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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 custom
    ceremony performed the night before the final circumcision ceremony 'kamir iataw kaur', during which on one side the men do a special dance in the nakamal 'nowanmanaga' and burn the barriers that were hiding the boys since the beginning of their circumcision, and on the other side the women do a special dance in the village around a burning symbolic 'nases' tree.
  •  n tree
     (Ficus wassa), species used during ceremony of 'kaur' (circumcision) where men hang on its branches reed leaves which were used by the circumcised boys as towels after ritual baths. The tree is then burned at the end of the 'nases' ceremony. Its bast is used as a tourniquet during circumcision. Its leaves can also be eaten raw with coconut meat.
  •  adj poor
    person without wealth, fig. sense, a child before the end of circumcision and burning of 'nases' tree does not have any property.

Speaker: Noël Yeru (Lowanatom)

Thematic dictionary