Volume 6 1897 > Volume 6, No. 3 > On the distribution and origin of some plant- and tree-names in Polynesia and Micronesia, by F. W. Christian, p 123-140
ON THE DISTRIBUTION AND ORIGIN OF SOME PLANT- AND TREE-NAMES IN POLYNESIA AND MICRONESIA.
Introduction.—Towards the end of 1895, hearing of some remarkable ruins upon the islands of Ponape and Lele, in the Eastern Carolines, I determined to visit these out-of-the-way places with a view, not only to exploring the ruins and making all excavations possible, but also of collecting the legends and folk-lore of these fragments of a forgotten folk scattered up and down these dark places of the earth. Keeping in mind, moreover, that this same great Caroline Archipelago must needs have been close to the track of the earliest Malayo and Polynesian migration, by way of Gilolo and Sunda Straits, it was also my intention to carefully reduce to grammar and vocabulary form as many of these quaint and bizarre languages as possible. After a circuitous route, which took in Timor, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Manilla, the Spanish bi-monthly mail steamer “Venus,” from the last-named port, landed me in Ponape viâ Yap and Guam in the Mariannes. The whole of 1896 was occupied by the above work, with some considerable success. I have to thank for zealous and invaluable help and collaboration Don Miguel Velasco, commandant of the Spanish cruiser “Quiros,” now Governor of the Eastern Carolines, E. Oppenheim Gerard, Esq., the head of the German firm Jaluit Gesellschaft on the island of Yap, and Captain O'Keefe and Charles Elvy and Evan Lewis of the same island, and the following island chiefs: Henry Nanapei of Ronkiti, King Rocha of Kiti, Au-en-Marau, Nanchau-en-Mutok, Nanchau-Rerren, and Kaneke and Chau-Wana on the south coast of Ponape; also the Ichipau of Ū, the Noch of Metalanim, Opataia of Aru, Lap-en-Paliker of Paliker, and many other lesser celebrities (“quos nunc describere longum est”), all of whom, in addition to showing great hospitality, took very great trouble and pains to supplement the work with all the most reliable information to be obtained amongst the tribes, actuated all by the noblest goodwill and public spirit. Special attention was given to collecting names of birds and plants, shells and curious marine creatures, in which much able co-operation was met with at Nanchau's bêche-de-mer fishery on Paniau Island, off the mouth of Mutok Harbour on the south coast. The Micronesian comparatives appear to throw considerable light on the question of an early Malayo and Polynesian cultivation of root-crops. Some of the coincidences on the Peruvian side will doubtless be warmly contested; but facts are stubborn things, and outside the class of plant-names the coincidences are equally strange. It must not be lost sight of moreover, that the Manji or Southern Chinese at all times, as well as the Japanese previous to the reign of To-Kogun-sama, about 1530 (who prohibited long exploring - 124 and trading voyages in the outer seas), were long in the habit of going very far afield after sponges, bêche-de-mer, and other South Sea island products—doubtless often in company with their Malayan neighbours. Surely a most interesting page of history lies ready for disclosure here. In the Chinese and Japanese archives, one would imagine, very many tales of these early trading voyages must lie hid, which, read in the above connection, would prove deeply interesting. The great port of Nagasaki, so says a Japanese trader living in Ponape, was the centre of early Japanese trading expeditions to Micronesia. At the present time there are thirty Japanese traders on Rôk in the Hogoleu Lagoon, in which waters doubtless many of their early navigators plied. This alone would account for the numerous Japanese words cropping up all over the Micronesian area, and for an ancient civilisation established in certain regions, traces of which we see in the Ponapean ruins. Traces of ancient cultivation—in the shape of causeways, roads, terraces, and embankments—are found also in Yap. The people of the Mariannes also, as is well known, at the time of the Spanish discovery, about 1530, were found growing rice—a circumstance deemed extraordinary by the Spanish chronicler and worthy of special notice. So much for early Japanese enterprise and the part her early traders and adventurers played in the tangled history of Micronesia of bizarre nationality—that prolific and teeming hive wherein have settled swarm upon swarm of the Black, the Brown, and the Yellow.
WE will begin first with (a) the root crops, taking next in order (b) the fruit-bearing trees, then (c) the palms, then (d) the economic forest trees and canes, and next (e) some medicinal herbs and plants and roots, and lastly (f) ornamental flowers and fruits and ferns and grasses.
Class (a)—Yam, Sweet Potato, Taro Varieties.
It will be seen from the comparison of words given below that there is frequent interchange of names for the various root-crops, which is very natural—nothing more so. Some of the coincidences in name with Sanscrit, Japanese, Motuan (New Guinea), and above all with the Quichuan correlatives, will astonish those who have not yet fully realised the enormous and phenomenal expansion and dispersion of the Malays and Polynesians—those Phœnicians of Pacific waters.
In Ponape the word for yam is káp (compare the Quichuan of Peru kipa, a wild potato), which coincides with the Futuna and Tongan kape, the Arum costatum, or giant taro; which is also called in Tagalog and Pampanga (Philippine Islands) gabi. Cf. Japanese kabu, a turnip. The Mortlock islanders, about 300 miles south of Ponape, and the people of Pulawat and Ruk in the Central Carolines, call the yam ep (cf. Aparai, French Guiana, napi, a yam). Compare also Samoan ape, the giant taro. Cf. Quichua (Peru) apichu, a sweet potato, and kipa, a wild potato. The Ponapeans also use the word káp for root-crops in general, Cf. German New Guinea ngáp, a potato. The potato is kap-en-ūai, or the foreign káp, and the sweet potato is known as kap-en-tomara, from the village of Tomara on the west coast, near the mouth of the Palang River, where they were first introduced.- 125
The sweet yam in Ponapean is kape-lai (cf. Samoan ufi-lei). Ufi probably is a different root—ub or ur. Cf. German New Guinea abib, a potato. The general Polynesian word for yam—uhi, ufi, and ubi—is probably of separate origin, connected with some primitive Sanscritoid or Semitic root ubh, abh, or evh, to be green, to put out shoots (cf. Hebrew abib or aviv, a green ear of corn, ev, greenness). On the little island marked on the maps as Ualan, Kusaie, or Strong's Island, south-east of Ponape, the yam is called mato (cf. Samoan masoa, the arrowroot plant and its tubers, also maho in two dialects of British New Guinea meaning yam, Marshall Islands—Ralik and Radak—matai, a yam; and in German New Guinea madju, a yam). Upon the island of Yap (Western Carolines), where the cultivation of root-crops is carried to great perfection and developed with vast industry, we meet the words dôk, dal, dol, and thap for different varieties, which we will analyse one by one. Dôk or döök appears in the Chamorro language (Marianne or Ladrone Islands) as dágo and in Lamotrek and Satawal (Central Carolines) as dako, in Uluthi or Mackenzie Group as teok, tok. The Yap words dal and dol bring to mind the Polynesian talo or taro. Compare Pelews tel (ngot), Sonsorol and Tobi dar, a yam; also Tagalog tarak, a sweet potato, Malay taras and tarak, a sweet potato, Timor talas, a yam (cf. Chili Araucanian, chalas, a yam or species of taro). In the Yap word thap, for another variety of yam, we have a similar coincidence with Kusaian mati and Samoan masoa mentioned above, with the frequently occurring names for arrowroot in Central and Western Carolines (saposep, topotop, soposop, tapatap). Cf. Pelews theb, a yam, German New Guinea dabe, a yam.
