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Dictionary of Netwar (Lenakel language)

This is the first ever extensive dictionary of Netwar language (western Tanna, Republic of Vanuatu) published online. It is the fruit of several years of my work among the inhabitants of the island of Tanna. It contains translations of local expressions, pronunciation recordings and photographic documentation. Its purpose is to help in the preservation of the language and in passing it to the young generation.

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first kava

  •  n kamnum 
    ceremony, during which a man receives from his father his first kava to drink in the nakamal. Usually the maternal uncle of the man is invited and the family offers him a small customary gift, like a laplap or a kava. In some place an ancient way of drinking the first kava is still perpetuated, where the father or the uncle offers the kava in a bowl made from a banana leaf. The kava is drank by the man leaning forward and after finishing it, he eats a small piece of cooked pig grease which is drown in the kava, which is supposed to protect him against food poisoning.
  •  v ol kamnum 
    do the ceremony of first kava. cf.: 'kamnum'. Ex.: Ta lenhaiu apa imaim kamol kamnum taha Iaruél.  ~ This evening in the nakamal there will be the first kava made for Iaruél.

Speaker: Noël Yeru (Lowanatom)

Thematic dictionary