Teop love poem
O abeabe man teo siroaka
Na mataa potee nana bono vahutate tenaa vai o mataa kurusu
Ean he toro ahe vakahu ee be mei nana tea rova
Eve o vagegeana vuri tenaa tea boha voen, "Enaa na uruuru ni kiu noman"!
→ French poem ←
The Teop language is an Oceanic, Meso-Melanesian, Northwest Solomonic language, spoken in the northeast of Bougainville Island, in the Tinputz District, around Teop Islet, in Papua New Guinea.
This language is also called teapu and the names of its dialects are: Coastal Teop, Taunita, Rausara, Rausiara, Kosina Mohina, Manava.
My poem is here translated into Coastal Teop, a variant that all speakers will understand since it is 70-80% common with other dialects.
Teop is a language considered endangered. It is only spoken by a few thousand people.
As in many places in Papua New Guinea, conflicts have been incessant, and the civil war, which took place in this region in the 1990s, and which left 20,000 dead, is one reasons for the low number of current speakers.
The other reasons being, marriages outside the community, the influence of neighboring languages, as well as the need to use a lingua franca, as is the case of Tok Pisin and English.
The Teop population still lives today in small villages, which bring together a few dozen or even a hundred people.
These villages form clans under the leadership of the elders.
The Teops live from what the nature around them gives them: fishing, breeding (pigs), agriculture and gathering.
Cocoa and copra are part of the commercial crops.