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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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  •  (generic term) n tul 
    it refers more precisely to the stem of the vine.
  •  (generic term) n nul 
    refers more precisely to the stem of the vine.
  •  n nul arwow family of several species. The stem is used to join the arrowhead with a stem of reed when making 'nowanparam' and as a general-purpose string to attach things together. Also used to tie hair in men's traditional hairstyle.
  •  n nul ifa  indigenous species.
  •  n nul ifa  invasive species which took its name from the indigenous species of 'nul ifa'.
  •  n nul kasek its petioles are chewed and the juice is spit on to the mouth of a dog to make it good in chasing pigs. The juice of the crushed leaves are also added to dog food to create the same effect.
  •  n nul meta its stem is heated over the fire to soften and used as ropes. It hardens after cooling down.
  •  n talipasa 
    leaves used to cover the circumcision wound. The shape of the leaves looks similar to a kind of yam that bears the same name. The leaves of this vine are placed on the 'kawar' of yams to obtain good crop.
  •  n neparem nuw similar to 'neparem', but its roots are softer and easier to eat.
  •  n napwil kaik species with the same usage as other species of 'napwil'.
  •  n soulél 
  •  n tul paha 
  •  n nul éiwéiu 
  •  n nul pekam 
  •  n nausyl species.
  •  n iarunién species.
  •  n nolu species.
  •  n néiwaiu 
  •  n nul akmének species. Drinking the juice from its crushed leaves cleanses the stomach.
  •  n nul lau species. Drinking the juice from its crushed leaves helps ease headaches.
  •  n nul iawiwer species. Drinking the juice from its leaves helps relieve muscular pains. The juice can also be rubbed in areas where a person is suffering from muscular pain and cramps.
  •  n nul mera  (Vigna marina), species. Drinking the juice of its crushed leaves helps relieve stomachaches and bloating.
  •  n nowakeres species. Fruit edible.
  •  n tul pukulpukul species. Its green fruit is edible. It is eaten together with the juice from its crushed leaves to treat cases of undescended testicle in young boys.
  •  n tul kapwapwua species. Its leaves are placed on the wound after circumcision.
  •  n tul kawhik species. Its leaves are used as fodder for pigs and cattle. It is first laid down in the earth oven before adding a layer of banana leaves on top.
  •  n neparem species. Its roots are baked or cooked and chewed in times of famine, such as after a cyclone. It tastes similar to a yam cooked over a fire.
  •  n nawunspecies. Its stem is heated over the fire to soften and make it more flexible for house construction use. The plant is poisonous for fishes. When fishing, the men would hit the tide pools with its crushed end and the toxins released kills the fishes.
  •  n napwil merek species. Its stem is heated over the fire to soften it and then used as ropes in construction of houses and to bind the sugarcane in the garden together to keep the wind from breaking them.
  •  n noras 
    species. Its stems are used as ropes in construction of houses and also to clean pipe-stems.
  •  n tul aimwién species. The bark of the stem is peeled off and pounded to free the bast. The bast is further pounded to release the sap. This is then rubbed onto the skin like a soap. It is also used for the hair as it has conditioning and detangling properties.
  •  (from English: agriculture) n nul akrikaltsa species. The entire plant is used to feed domestic animals.
  •  n napwil species. The string made from the peeled vines are used to tie the coconut leaves together during fabrication of traditional roofs.
  •  n nul nekenpuluk species. Used to feed pigs and cattle.
  •  n tul aulihiauspecies. Used traditionally as ropes to tie parts of a canoe together and for house constructions.
  •  n neparepa  (Entada phaseoloides), the flexible parts are used as strings to attach yams to poles for transport during customary exchanges e.g. the 'kaur' ceremony. The dried fruit is used to make rattling arm bands for dance. The water found inside the vine is drinkable and is used for treating back aches and for the 'naumus' illness. Its skin is repeatedly hit with wooden stick until it peels off. Bands of the skin are then used as exceptionally strong ropes for house construction.
  •  n nul iowiaren  (Mikania micrantha), the juice from crushed leaves is used to treat small wounds and stomachache. On contact the hair found on the vine stems may irritate the skin of the armpit and also in intimate areas.
  •  n tul nawuknawuk  (Pycnarrhena ozantha), used as ropes for house constructions.

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

Thematic dictionary