Aesthetic Realism, Founded by Eli Siegel,
Provides a New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology

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A Novel Against Racism  
By Arnold Perey
Chapter 3. Five Years Later: An Act of Courage  
It is for a noble end that the brave man endures and acts.  
—Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics  
     One day Gwe and his friend Fovot were hunting little birds in the nearby forest. Gwe pointed his child’s bow upward as he searched the trees for birds. His arrow shone in the light coming through the leaves.  

     Fovot had a little branch in one hand which he shook, hoping to attract the birds. The idea had come to him on his own. But the boys had been completely unsuccessful that morning, and, discouraged, Fovot gave up and went home.  

     Gwe decided to go and sit behind the screen of leaves and branches he constructed near a red flowering tree where birds came to eat. It grew a short distance from land that his father owned.  

     Gwe crouched behind the screen a long time without seeing a bird. He was invisible in the dark there. Suddenly he heard the sound of angry shouting. He stood up for a better look and then climbed up the bird-screen of twigs and leaves for a better view. Looking out, he saw men on his father’s land. They were in tense semi-crouching positions. These men had been for some time secretly clearing land that his father was planning to use.  

     His Uncle Yug-wek-kek had paid them to do this. But Gwe’s father, Itulieng, had appeared by surprise—and Yug-wek-kek was shouting at him: "This land is mine!"  

     "No it isn’t," shouted Itulieng.  

     "Yes it is," shouted Yug-wek-kek. "You left it a long time ago and now I’ve improved it. Who built the fence? Did you? Who cleared the earth? Did you? And who’s going to plant and eat the sweet potatoes? Not you!"  

     Yug-wek-kek looked round at the men helping him build the fence and smiled. "Isn’t that right, men?" The men shuffled but didn’t say no. Gwe, peering out between the leaves, felt they looked ashamed.  

     Gwe’s father began to shout—and threaten Yug-wek-kek!  

     Yug-wek-kek shouted for help, and Father shouted for help, and Gwe saw men running to help Yug-wek-kek. But no men came to help his father.  

     Yug-wek-kek’s men—some were relatives—slowly paraded before the abandoned Itulieng with their bows and arrows slung across their shoulders. Itul1 was crouched down, now, and one by one they strolled past him and shouted at him.  

     Hidden behind his screen, Gwe’s knees shook. He was afraid to move. He hoped they wouldn’t see him—if they caught him they would kill him like a bug.—No, he was invisible inside the bird blind. If the birds couldn’t see him the men couldn’t. He could just sit quietly inside, in the dark, and nobody would ever know.  

     His teeth were chattering. "Nobody would ever know," a voice seemed to croon in his head. "NO," he shouted inside himself. "Help, help, help me," he cried out to his grandfather in the spirit world. "Grandfather help me!—It’s Gwe! … I can’t desert my father!" He felt immediately warmer, and then he thought, as if a light came into his mind, of the brush turkey who saved her chicks by luring away the hunter. "I can get the big men to look at me so my father can run away," he thought. "The men don’t like Yug-wek-kek. They won’t hurt me."  

     Gwe burst out from the leaves, and, running fast with his little bow, and a tiny bird-arrow in firing position, he shouted at the men: "Leave my father alone!"  

     The men started to laugh, and in an instant his father was on his feet with a hunting arrow drawn tight and pointed at Yug-wek-kek’s chest just an arm’s length away.  

     The men stopped laughing. Now Yug-wek-kek was in the weaker position. Itul could kill him in a moment. "This land is mine," said Itul. Yug-wek-kek almost choked as he said, "Yes, it’s yours."  

     Itul lowered his arrow and together the father and son returned home together.  

     But Yug-wek-kek kept the land. Itulieng had escaped with his life, but not with his land. The men who were helping Yug-wek-kek fence the property completed their job. Then, they all dug open a big earth oven on that land—a smoking mound of earth containing pounds and pounds of rich pandanus nuts, provided by Yug-wek-kek.  

     He often had invited the men to make fences for him while a smoking earth oven awaited them, using their labor to make himself rich. And nobody could stop him from taking land not his own. The custom was for each clan to distribute land according to need. But Yug-wek-kek was greedy, and his gang made him powerful as they enjoyed their power, being friends with a man who was very dangerous when he didn’t get what he wanted.  

     As the sun was setting that night, and the high song of the cicada sounded in the air, Gwe’s father said to his son: "You are very small, and your front teeth haven’t yet fallen out, but what you did was big. I will never forget it."  

     He took out a little string which he made that day from soft inner bark and showed it to Gwe. In New Guinea, a boy child of Gwe’s age was as naked as the day he was born—though the small girl children wore a little fringe of grass. Then, at a certain age, the boy gets a string to wear around his waist. And thus—he joins the adult world of the clothed.  

     Therefore, honoring his son, Gwe’s father gently tied the little string around the boy’s rotund waist. And so Gwe was given the cord a grown-up boy wears, and he was very proud.  

1People's names are affectionately shortened by people close to them. Itulieng becomes Itul.  
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image of book cover

Gwe Is Born   
The Attack  
Five Years Later
Alan Comes to New Guinea  
Equality & Difference 
A Story of Famine

You can order this book directly from Waverly Place Press, or from Google Books or

 "Nothing human is alien to me." Terence 
123 Waverly Place, Suite 7C
New York, NY 10011

See: Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology
About Arnold Perey
Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Aesthetic Realism Online Library
Aesthetic Realism Consultations
The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method
What People Say: Links to Aesthetic Realism Resources
Barbara Allen: Aesthetic Realism Consultant, Flutist
John Singer Sargent's Madame X, an Aesthetic Realism Discussion
Friends of Aesthetic Realism--Countering the Lies

Anti-Racism Resources:

See articles by writers whom I esteem. Writing by Ellen Reiss, the Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, includes her "Difference and Sameness: The Human Question" and "Racism Can End."

Nancy Huntting is represented by her "On Racism & How to End It".

See Capt. Allan Michael's "It Is In Contempt That the Root of Racism Lies" and Alice Bernstein's book, Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism.

Articles by New York teachers who demonstrate how the standard curriculum, K-12, can be used to encourage kindness include: "Prejudice Changes to Respect" and "Students Learn, Prejudice Is Defeated!"

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Copyright © 2004-2017 by Arnold Perey