The folk of the little island of Nuku-oro, or Monte Verde, lying midway between Mortlocks and New Guinea, with their marvellously preserved Southern Polynesian vocabulary and phonesis, use the word uhi (cf. one dialect in British New Guinea kuvi, a yam).
The various Polynesian forms, humara, kumala, umara, umala, uara, uala and uwala, for the sweet potato, form a curious chain of evidence. In the Northern Philippines they call it kamote (cf. Sulu Archipelago kamose); the Bisayans of the South and the Marianne folk also know it by the same name, whilst in Japanese there is a generic name imo for root-crops. Satsumu-imo is the sweet potato, and sato-imo the taro. In the Pelews the sweet potato is called the yam of the west ward (theb-el-barath). Cf. Malay barat and Sanscrit Barata (S. India). Compare Sanscrit kauvala or kuvala, the fruit of the Zizyphus jujuba. With kumala compare Sanscrit kauwal, the lotus, kumthla and kumad and kumud, the white esculent lotus (Nymphœa esculenta), also Sanscrit kamal, a lotus, and stranger still the Quichuan (Peruvian) word kumara, the white potato. Was the kumara brought from India to South America by early navigators across the wide Pacific?- 126
Yet another still stranger link in the chain: A frequently-recurring name for yam is kaho and kasu (Tongan kaho) in Polynesian. Compare Kusaie (Strong's Island) katak, taro in general, Futuna kasokaso, Marshall Islands kotok, British New Guinea kudo, udo, the giant taro, Sanscrit kachu also equals potato, kachhu and kechuk, varieties of taro, and Quichua (Peru) cachu and kehu, the potato (and Araucanian gadu, a yam). Perhaps the Japanese hasu and hachisu, names for the lotus, may possibly be akin. Again in Sanscrit manak is the edible Arum indicum. Compare the Kusaian monak, the giant taro (Arum costatum). The agreement is at least curious and remarkable, and cannot be explained away as a mere chance coincidence. A large number of such established facts would go far towards making good, beyond doubt or cavil, Mr, Tregear's theory of the Aryan Maori. Keeping this in mind we will proceed a little further to examine tuber names, which lie scattered so thickly in Micronesian dialects fringing the line of progress pursued by early Pacific navigators from West ever far and farther Eastward. In Ponape the fork-rooted taro is called mang, in Samoan manga-siva and manga-naa. The Ponapeans call taro by the generic name of chaua, and the folk of Mokil and Pingelap saua, and in Louisade Archipelago yawa. Compare Nuku-oro and Motuan tao, the taro. The Marquesan uses the same shortened form. The Samoan pula'a and Futuna pulaka, names for the giant taro, occur all over the Central Carolines as pulak, bulak, burak, and burok, and in Pelews p'rak, Solomon Islands (p to k) as kuraka. Again, in Ruk (Hogolen) oli is the small taro. Compare Kusaie elal, a wild yam, Hindustani alu, a yam in general, and Motuan alo, ulo, a yam. Once more, in Hindustani suthaue=potato. Cf. Tagalog, Pampanga, and Mariannes sûne, sûni, a variety of taro, Timor sikun, a yam. Malay sukun, a sort of bread-fruit, may be akin.
By this time the reader no doubt has feasted his fancy enough on root-crops, and we end the series by examining the words for ginger or turmeric and the dracœna-plant, both of which yield interesting comparatives.
Ginger and Dracœna.
For ginger, we find in Ponape ong and au-long, in Kusaie, Mort-locks, Yap, Ruk, Pulawat and Pelew Islands reng, in Nuku-oro renga or lenga (id.), in Ngatik uong, in Pelews onge-kath; whilst in German New Guinea we find yong-yong=yellow. In Motu (British New Guinea) they call it angi, in the Marquesas (southern) ena, (northern) eka, and enga in Taipi valley. Cf. Pampanga, ange. In Futuna ango=cucumber, gourd (used in dyeing yellow); ango-alulu=ginger or turmeric. Melanesian, angoango, angang, yellow. So really it is a little difficult to be quite sure that here we have not an intrusive Mongolian root. Compare N. Chinese hoang, South Chinese wong, yellow, and Annamese gang and sink kuong, ginger. In the Mariannes mango, mangu=ma-ango=a yellow colour. Yellow in Ponape is - 127 ongong, in Pingelap and Mokil ongeonge, and in Pampanga ma-ange-ange.
If we take reng, the stronger form, and representing the original sound, we find straightway a Sanskritoid etymology. It must be remembered that reng in the Carolines generally is used for the prepared turmeric done up into neat little cones, and extensively used throughout the group, and indeed all over Polynesia and Micronesia, for a cosmetic, known also as taik, of which more anon. So perhaps we may compare the Persian: rang, colour, hue, paint; rangana, to dye, tinge; rangara, rangi, a dyer; rangawat, colouring; rangarang, many coloured; rangat, dye, tint, etc., etc.
