COUNTRY: Rennell and Bellona, The Solomon Islands
LANGUAGE: unknown

An ancient chant from Rennell and Bellona in the Solomon Islands, found on the Smithsonian Folkways recording, “Polynesian Songs and Games from Bellona (Mungiki), Solomon Islands.” (It’s the second part of the track “Mako Hakasaunnoni” but it appears too late in the recording to appear in the free clip you can hear on the site.) The Smithsonian liner notes say that while Poaka means pig in other Polynesian languages, the Bellona islanders don’t use that word because there are no pigs on the island. So the origins of the song remain a bit of a mystery. A translation found here isn’t terribly helpful: “Pig pigs pig, Pig pigs pig, pig from sea, eat corresponding of that with you it.”

The Smithsonian liner notes also describe Poaka Ee as being a huaa mako, a short circle dance “ending with a shout; the men circle, swinging their arms and clapping.”

Lyrics of All Around This World version:

Poaka ee, poaka kae poaka
Poaka ee, poaka kae poaka
Is it a pig? Is it a pig?
Yes it’s a pig! What is a pig?
Poaka ee, poaka kae poaka
Poaka ee, poaka kae poaka…

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