina meka tingitinga pu omia hoi pa buka: The story of something you have read about in the book

Example 1: Ramata Primary School

An illustration to accompany a description of the famous kuarao fishing technique (a long circle of vines handled by many people to trap large numbers of fish on the reef)

Assignment 2: Ria hae na rokoroko arilaedi / The important trees and leaves

Take a group walk from the seashore up into the forest. Ask a man or woman who knows about this to come with you as resource person. Find and talk about some of the useful plants listed below. Bring back to the village leaves, flowers or fruit of the plants you find. Then find the plants in the book and talk about them. If you speak Hoava or Vanunu, use the book’s name lists in those languages. The resource person, or yourself, will write a brief report about your work. (All these names of plants are found in Chapter 7 of the book)

  1. Boi
  2. Bichebichere
  3. Ijoko
  4. Kuruvete
  5. Jilatongo
  6. Tangovo
  7. Mudu
  8. Rihe
  9. Ngoete
  10. Maria
  11. Buni
  12. Talise

Ba meka hae pu ta omi pa tania inene (or any other tree that you have seen on your walk in the forest)

Example 2: Chubikopi Primary School

Roke Roke meka hae pu to pa tusu Huleo pa tuari. Kani hae getena via. Leleana via rokona ia mani ngira via hinana. Hina hua puta burengi chiri. Ia rokona oro korena ia iedi meka tonu hinadi. Ia hae pia ieni binorue te meka tinoni boruborue pa tuari, e Kitione Lipu na kilana. Totovenia ia tania meka koburu tania mana kani va omi nia ia mani legu. Raka omia hae pa Huleo pa tuari. Kagu atei nia raka be to pa goana gete, mana ngochangocharaini pa Huleo ieni to ia. Kani buma via na rokona mana huana orava. Huhua pula roko choba chiri inomina. Pula hou ia are ngina ta hina nia nga tinoni hinana.

Roke is a tree that grew on Huleo Island before. It is not a big tree. Its leaves are nice and have a strong smell. The smell is like that of parrot droppings. Leaves and bark smell the same. This tree was a medicine of a healer in the past, whose name was Kitione Lipu. He told a child of his about this, but did not show it to him, and then he died. I used to see the tree at Huleo in the old days. I do not know whether it grows in the forest, but it certainly grows in the coconut grove at Huleo. Its leaves are not very green but reddish. They look like leaves of the choba chiri tree. If the wind is strong, people smell the fragrance of this tree. (English translation by Edvard Hviding)

Assignment 3: Vivineina chinaba ihana / Stories of ways of catching fish

The teacher makes ten small groups, and allocates one of the following fishes to each group. First, each group reads about the fish in the book. Then, each group goes and talks to a man or woman who knows the ways to catch the fish. Each group must write a report of at least one page.

  1. Marogo
  2. Chamuhu
  3. Makoto
  4. Topa
  5. Ghalusu
  6. Medarae
  7. Lipa
  8. Ihana orava
  9. Ghohi

Example 3: Patukae Community High School

Pajara tinoni

Rini Ronta, Form 2

03 PAJA2.jpg
Meka pajara orava mani chichinoko oro ko ria vinahilahila bumadi tania pu chura pa kolokolo tahona ba ta va legu. Doridori chikuna. Ko gone pa binubinuani oro moko ko va soku via pa sangava pa toba, mani gura keli va soku via pula kaduvu nana kolokolo kovukovuru, talavuni pa paleke Feburuari na ni kaduvu pa Mei, pa kikilakalana paleke ia nana kolokolo ta omi via. Meka ihana pu ta hivae na via tadi ria na tinoni holuholu ihana pu ene liloro pa buruburu siangavulu choda pa Marovo pa vaka chaba. Meka ihana binaso gete ta hami tinoni pa Marovo, roche va lea na via na borana pu la ta raro oro ta motu. Moko ta titisi va la gona soliti na borana pa kolokolo vavae. Soku via tunga na tinoni pu kani vaena oro kahivangania ia ihana pia. Ado gone hua nia noki katigae ria pu kahivanganina ia ihana pia. Omijongana, na lumochona inomina tinina ia ihana pia. Pa Marovo pa tuari gura ta vae via pa rarusu idere oro pa saghauru, mana pa hua pia sana via pa ta ta chaba

vae ia ihana pia pa tutupeka pa Kogu Marovo. Pa hua pia pula hiva nia hoi oro raka ia ihana pia ieda ngina tera via poata pa petorole oro mabo linada pa vinalu la pa toba, nada ngina vera va hele pa ngino ta nia ihana pia, ia hua sinana na vinaena ia ihana pia pa kolokolo da koe hita pia.

A red coral trout that is dark in colour and has blue marks that disappear if it is shot or when it is dead. The tail is square-shaped. It lives in areas of staghorn coral and may be plentiful in passages at the barrier reef. It rises in large numbers when it is time for it to spawn, beginning in the month of February and continuing until May, and the last quarter of the moon is when it can be seen in abundance. It is a fish that is well-liked by the people who purchased fish and travelled around in Marovo in the 1990s on fishing vessels [refers to the live reef fish trade]. It is a favourite food fish for us people of Marovo. Its flesh is soft and nice if boiled in a saucepan or baked in a stone oven. It is good to sprinkle salt on the flesh when eating it. Then there are many people who do not catch it and do not like to eat this fish. The reason is that this fish sometimes likes to eat snakes. It is beautiful, the colourful shine of the body of this fish. In Marovo before, it could be caught in plenty at the seashore and on reefs, but now it is very hard to catch this fish near the mainland of Marovo Lagoon. Today, if you or I want this fish we will waste a lot of money on petrol or be tired from paddling to the barrier reef, and we will have to wait for this fish to bite. This is how hard it has become to catch this fish in the times we live in. (English translation, by Edvard Hviding)

Sample assignment3a.jpg

Sample assignment3b.jpg

Assignment 4: Ria vahu / The fruit bats

Write a short story about the different types of Vahu – fruit bat or ‘flying fox’ – in Marovo. What are their names, what do they look like, where can you find them, and what do they eat?

Example 4: Tamaneke Primary School


Assignment 5: Vivinei malivi /

Custom stories / tales of before Write down a short custom story about anything that is named in the book.

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