Traditional Salt Making - Papua New Guinea
Post PNG in it’s continued effort to document traditions of Papua New Guinea, in this stamp issue of Traditional Salt Making features the traditional way of extracting salt from the Wara Sua (Pilme) area of Simbu Province. This process is by extracting natural salt from sulphuric creeks, and this method has been handed down from generations to generations. This method not only enriched their food but also lifted the Keri tribe’s social status in the area.
The process on how to go about extracting the salt happen through a dream by two brothers from their encounter with a ghost in the form of a beautiful maiden when returning from a courtship dance that night and discover the creek at Pilme where the sulphuric creek is.
That night after meeting the ghost in the form of the beautiful maiden, they both had the same dream about how to extract and make traditional salt from that strange tasting creek they discovered. In the morning they gather the villagers together and all went to the creek, and there they both demonstrated what they learn from their dreams. After weeks of trials and errors, at last they produce the finest white substance for the first time in the area. The villagers taste the white substance and also apply some to their freshly cooked pork and vegetables. Their food now tastes more delicious then before, from there-on the skills learn were shared among young men from Keri - the pioneer students to learn the trade of Traditional Salt making.
The process itself takes up to four weeks and requires careful attention in observing and handling throughout the process, until in the fourth week the white crystal cube product is produce.
The cubes are stored in smoked banana leafs and decorated with beautiful leaves before making them available for consuption and to trade for pigs, use for bride price and other important events.