Barney Wewak Weighs In

Papuan Headman Barney Wewak shares FFFF with tribe
Barney Wewak shares FFFF news with family and friends

Editor’s Note: we have received the following e-mail from former Troy High School Exchange student, and Papuan Highlands tribe Headman, B’rni (Barney) Wewak. Our newly reorganized Australo/Oceania Linguistics Department provides the translation from the original Papuan Sepik dialect, below:


Greetings Friends who dwell in the beneficent sunshine and balmy temperatures of my once adopted home; where the luscious flesh of the avocado and the generous disposition of your women make me long for reunion. Tidings have reached me that one of your headmen has been disgraced (it could only have been through extreme cowardice in battle, or failure to meet his taro quota), has been exiled, and is being replaced by your odd and barbaric custom of “election.” 

Furthermore, I understand that among the new candidates for headman is a member from a tribe located on the idolatrous shores of Fashion Island who is trying to pass as one of your own! Moreover, that this interloper is bribing tribe members with promises of bright feathers and glass beads!

Glass beads and cockatoo feathers for all. Plus a gift card good at Fashion Island!
Glass beads and cockatoo feathers for all. Plus a gift card good at Fashion Island!

Friends, how can this possibly be? Strange and sad news! That the people of my beloved Fullerton could  entertain such perverse behavior from an outsider is certainly an omen of terrible times of trouble ahead.

And so I must exhort and plead with all the earnestness at my command to reject this alien influence in your midst before you become enslaved in the strange and perverse ways of these outsiders.

And so, Friends, farewell. May your benevolent deities continue to bless you with ample mangoes and confused enemies; and may the tree bark grubs fall easily into your banana leaves.

B’rni (Barney) Wewak

Troy HS ’75

5 Replies to “Barney Wewak Weighs In”

  1. So glad to hear from B’rni. His deep perspective is always appreciated.

    I have a question. If he graduated from Troy in ’75, why did his letter need translation? Did Troy offer instruction in Sepik in those generous, pre-Prop 13 days?

  2. Excellent question, tyler!

    Barney received high school instruction in rudimentary English – just like the American kids; he also attended Cambridge University for a time, and was later presented with an honorary doctorate in literature for his collection of short stores: Tales From The Taro Field. These stories were published in a written form of phonetic Sepik and later translated into several European languages. I believe the English version of the book can still be found on

    The fact is, Barney has been living in the Papuan jungle for the past 28 or so years and his English has become pretty rusty. He prefers to communicate in Sepik. And of course we have a department within our School of Arts and Letters dedicated to the languages of Oceania and the South Pacific, so it all works out pretty well.

  3. If someone from Irvine can carpetbag it in North OC, I don’t see why we shouldn’t run a Papuan for Fullerton City Council. Wewak 2010!

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