DOCUMENT THE STORYLINES ACROSS MELANESIA
Storylines in Melanesia have various forms and different ways passed down from generations to generations to this day:
1. Stories only told by elders in charge, to selected youths/ and adult, at certain time, in particular places, at certain settings.
2. Stories commonly told by anyone, anywhere, to every person they can or they want to tell, about everything in life.
3. stories contained within songs (cry songs and celebration songs) and dances
4. stories written in names of places and landscapes or seascapes
5. stories that took form in daily practices that are not mentioned in words but done in actions.
The Use of Storylines
Storylines contain important information about places, peoples and connecting events that form lessons for the current generations to (1) act upon or do and (2) avoid doing or forbidden to do.
The stories contain lessons of events, persons or beings and
Storylines are useful for every person, family, clan and tribe to identify own image of the self, and then run the life according to the guidance of the stories.
Storylines are the foundations of the Customary Laws that have to be codified and legalized within each modern nation-state across Melanesia. This will be done in cooperation with Melanesian Land Defence Nework and The Melanesian Trust.
Documenting the Storylines
Documenting the Storylines is to an initiative presented by TheNATURE.us to preserve and then protect the stories and the lines that connects between one story with the other stories surrounding it.
Preserving and protecting the storylines is the way to conserve the nature and the whole ecology and ecosystem as the stories contain realities of cause-and-effect, inter-relationships, inter-connectedness, reciprocal relationships that cannot be destroyed for the sake of anything or anyone.
Documenting Storylines of Melanesian individuals, families, clans and tribes is the baseline study for following-up activities within the Melanesian Way of Conservation.
Documenting the Storylines is done by various activities:
1. Among villagers;
2. Storyline contest;
3. Collecting stories from local court hearings that have been documented by village magistrates (particularly in Papua New Guinea)
4. Interviews and sharing
Celebrations of the life, in forms of singing, dancing and other social activities are used as the approaches to identify and obtain preliminary glimpses of the spiritual hotspots.
The documents of the storylines can be collected in forms of oral stories, printed stories, as well as audio and video stories.
The name MELANESIA is a storyline, the storyline created by foreign explorers. Foreigners call us Melanesians because we are "melas" or black peoples, and we live in islands or "nensos".
We Melanesians call ourselves as "human", "real-human", "normal humans", in our own languages, and call those foreigners as "alien", "angel-like humans", and "white people".
The Storylines we are talking here is the stories that our ancestors told us about (1) who we are, (2) where we came from, (3) why we came here, and about (4) where we are going to (4.1) in short term, and (4.2) in long term.