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The Myth of Manarmakeri

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In the principal myth of Manarmakeri a traditional or a real ancestor appears in whom many mythical heroes are embodied. That which appears scattered everywhere in the whole mythology of Biak is concentrated in him. He appears in the disguise of an Old Man. He is a hero with a genealogy who recaptured the secret of the land of the dead and was thereby enabled to revive the mythical primaeval time. He finds out that the true nature of things is hidden but by recovering the secret he succeeds in discovering it. This put him in possession of the “treasures and the food”, the principal elements of the ceremonial exchange and of the functioning of the community. By this reconquest he could have put an end to roaming, dissension, insecurity and death, but neither in the disguise of the Old Man nor in that of a youth rejuvenated by the baptism by fire is he recognized as the Lord of the Utopia (Manseren Koreri). Therefore he departed westward, after having promised, however, that one day he would return.


  • Mangrove Tree
  • Eternal Life
  • Coconut Tree
  • Village Headman
  • Mythical Hero

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  1. Rumbino. The late D. B. Rumbino, who died in Sweden (1969), drew my attention to the well-known fact that his clansfolk were among the original inhabitants of Meokwundi. When they all left, it was Serebi Rumbino who stayed to the very last. The Rumbino’s left for the Island of Japen, later on went to Biak and from there they returned to Meokwundi, where the present writer met some of them. It is a remarkable fact that D. B. Rumbino, who was very ill, expressed the wish that his remains should be buried at Meokwundi Island. His body was cremated and his ashes were brought back to Meokwundi.

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© 1972 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.

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Kamma, F.C. (1972). The Myth of Manarmakeri. In: Koreri Messianic Movements in the Biak-Numfor Culture Area. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-015-0230-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-015-0742-4

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive