This tape contains 7 songs, all recited or chanted by Ineniugman, a woman from
Satawal Island who is estimated to be between 65 and 70 years old in 1988. All the
songs or chants commemorate navigators and their exploits or mishaps. All on this
tape are sung or chanted in the Satawal dialect of Carolinian.
The first three chants could be classified as "laments", as they were composed to
commemorate or lament the death of the navigator Rewaew and his two sons at sea. While each has Rewaew's final voyage as the subject, they are different songs rather than variations of the same one. The wife of Rewaew was from Satawal, but the navigator himself was not (it is not known or explained which island he was from).
The next two songs are about navigators from the island of Pulusuk. The song number 4 recounts the voyage of an unnamed navigator, while number 5 is about a man who was killed on a canoe trip. In the latter, the man is from a different clan than others on the canoe who clubbed him and threw him overboard during the course of the voyage.
Unlike the first five songs which represent oral history and tradition from long ago, the last two are of navigators who lived in the second half of this century. Song number 6 is about Igiwot (Otolik or Otoligh), a navigator from Satawal who died in the mid-1980's and who sailed from Satawal to Saipan in 1973 or 1974. Song number 7 is about Namwonik, a younger navigator, also from Satawal, who is Igiwot's son and is still alive in 1988.
While reciting each song the speaker has included a short explanation after almost every phrase. In the transcribed text this is included beneath the phrase and set off by parentheses ().
Angelina Nesepailug McCoy
Mike A. McCoy