The other (found in eastern, central, and west alike) Micronesian word taik, for the prepared cosmetic is very remarkable. Cf. Efatese (New Hebrides) tei (id.). Compare, Marquesan taiki, an orange or vermilion colour; Maori takou, red earth, ochre; Quichua (Peru) tako, red earth, ochre, taku-i, to paint oneself red, takuku-i, besmear with ochre. Probably the above is evidence of a very extensive inter-island trade in olden time, extending even to the great South American continent.
Another name for the wild-ginger is, Yap butral, Uluthi butrol, Lamotrek gotral, gosrol. The Hindustani baithra, baitra, may be identical. The Malay halia, ginger turmeric, probably is the same as Sonscrol halo, haglo, id. Cf. Sanscrit haldi, halidra (curcumalonga), used as a cosmetic.
Yet another curious list of comparatives, sub voce ginger: Malay kunyit, ginger, kuning, yellow; Kusaic kan, yellow; Nuku-oro kanonga, yellow. Cf. Japanese kī, yellow, kin, gold, kane, copper, kon, konjiki, golden, yellow; and Pampango ginto, guinto, gold.
The dracœna, known all over the South Sea Islands as tî, appear in Ponapean as ting. Ngatik thing. It is a common plant in China, the variety with reddish-brown leaves being highly valued for garden ornamentation. They call it tingsu, or the iron plant, from the rich ferruginous tint of its leaves.
Class (b)—Fruit-bearing Trees.
Bread-fruit, Banana or Plantain, Native Almond, Malay Apple, Native Chestnut.
Bread-fruit.—This noble tree, of which there are over fifty recorded varieties, plays a most important part as a bread-stuff in Island dietary. It is mostly to be found on the high volcanic islands, though one variety (the jack-fruit) thrives very well upon many low coral islands. Among Pacific islanders it is known by two separate classes of name, which co-exist only in Nuku-oro. These class-names are mai and uru, or kuru. The former, which is almost universal in Micronesia, and found in the Marquesan and Futuna and Tongan dialects in Polynesia, we will take first.- 128
Eastern Carolines—Ponape, Mokil, Pingelap, Ngatik—māi. Cf. Maori mai, a pine-tree (Taxus matai); Tahiti maiore, bread-fruit. Central and Western Carolines—Mortlock Islands, Ruk (Hogolen)—mei; Lamotrek, Ifalik, Satawal, and Uluthi, mai; Pulawat mais; Sonsorol and St. David's mai; Uleai moai, mai. Cf. in Polynesia, Marquesan (north and south), and Futuna, mei (id.). Marshall Islands mâ (mich-won, the jack-fruit). Kusaian mos (kun-lal, the smooth-rinded sort). New Hebrides beta. German New Guinea mossi (Kaiser Wilhelm's Land) and bai. Pelew Islands medu, methu (id.). Cf. Efatese (New Hebrides) mutrei, fermented bread-fruit. Perhaps Araucanian (Chili) môda, maize-flour or bread, is cognate.
Another variation is found in the forms—Solomon Islands balia; German New Guinea buali, boli, beko; Bismarck Archipelago mberi, bere; Louisade Archipelago beni, beli. In Melanesia, cf. Tanna ne' mar; Eromanga ne' mara; Ponapean mar, the fermented bread-fruit. The Marquesan form, following the peculiar phonesis of the language, certainly appears to come from some such form as mari, mali, bari, bali. Cf. Maori kara, a stone, equals Marquesan ke'a. In Annamese the bread-fruit is known as kai-mit, or the tree-“mit.”
The forms mich, mais, mossi, mos, medu, and methu not impossibly are paralleled by the Japanese mosso, meshi, rice; mochi, rice-bread. Possibly Samoan masi, bread-fruit fermented, is akin. Those who adopt this latter theory may find further confirmation in the fact that in Japanese māi, gemmāi, and komāi denote rice in various forms. Cf. South Chinese māi (in Canton and Swatow), rice; North Chinese mî (in Ningpo). In Yap and the Mariannes rice is called komai. (N.B.—The early Spanish explorers, in 1520, found the Chamorros or Marianne natives with rice plantations already long under cultivation. This long chain of islands, extending right up into Southern Japan, was doubtless an early channel of communication between the semi-Mongolian Japanese, as well as the S. Chinese traders and Micronesia.)
The Formosan comparatives are curious—Pepo Hoan (south and west coast) somai, Pilam (east coast) rumai, rice. Compare Sulu and Bisaya umai, Malay i mei. Compare the Philippine words—Tagalog rima, rimai, Pampanga rimas, Pelew Islands (on Urulong) riamal, and Mariannes lemai, the bread-fruit (id.).
An ancient common name for breadstuffs is apparently here suggested, and indeed is quite possible. The double set of coincidences with the simple form in mai and the fuller form in mos is at least remarkable. The Formosan, Philippine, Yap, Pelew, and Marianne apparently related equivalents form a curious chain of evidence. The forms mberi, bere, balia, boli, beni, beli either come from the Polynesian poro, pon, to be round, or from a prehistoric breadstuff name which we see in Semitic bar, grain, wheat; Latin far, grain, spelt Indonesian bras, bri, pari, padi, rice (r to g, bagga, bagas). Cf. Araucanian magu, rye, and Japanese muge, wheat, barley.- 129
The better-known form in kuru, kulu, and ulu (Aymara, Peru, uri, a potato) perhaps marks the progress of a set of Malay or Polynesian tribes from a somewhat different tribal centre, and who did not mix up so much with Japanese and Chinese traders to borrow or confuse breadstuff names. Malay kaluwi, kulor, varieties of bread-fruit; Timor (Teton dialect) kulu (id.); Kusaie kun-lal, a variety (id.); Nuku-oro kuru (id.); Solomon Islands ulu (id.); British New Guinea gunu, unu, and ur (id.). Perhaps compare Sanscrit kuru, kura, boiled rice; or kuru, a Solanum. Cf. Banga dialect of Formosa, kurao, rice. Cf. also Emerillon and Oyampi in Guiana, meiou, miou, beiu=cassava, the native bread or flour. In French Guiana, Ouayana and Yary dialects, uru=cassava.
A further careful examination of local names in the Indonesian and Malayan uplands, would doubtless supply many fresh interesting links in the chain of evidence. The Sanscrit names for bread-fruit, lakach, kathal, put-phal, and phannas, appear to have no island affinities, The Yap and Ngoli word in the West Carolines is thau, and appears to stand quite alone by itself, as in fact nearly all their tree and plant names do, although, oddly enough, quite a large number of stray Polynesian words and modes of speech are scattered over their language.
