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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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  •  n nawitag 
    family of several fern species. Women place these leaves in their baskets and hit them with their hands during the 'napenapen' dance .
  •  n nuto 
    family of tree ferns.
  •  n napinu apam large species.
  •  n nupen 
    large species.
  •  n nanep medium sized species, approximately about one meter high. Belongs to the family of 'iélken apen'.
  •  n iélken apen 
    name of several fern species. Sometimes this name is used also for 'naruato', which belongs to the family of 'iélken apen'. lit. "black leg".
  •  n iélken apen small species with dark green leaves. It belongs to the family of 'iélken apen'. In ancient times, its crushed leaves were wiped over the eyes of elderly people who were suffering from excessive lacrimation said to be caused by pigs hair entering their eyes.
  •  n siksik small species.
  •  n nekawkaw mének species.
  •  n kowag species.
  •  n siksik species.
  •  n nawitag mélekem 
  •  n katihwata té iagnameta species. A leaf from this plant is sent from the nakamal to the women in the village during one of the circumcision 'temahwa' to hang on their 'nases' tree.
  •  n nawirek species. It is used in the same way as the 'katihwata té iagnameta' during circumcision. Tips of its branches are chewed to relieve stomachaches.
  •  n nasal species. Men and women use this to make crowns to be worn during the 'toka' dance.
  •  n kelema  (Cyathea lunulata (?)), species. The spiny petiole is used to grate ingredients when making laplap.
  •  n nawitag species. Used in the same manner as the 'katihwata té iagnameta' during circumcision. Before the existence of human beings, its roots were eaten by the stones.
  •  n nakel tree fern species with edible leaves. This plant gave the name to the village of 'Lénakel'.

Speaker: Clément Kapalu (Lowanatom) , Noël Yeru (Lowanatom)

Thematic dictionary