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Malo's Laws
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Court Clerk:
Sam Passi... Sam Passi.


Radio:
The Murray Islanders have an historical tribal law called Malo's law, named after the god Malo, who lived among the Murray Islanders many years ago. One villager, Sam Passi, has told the sittings here that the only real Murray Islander is one who follows Malo's law.


Sam Passi:
One says here, 'Malo wali ariat areet areet'. That means that Malo plants here and there, where soil is sufficient. And much of the soil must be used. That was from the beginning, or from the time of our ancestors.


Dave Passi:
People at Murray wanted a god, so that they can find some sort of centrality of government and so on. And therefore Malo came into being. And so Malo forced all these laws that are the experiences of every human being I suppose. That you must not kill unnecessarily, that you must not steal, and all the great truths that come out of that.

You take that law, for instance, that 'pesu kem abu'.'Pesu' is part of a coconut tree. And the law is, that if it falls to the ground, you must let it rot in the ground. And that of course, feeds the soil. Which means that you must not exploit the land, you must let it fertilise again.

As you can understand, it's a natural fertilisation, isn't it? And therefore its good. It's got to be the first class one and the best, because it's God given. Then you preserve your soil and your land, and you can work on it over and over and over.


Woman:
That's a yam.


Greg Mclntyre:
I'm just reading the document and I'm trying to read it in Meriam Mer, which I'm not very good at. But it's a statement I've heard from many witnesses, "Malo tag mauki mauki, teter mauki mauki."

As I understand it, that means, under Malo's law, a man doesn't walk into another man's property and a man doesn't place his hands on another man's property.

It helps establish that there was a traditional system of rules governing the use of land, and we then say that that tradition carries on.


Kaba Noah:
Tag mauki mauki. 'Tag' mean 'hand'. 'Teter' mean... 'teter mauki mauki'. You can go cross the village. Our traditional culture. Law bilong Malo.

You must get your permission before you go catch fish. This one, mean this one, 'Tag mauki mauki - Ad le ged mimika'. That's mean you can't go anywhere in village. This one law bilong Malo.
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