Banana or Plantain.—(1) Following practice common amongst Caroline islanders of dropping initial v or f: Ponape 'ut, Kusaie and Mortlock, 'us, Mokil and Pingelap, 'us, 'uts, Ngatik uth, Ruk (Hogohu) us, Pulawat, Uleai, Lamotrek, and Satawal uis, Nuku-oro huti, Sonsorol and Tobi vathogl, Uluthi ut=banana. Possibly Arabic mauz, bauz (whence Latin musa), and Japanese bāsho are akin. Compare also Mariannes chotda, Solomon Islands vudi, pusso, and Tahitian fei, fehi, Timor hudi, German New Guinea pundi, pun, hundi, fut, Bismarck Archipelago bundu, Fijian vundi, Pangasinan (Philippines ponti (id.), Samoan (Savai'i dialect) and Futuna futi. (2) Ponape karrat, Kusaie kalas, Nuku-oro karati, Ruk tailat, talal, Solomon Islands kalula, Malay kalat, klat=a plantain. Cf. Sanscrit kela, a plantain, banana; kadal, kadlak, and kadli, the plantain-tree.
Banana flower.—Samoan mo'a, Sanscrit mocha. There is also a Samoan word, mo'e, mama'e, a banana. Compare German New Guinea moka, mug, mungol, Ponape mangat, a species of plantain. Marquesan and Rarotongan meika, a banana, Tahitian meia, a banana.
Native Almond (Terminalia catappa).—(1) Ponape tupap, id.; Kusaie tufaf, id. Compare Quichua (Peru) tampa, the native almond. Cf. Hindu kadamba, a tree, Malay ka-tappa, the almond-tree. (2) Nuku-Oro talia, Futuna talie, Samoan talie, id.; Tagalog talisai, id. The Yap word kel may be akin to talie.
Malay Apple or Jamboo Apple (Eugenia malaccensis).—Two classes of island names meet us here, the first (a) akin to the name for the Morinda citrifolia (q.v. sub-heading, “Economic Trees”) as seen in - 130 Samoan nonu-ui, nonu-fiafia, and nonu-ula; (b) Ponape kirak-en-ual, kirek-en-ual, the wild Malay apple, possibly cognate with Marquesan kehika, kehia, ehia, Hawaiian ohia, and Western Pacific geviga, kevika, and kafika.
The pawpaw (Carica papaya).—Loss of initial k, and s to t: Samoan esi, Kusaian es. Cf. Malay ketela, id.
Native Chestnut (Inocarpus edulis).—(a) Samoan ifi, Tagalog ipil, a timber-tree, in Yap boi or voi (species with flattish seeds). Cf. Sanscrit ibhua, the olibanum tree (Boswellia serrata). Cf. ibhas, strong, hard. Greek ίφι strength. (b) Yap rung (sp.), Tagalog dungun (sp.)—variety with keeled seeds. (c) Ponape marrap, Tahiti māpe, Mortlocks and Mokil, marefa—same as class a.
Strangely enough the name re-appears on the great American Continent in some French Guiana languages, viz., the Ouayana tribe on the Yari river: the Aparai, the Oyampi, and the Emerillon, where marepa is the name of a forest tree (not specified).
Other remarkable coincidences in these little known tongues are the words uru, beiu, and meiu, for cassava or manioc, from which they make their bread, which is worth remarking (vide supra re coincidences in names for rice and bread-fruit).
Kusaie ki'rak, Pingelap ki'rek, Uluthi ki'rek, Sonsorol gi'rek, Ruk 'anira, id.=the native chestnut. Cf. above Ponapean kirak, kirek, the Malay apple. With Pelews gaiam, kaiam, cf. Araucanian (Chili) koiam, an oak tree. Cf. Maori karaka, kuraka, a tree with edible fruits. Compare Japanese kuri, a chestnut tree, and Timor kulu-lobas (sp.) and kulu-modo (sq.) id.
Class (c)—The Palms and Canes.
The Coco-nut Palm.
The names all over Indonesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, agree marvellously, and may be divided into: (1) Those with weak or syncopated root-form; (2) those with strong root-forms, such as those having their final radical termination in s, k, or g, and r or p. For instance the weak or syncopated root-form is found in the Polynesian universal term niu; the stronger and more ancient form in Maori, nikau. The worn-down form is of course a later one, whilst the strong rough form is the earlier one; unless, as is perfectly possible, we admit the co-existence of both forms side by side in the original seats of the race.
The syncopated form appears pretty frequently in Micronesia (Polynesian forms niu, niau, Mangaian and Javanese nu), Ponape nî, Kusaie nû. Yap niu, Ngatik, Mokil, Pingelap, and half-Melanesian Nauru nî, Nuku-oro nûi. Uluthi lû, Gilbert Island and Marshall's nî, British New Guinea ngi and niu, Lamotrek nû, Satawal lû, Uleai lû, Sonsorol riu, rû, Timor nâ a fan-palm, Louisade Archipelago nihu. Even the Annamese dua appears to be akin.- 131
(2) Stronger and harder forms. (a) Final radical in g or k: Maori and Mangarevan1 nikau, Philippine Islands passim (Tagalog, Pampanga, Bikol, etc.) niog, niyog, Mariannes nidjok, Bismark Archipelago nik (in two dialects), Ponapean nok, a coco-nut leaflet or stem. (b) Forms in p: Sanscrit nipa, the cadamba tree (Nauclea, kadamp), Malay and Tagalog nipa and nibong, varieties of palms (used for thatching), German New Guinea (in four dialects) nip, the coco-nut palm. Cf. Quichua (Peru) nihua, a rush used for thatching houses. (c) Final radical in s: Mortlocks nûs and lûs (id.), Pelews leûs (id.), (d) Final in r or n or l: Malay nior and nûr, Timor nûn. In Ruk nior, the tree-fern. Cf. Sanscrit narjil, narikel, nariyar, a coco-nut; nariyal, nariyali, coco-nut toddy.
