A New Name: Kor

I have been communicating, by email, with a man who was born on Manus Island (northern Papua New Guinea). How thrilling it was to learn a new local name for the ropen! “Kor” they call the nocturnal glowing creature that flies over the sea, catching fish.

It seems to be at least closely related to pterosaur-like creatures in other areas of Papua New Guinea. Names include seklo-bali, duwas, indava, wawanar, and of course ropen. Among these, the only one that I do not yet have much information about is “wawanar;” all I was told (by a native sailor who is from Pilio Island and knows the legend) was that the wawanar is the dragon who owns the land and the sea.

Like other nocturnal glowing flying creatures in Papua New Guinea, the kor may be related to the Marfa Lights of Texas. It may also be related to the lights seen by the British biologist Evelyn Cheesman, on the mainland of New Guinea, in the 1930’s.


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  1. Pingback: Glowing Orbs of the Mekong River » Knowable News Blog

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