Review of the NDranou Book
This book is the story of a small group of people from a landlocked community on the eastern end of the big island of Manus. It is the story of tenacity, determination, resilience, confidence and the overarching faith in their long standing traditional motto of NDranou mahangui. Freely translated this NDranou expression means forty NDranou men but the motto is really about collective strength, team work and doing things in unity. N’Dranou mahangui is the living out of the expression, “Together we stand! Divided we fall!”
The Background chapter of the book talks about how the N’Dronalau (later N’Dranou) group was formed from the surrounding communities of Yiringou, Markwin, Pohwas, N’Dondan and others. The new community believed in the great strength of working together to achieve common goals.
Friedrich Doepke and his wife Maria Doepke were among the first white people to come to N’Dranou and Yiringou in 1926. This small book is the story of how the people of N’Dranou and Yiringou accepted the message of Christianity and have adopted it into their belief system. The book makes reference to the first group of young men from N’Dranou going to a place on the coast called Lugos and the fear and trepidation of the enemy tribes along the way. It is this group that came back and kept the faith alive among the N’Dranou/Yiringou community. In the 1950s and sixties some of them became teachers overnight and nurtured the N’Dranou Elementary School to Primary level in the 1960s.
The N’Dranou Local Church status was achieved in the 1980s but what does Local Church mean? Do the ordinary church members in N’Dranou/Yiringou critically consider the full impact of this status? Chapter Six of the book invites the church members to fully participate in the work of the church spiritually as well as physically and materially.
Chapter 2 of the book offers a small window into the belief system of the N’Dranou and Yiringou people. The most important message coming out of this chapter is that before the arrival of Christianity to N’Dranou/Yiringou the people already had a belief system. It is the main reason behind why Christianity has been readily adopted and accepted by these ridge dwellers.
The book is also the story of how the N’Dranou community realized the great power of education and the sobering influence it has had on the people. At the same time the book also explains why today the N’Dranou/Yiringou twin villages have so many highly educated people.
The most important thing about the book is that everyone had a hand in writing it. The book is a collective effort of the senior churThe book is also the story of how the N’Dranou community realized the great power of education and the sobering influence it has had on the people. At the same time the book also explains why today the N’Dranou/Yiringou twin villages have so many highly educated people.
The most important thing about the book is that everyone had a hand in writing it. The book is a collective effort of the senior church elders from the village, the N’Dranou pastors who currently work outside of the village and the Port Moresby group who have put the book together. In other words the book is the classic example of the N’Dranou motto: NDranou mahangui.
Dr. Bernard Minol 2014
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