The Coco-nut Palm.—Those who disagree with the Sanscrit etymology including the forms in k and s, may perhaps accept a Semitic origin for them: Hebrew lûz and ennoz, an almond, which nevertheless occurs in Sanscrit, according to Duncan Forbes, as lauz. Others again may connect the forms in k with Latin nux, nuc-is; Gesenius, in his great lexicon, connects nux with Hebrew ennoz.
A list of African, West Indian, and Central and Southern American names for coco-nut, banana, plantain, and bread-fruit, would be most valuable for comparison, but apparently no explorer has taken the trouble to collect the local equivalents.
The Areca Palm (Areca fausel or Areca catechu).—Yap bû, Timor bu'a, British New Guinea bua-tau, Solomon Islands poa-mau, Tagalog bonga, the tree, būyo the fruit, Pampanga bonga, the tree, luyus and buyus, the fruit, Samoan paouga, the tree-fern, Maori and Moriori ponga, tree-fern (sp.), Malagasy mpanga, a fern, Pelews bu'ok, the tree and fruit, Mariannes pôgua, the tree and fruit, Sulu Archipelago bunga, the tree, buiok the fruit. Cf. Sanscrit pûg, the Areca palm, also Sanscrit guwak (id.), pungi phal, the fruit.
Chewing betel-nut is not the custom in Ponape. The custom seems confined to the Western Carolines, the Pelews, and the Mariannes. Betel-nut chewing is therefore probably an Indonesian custom, supplanted in the eastern islands by kava drinking.2 The names curiously overlap in Yap by an undesigned coincidence. The leaf used to wrap up the betel-nut and lime, is that of a species of ava—the kawakawa of New Zealand, the kavakava-atua or avaava-aitu of Polynesia. The Yap folk are not kava drinkers, but the plant is called gavui, or gabui, or gabai.
In Ponape the two varieties of Areca palm, the hard and soft fruited, are called respectively katai and kotop. Kotop: cf. Mariannes - 132 hataf, the palma-brava. Katai: cf. Kusaie kuteir=indifferently the Ivory or Areca palm, Solomon Islands katari, a forest tree, and Ponape katar, a tree-fern. Children sometimes eat the soft fruit, it is true, but it is not regularly prepared for chewing, or indeed particularly relished at all. The other Indonesian practice, however, of drinking coco-nut toddy, both sweet and sour, has spread wonderfully in the Pacific, the latter form of beverage having produced most appalling results in the Gilbert Islands and the Marquesas. This, together with other island beverages, will need a separate notice by themselves.
The Sago Palm.—Tagalog and Pampanga ramu, sago, Solomon Islands nami, sago, Ruk (Hogolou) rapun, the ivory-palm; German New Guinea labi, nammar, sago-palm; British New Guinea, three dialects rabia, three dialects rapia, also rabi and lapia, sago-palm; Louisade Archipelago labia and yambia, sago-palm; Timor rumbia, a fan-palm.
The Ponape name for the ivory-palm, a near relation of the sago-palm, is och (Polynesian hoto, foto), from the numerous prickles (och) that arm the base of the leaf-stalks.3
The Swamp-Palm (Nipa fruticans).—(1) Kusaie and Suluan fása, (id.), Pampanga sása (id.), Tagalog tata (id.), sp. (2) Ponape parram (id.), Sonsorol paglyem, paglem (id.), Javanese betram (id.), Sulu Archipelago ballang (Palma brava).
The Canes: Sugar-cane, Bamboo, Reed-grass, and small Canes.
Sugar-cane.—Polynesian tô, tolo, Fijian ndovu, Ponape cheu (t to ch, a common Micronesian change; in Paliker district on the west coast it is called nan-tap), Kusaie tô, Ngatik tho, Mokil tâu, Pingelap tsô, sô, Nuku-oro tolo, Marshall Island tô, Pelews theb, Mariannes tupu, Tagalog tubu, Pampanga atbu, Sulu tubu, tabu, Timor tohu, German New Guinea ti and da' (tab=bamboo), Bismarck Archipelago atup, tup, British New Guinea tom, tonu, Malayan tubbu, tebo. This root is doubtless Semitic.
In Mr. Duncan Forbes's great Hindustani Dictionary, tuba is given as an Arabic word, the name of a tree in Paradise, whose fruit is said to be most delicious; also as an adjective meaning sweet, delicious, excellent. Cf. also Hebrew tob, tov, good, pleasant, excellent; and compare the Indonesian words for coco-nut-toddy, tubo, tuba, doubtless correlatives. It may be added that the "sweet cane" is mentioned by two of the Hebrew Prophets as a rare and precious offering.4- 133
In the Mortlocks and Central Carolines we meet with a remarkable syncopated form, if indeed it be not from a separate root. Mortlocks uaou, uou, Ruk uaou, Pulawat uaeu, Lamotrek uaou, Satawal naeou, Uleai uaou. Compare German New Guinea yo (cf. Emerillon, Guiana ouioua-ou, sugar-cane) and British New Guinea obu, omu, ovaova. Possibly the initial t has been lost—such curious freaks are not by any means unknown in Polynesian and Micronesian phonetics.
The Yap equivalent, differing persistently in plant names, has ma-quil, which also is an adjective=sweet.
Bamboo.—Four curious classes of names occur here. (a) Ponapean párri, peari, Mokil péri, Pingelap pári=bamboo. Cf. Efatese parai, Eromanga poria, Malagasy fary=sugar-cane; Yap môr, the dwarf bamboo, Favorlang (Formosa) borro, reed-grass, and Sanscrit boro (id.). (b) Mortlocks pau, Yap puu (sp.), Uluthi baobao, Ruk pau, Pulawat pau, Gilbert Islands kai-b'ab'a, Lamotrek Uleai and Satawal pû, Sonsorol baobao and fao, Marshall Islands pae (sp.), Ngatik pe-ohe (vide class c), Mariannes piau, Tagalog boho (sp.), Timor fafulo, Pampanga piau, bulu, British New Guinea bau, baubau, Malayan buluh, buloh=the bamboo. Cf. Southern Indian bambû, Northern Indian bans (=bams).
