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Palau Language Proverbs Quiz


QUESTION 1:
Please choose the corrective figurative meaning for this proverb:
:
 A blind man lived with his wife and son at Ngetmel (in Ngerechelong, northern Palau). Since he was blind, his wife and son would often fool him. For one thing, she would leave him in charge of their prize piece of money, indicating its hiding place, when she left for work in the gardens. But before she left she would hide it in another place. One day when he was alone, his brother came to visit and to help around the house. The blind man asked him to gather some wood for a fire so he could warm himself. The brother did so and left. While the man warmed himself, he found, to his surprise, that he could see a little. The following day, with his improved sight, he found out about the money deception and located the real hiding place of the money. Once more his brother visited, and the blind man asked what wood he had used in the fire. The wood was driftwood and he had his brother build another fire. Again his sight improved and he was so pleased that he invited his brother to stay and help himself to some ray-fish liver. The brother looked at the liver and told the man that it was not ray-fish but shark liver. With this the man realized that he had really been deceived, for shark's liver is hardly considered worth eating. Hurt and angered, he told his brother to find the piece of money, pointing out its actual location, and gave it to his brother, saying his wife and son deserved nothing. When the wife came home she at once looked for the money. Unable to find it, she asked her supposedly blind husband about it and, of course, he insisted that she would find it in the place she had pointed out to him, since he had not touched it. Finally she gave up the search and exclaimed: "It simply isn't here." To this he replied: "This liver is shark." The saying may be used when one has discovered another's deception or when a person faces a very frustrating or defeating situation.
 At Ngerekabesang in Koror (central Palau) there is a community house (bai) called Telkakl, which means "to buttress" or "to be buttressed." Some of the older bai in Palau were thus supported with beams from the ground to the eaves, and the implication has been added that a bai so supported must be very full of important possessions. This idiom is used of a person who is wealthy, or of one's self, meaning that one has cash on hand.
 Pertains to favoritism, the adjustment of the flow of favors from the leader to one-self. It is considered unsporting and in poor taste to seek favoritism through undue support of a leader in direct anticipation of favors.
 A rapid stroke technique in rowing, originated at Ngerechemai in northern Palau, consists of dipping the paddle deep with a strong, rapid stroke and bringing it forward with a smooth flip. The technique gives the appearance of considerable ease, while the canoe obtains great speed. The coxswain desiring more speed of his men may shout at them: "Besos Lechemai!" ("Oars Ngerechemai!"). The secret of the success of Ngerechemai racing canoes was not known until observers noted that the oarsmen frequently broke their paddles on the swift downstroke. Thus, when the secret of a successful leader-the leadership technique or magic that he uses-is revealed, this idiom may be applied.
 Members of lineages only a generation or so removed from arrival in the village may be referred to with this term. A rather more frequently applied term is "omengdakl," which probably derives from the word omengd, "to lean against." Whether emphasis is on "drifting into the village" or "leaning on another clan," the term applies to low-status newcomers who are commonly adopted by one of the existing (generally high-ranking) clans of the village and who have, more or less, the status of servants. The more common term omengdakl has come to have the meaning, among younger Palauans, of "slave," and something of the servitude of slavery was doubtless often present; however, the lineage members so termed, by serving the interests of their clan, could anticipate the gradual betterment of their status, generation after generation. The difficulty that an anthropologist may encounter in trying to determine the ancestry of a particular lineage should be evident in the meanings of the above four idioms. It was best to be considered "old lineage," and origins outside of the resident village were matters of secrecy within the clan. Until recently, however, such origins were not simply forgotten, since the history of a clan, including, for example, prior residence of one of its lineages in another village, formed the justification for wide reaching inter-clan federations through which villages might form alliances or individuals might find hospitality. Such clan federations, termed klebliil, sometimes take on some of the meanings of the clan (kebliil) with the granting of clan titles and with incest prohibitions.

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