Class (c) is familiar to Polynesian students, where we find Maori kohe is the bush-lawyer (leaf akin to the cane family), Raro-tongan koe, the bamboo, Rurutu ó'e (id.), Tahitian ohe, Samoan ofe, Futuna kofe, Tongan and Niué kofe. Probably connected with a Sanscrit root, kab, kap, or kamp, with notion of flexibility or pliancy. Cognate with Polynesian kofe, kohe, are Marshall Islands koba (sp.), Solomon Islands gohe-nan, Ngatik pe-ohe, Tagalog kawaian, kawaiang, Pampanga kuaian, German New Guinea kumbi=bamboo. Cf. Emerillon (Yary river) kouaman, kourmuri, bamboo.
There is another class (d) represented by Pelews kaur, Bismarck Archipelago kauri and kaur.
The Kusaian word alkasem stands alone by itself, and the Nuku-oro word matira, is probably cognate with the Maori matira, a wand or rod.
Connected intimately with an ancient Eastern Asiatic word for bamboo is the Maori toko, a pole, rod, tokotoko, a walking-stick, rod, cane, punting-pole, with all its numerous Polynesian correlatives. Cf. Ponapean tuka, a tree, stick, piece of wood, chokon, a walking-stick, Kusaie and Mortlocks sak, a tree, wood. Cognates probably are, Japanese take and chiku, the bamboo, Chinese chok (id.). Quichua (Peruvian) soko, sokos, cane in general. These resemblances are too widely-stretching and closely agreeing to be accidental.
Bulrush.—Maori karito, Pelews karisu, a small cane, Motu siriho, a reed. Perhaps Marquesan aeho (kareho), Tahitian 'ārehu, and Ponape álek, reed-grass, are akin.
(b) Small Cane.—Motu (British New Guinea oro (id.), Timor oro (id.), Favorlang odar (id.). (c) Ponape rei, re, grass, roi, ro, a small - 134 cane, species of reed-grass, Yap roi, reed-grass, Motu rei, grass, roi flax, rurua, rattan cane, Araucanian (Chili), rugi, small cane.
Class (d)—Economic Trees.
The Cedar.—(1) Motu (British New Guinea) hotamu, native cedar, Malay itam, black, dark, Hebrew kitam, the cedar. (2) Motu nara, a species of cedar, Japanese nara, the evergreen oak, Ponape kŏra, kăra, the native ebony.
Pandanus, or Screw-Pine.—Used all over the islands for mat-making and thatching, and in manufacturing hats and sails. In the Marshall Islands the fruit (called pop) is eaten, and forms an important part of the island dietary. Ngatik, Ponape, and Pingelap ki-pár, Mortlocks fas, far and fat, Nauru par, Nuku-oro hara and fara, Uluthi fat, Ruk fat (flower, li-fát), Pulawat fas, Mamotrek and Satawal fas, Sonsorol fas, St. Davids vat, Pampanga e-bus, Solomon Islands pota, sararang, darashi, Malay hara, hagh, harassas, pudak, putih (Compare Mariannes ag-ag). Cf. Yap and Pelews par, bar, a mat woven of pandanus. Yap choi or troi is unconnected, but oddly enough, the Freycinetia, a wild species is called faa, and the flower of the pandanus is fal. Possibly the root is the Sancrit var, to cover; which would also take in the word fare, fale, for house).
Callophylluin inophyllum.—Hard reddish wood, good for boat-building and cabinet-work; oil of nuts and bark, also its gum, medicinal. Called variously in Polynesia tamanu and fetau, in Fiji (unconnected) ndilo, Ponape ichau, Kusaie ite, Yap biout, viout, bioutch, Nuku-oro hetau, Uluthi fetoi, Tagalog bitanol, Pampanga bitao, Solomon Islands bogoau and katari (cf. Ponapean katai on p. 131)—Called katari from its resin), Sonsorol vitao, St. Davids hathao. It is also called tamanu in Ponape and Nuku-oro, and tamawian in Tagalog, which coincides with the Tahitian tamanu. Another class-name for the tree in Central Carolines and Mortlocks is: Mortlocks rakit, Pulawat rakis, Lamotrek and Satawal ragás. Compare Pelews phthákas (id.).
Another variety with pear-shaped seeds instead of round is called in Ponape luach, in Kusaie luas, and in Yap rumig.
Can any Indonesian, Melanesian, or Maori scholars supply corresponding tree-names to the above?
Morinda citrifolia.—Used for dyeing, and sometimes for medicine. Corresponds in Samoan with name of Malay apple, nono or ngongu. Compare Mariannes nunu, a banyan, Ponape nin, species of banyan, Solomon Islands nin (id.). With the Polynesian forms the S.W. Carolines best correspond: Mortlocks nin, Nuku-oro nonu, Uluthi lol (n to l), Gilbert Islands nonu, Marshall Islands nin, Sonsorol rel, rergl (n to r), Tagalog nino, lino, Pampanga nino, Malay nona, British New Guinea nonu (Morinda) noro (Malay apple). Cf. Favorlang (Formosa) nono, a raspberry, from its redness. With all the above, and with Polynesian equivalents for Malay apple (nonu, - 135 nono), compare Sanscrit nona, the custard apple. In Ponapean the Morinda is called ueipul, nompul (the flame-tree), from the orange dye made from its roots, and in Hindustani auchh.
The Hibiscus (tiliaceus).—Bark used for native cords and strings; prepared fibre for kava-straining and also for rough girdles. The Polynesian hau and fau probably came from a root meaning to bind or tie up. In the Micronesian it appears united to a prefix, possibly an old native name from an earlier and distinct language. Yap kal, Ponape kal-'au, Mortlocks kili-fau, Puk sili-fau, Uluthi gili-fai, Pulawat kini-fau, Satawat kini-fau, Lamotrek gili-fau, Sonsorol giri-fai, St. Davids gini-fai=the Hibiscus, Nuku-oro hau, id. (perhaps Marquesan vaute, aute). Cf. Motu (British New Guinea) vahuvahu, the Chinese rose (Hibiscus sp.) Perhaps Pelews kara-mal is connected with Yap kal (r to l).
The Futuna correlative is remarkable, and will no doubt induce many to accept the kal prefix as meaning “bark” (the name naturally given to the tree for its economic value). In Futuna kalaua means the bark of trees, or strips of bark.
Another class of words for the Hibiscus tiliaceus is found in Mokil pû, Pingelap pê, Mariannes pago, Tagalog and Pampanga balibago.
Nutmeg-tree.—Ponape karara. Compare Moriori kara, aromatic, Maori kakara, sweet scented, Hawaiian ala, scented, wahie-ala, laau-ala, the sandal-wood. Samoan sasala, a'ala, sweet scented, as of flowers, Tongan kakala, Tahitian aara (id.)., Mangaian kakara, of the scent of flowers. The Samoan name of the tree itself is atone, altogether a distinct root.
The Barringtonia speciosa.—Fruits used for poisoning fish. (1) Ponape and Pingelap ui, wí. Cf. Tahitian and Samoan vī, the spondias dulcis, (2) Central Carolines and Mortlocks kul and kun, probably so called from its handsome festoons of crimson and cream-coloured flower tassels. Cf. Persian gul, a rose, a flower. This word is prefixed to many plant-names and flower-names by the Persian writers and poets.
The Polynesian names hutu, futu, and 'utu, seem connected with a root meaning “to float.” The seeds of this tree are found amongst the driftwood and weed at high-water mark on all the low coral islands, floated in on the tides. This accounts for the extremely wide diffusion of the tree in the Pacific and for the wonderful agreement in the name on widely separated islands. On Nuku-oro it is called kava-hutu. Cf. Maori hutu-kawa, the Metrosideros tomentosa, hutu (Ascarina lucida), Solomon Islands puputu, the Barringtonia, Tagalog buton, boeton, Pampanga putat, Mariannes puting, pouting, British New Guinea budoa, budabuda (an allied tree), Uluthi lu-puth, Mokil si-pit, si-put (si is an unconscious article), Kusaie pwospwus.
The Banyan Tree.—Polynesian aoa (ubique), Ponapean oio, aio, Kusaie ao, Mortlocks ao, Yap ao, Nuku-oro āoa, Ruk ao, Pelews aigi, gaigi, Mariannes hoda (sp.), British New Guinea oroa, name of a tree - 136 (Yary R. Guiana aroa, a sacred tree). Perhaps compare Sanscrit aswatth, the banyan tree. The worn-down Polynesian correlatives are doubtless from some such harder ancient form. In the central Carolines the islanders appear to confuse the name with that of the native chestnut and the Hibiscus (gili-au, kiliau).
The Mangrove.—Species used for dyeing reddish-brown. This family is well represented in Ponape, the coast-line being surrounded by a dense mangrove-belt, in many places over a mile in thickness. The common variety is called ak, and is much used for spears, poles, rafters, digging and husking-sticks. Cf. Maori oka, to pierce, oka, rafter, Samoan o'a, a husking-stick, Marquesan and Mangaian oka, a rafter, Mangarevan oka, a digging-stick, Tongan hoka, a cross-timber, Paumotan eoka, a fork, dart. Another variety used for dyeing is called chong (chong, dye, colour). Cf. Polynesian tongo, the mangrove; probably from Aryan root ting or teng, to dye. Motu (N.G.) togo, the mangrove. Cf. Latin tingere, tinctum, tincture.
Thespesia populnea.—Native rosewood, much used for carving into bowls, clubs, paddles, etc. Polynesian miro, milo, Ponape pena, pona, Kusaie panga, pal, Mortlocks mereta, Yap bonabeng, bengebeng, Mokil and Pingelap pene, Ruk pile, Nuku-oro miro, pengipengi, Mariannes banalo, Pampanga bulakan. Perhaps the tree names in Sanscrit, ber, beri, or bel, are connected. In Sanscrit pilu is the name of several forest trees.
Erythrina indica.—Known as ngatae, netae, and atae, in Polynesia, where it is very widely spread. In Samoa the brilliant flowers are called 'alo'alo. The Ponapeans name it par; they also name a year, or season, choun-i-par, or par, because they divide up their year into two seasons of six months each, at the time of the appearance of the red flowers about April or May. In Sanscrit pari, time, season, and the Erythrina is called pari-bhadra and pari-jat (pari-bhadra, the time of the fifth solar month). There are two sorts of par in Ponape: para-pein, female, and para-man, male; the bark of the latter is a tonic in the native pharmacopœa. The Erythrina is common in Queensland and in the Illawarra district of New South Wales.
Timber trees.—Ponapean kanau, a tall bush-tree with wrinkled seeds like walnut, yielding firm timber. Futuna kanava, ironwood, Nuku-oro kanava, a species of native ebony, Samoan anava, an ancient war-club, Motu (British New Guinea) kaleva, a club, Maori kanawa a war weapon. Ponapean ikoik, a variety of native ebony, very hard wood, Tahitian aito, ironwood (?), Maori ita, kita, ngita, tight, firm. Tahitian itoito, hard, firm.
Medicinal Plants and roots.—Ponape up, Kusaie up, a creeper of growth like Wistaria, the pounded roots of which are used for stupefying fish. Yap yôb (id.), Malayan icirc;poh, vegetable poison, the ôpas tree, upas a milky juice extracted from the tree, Sulu Archipelago tub, Malayan tuba, described by Swettenham as a creeping plant, the - 137 root of which when beaten gives out a poisonous juice, and this thrown into water stupefies fish and brings them to the surface; menuba ikan, is the phrase used for the process. The Ponapeans employ up in their medicines cautiously and in minute quantities. Another curious herb is used by the Ponapeans to stupefy the Tentumuoi, a sort of yellowish or reddish jellyfish, a gelatinous creature which lurks in the cracks of the reef-coral, valued for making a savoury soup; a bunch of kóm, a variety of seaweed, is crushed up and laid on the hole, with a heavy stone to keep it in place, where the Tentumoi has withdrawn himself, in a little while, when the bunch is removed, he floats up limp and helpless. With Ponapean kóm compare Kusaian káp, seaweed, and Japanese kobu, kombu, edible seaweed (Laminaria japonica). The Japanese use this as a vegetable. It is quite palatable to European tastes. During my stay on Paniau, with a party of natives engaged in the collection of bêche-de-mer and sponges, a Nagasaki trading vessel came into Kiti harbour to load copra. She had many boxes of this prepared seaweed on board, and our good people at the fishery relished it well, and it often made its appearance in the camp rations.
Ponapean inot, Mokil and Kusaie and Pingelap ramak, a littoral tree with cruciform white flowers, large fleshy clubbed leaves used as tonic and febrifuge. In Nuku-oro it is known as manuka-pasanga, recalling the well-known Maori manuka, a tea-tree. Strangely enough in the Illawarra district of New South Wales, malluk, milluk, and malli are applied by the blacks to this same tea-tree scrub. It is an old Dravidian tree-name. Mallika in Hindustani is the Arabian jessamine.
Solanum sp.—Marquesan makomako (on Huahuna) sp., Indian mako sp.
Pepper.—A very clearly defined plant-name all over the islands and in the dialects of India. We will take the (1) Polynesian words first, (2) then the Micronesian, then (3) the Hindustani and Sanscrit correlatives.
(1) Maori poroporo, poporo (Solanum aviculare and S. nigrum); Rapa-nui poporo, a solanum, poporo-hiva, tobacco (i.e. the foreign poporo; Tahitian oporo, various kinds of capsicum or bird-pepper; Hawaiian popolo, a variety of solanum; Tongan bolo, bobolo, the bird-pepper; Samoan polo, the bird-pepper, a small red capsicum. Polo-ite and polo-vao, varieties.
(2) Mariannes pupul-on-aniti, the Piper macropiper, a near relative of the Piper methysticum, known in New Zealand as the kawa-kawa, in Samoan as the avaava-aitu, and in Tahiti and Marquesas as the avaava-atua. The Marianne word exactly corresponds—meaning the pupul of the gods (aniti, anito=aitu). Its leaves are used in the Mariannes for wrapping up the betel-nut and lime. In Yap and Pelews they call it gavui, kavui, or gabui.- 138
(3) A numerous family of Indian words connected: cf. Sanscrit pipal, the Piper longum; Dakh. pipla, the long pepper; Sanscrit pippali (id.); Hindustani (passim) pilpil, filfil, capsicums or pepper in general.
Kava or Piper methysticum.—In Polynesia ava or kava is used in an extended sense of strong drink in general. Similarly all over Micronesia there is a very peculiar word for the drink brewed from the kava-root, which denotes as well coco-nut toddy (cf. Marquesan ava-ehi and Tahitian ava-haari) and strong drink in general. The word apparently is one of the numerous Japanese words scattered so plentifully amongst the Micronesian dialects, and even occurring here and there in the abraded and worn-down dialects of south and south-west Polynesia, to the astonishment of the philologist.
Ponapean chakau, choko, (1) the kava, (2) strong drink in general, chika-lewi, taka-rui, coco-nut toddy; Kusaie seka, (1) the kava, (2) strong drink of all sorts, saka, coco-nut toddy; Mortlocks sakau, soko (id.); Mokil and Pengelap sakau, coco-nut toddy, saka-maimai, (1) the sweet unfermented toddy, (2) molasses; Ngatik thakau, thakarui, strong drink, toddy; Gilbert Islands taka-maimai, sweet toddy, taka-ruoruo, sour, fermented toddy; Marshall Islands saka-maimai, sweet toddy; Malay tûak, tuâk klápa, coco-nut toddy. In Philippines the vinegar prepared from sour toddy is called suka, tuka, suko, tuko. Cf. Japanese sake, saka, rice-spirit, wine, strong drink in general.
Coco-nut Toddy.—The Philippine Island word for the toddy (tuba) is probably from a Semitic root meaning “sweet.” Cf. the words for sugar-cane, and their comparatives.
Another set of words occur idiomatically in the Central and Western Carolines: Mortlocks ati, Yap atchif, Uluthi kati, Ruk ati, Lamotrek and Ifalik kárri, kásri, Satawal and Pulawat kási, kásri, Uleai kárri, kôrri, Sonsorol gasi, St. Davids gati.
Quite possibly the root underlying these forms is the Sanscrit khatta, kharsh, sour; which appears in Ponapean kárrer sour, katik bitter, Japanese karashi, karai, sour. The two allied roots, kar and khat, exist side by side in Sanscrit with all manner of modifications.
The Japanese word for strong drink has penetrated even to Peru.
The chicha, or maize-beer, is called in Quichuan heka, and seke, sokoi, clearly evidence of an early trading communication.
Tobacco.—Rapa-nui poporo-hiva, the foreign poporo or solanum, Maori poroporo, poporo, a solanum, Samoan sului, a native cigarrete, sai, a bundle of tobacco, Malayan sirih, leaf of betel-pepper used to wrap up betel-nut for chewing, Sonsorol teroi (id.), Quichuan sairi, tobacco.
Maize.—Samoan sana, Quichuan (Peru) sara, Indian juar, jinor, jawara (id.). Sana in Samoan is a curious word. Is it a true Samoan word? Is it the name of some local reed-cane or grass newly applied? In any case the Quichuan word is not a modern introduction, and its faithful coincidence with the Indian is very remarkable.- 139
Calabash.—Maori tawha, tahe, taha (id.), Favorlang tabo, a gourd, Tahitian taha, a coco-nut bottle, Malay labu (l to t), a gourd, Malagasy voa-tavo, a calabash, Sanscrit tomba, a calabash, also lavu, a gourd, calabash. Cf. also Mota tavai (id.), Battak tabu-tabu (id.).
Class (f)—Flowers, Ferns, and Grasses.
Gardenia.—In Polynesian pua, so-called from its fragrant white flowers (pua also equals flower), Ponapean pur, (1) the gardenia, (2) a flower in general. Cf. Sanscrit phul, a flower, Latin flos, floris (id).
Ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata).—Samoan mosooi, Rarotongan motooi, Ponape chair-en-uai, the Cananga (i.e., foreign blossom), chair in U and Mutalanim = flower (elsewhere pur). Cf. Mortlocks and Ruk sair, a flower, and Javanese sari (id.). Compare Sanscrit baur, the mango-flower.
Common Fern.—Maori maruhe (id.), Nuku-oro ruhe (id.), Ponapean marek (id.). Perhaps, however, Maori maruhe and aruhe are akin, and are to be referred to Japanese warabi, fern, Yap warubarub, waruburub (id.).
Lily.—Maori rengarenga (the N.Z. lily), Japanese renge, the lotus flower. In Ponape and Kusaie the lily is called kiop, kiuf. Can any Indonesian student throw light on the origin of these last two names?
Hart-tongue Fern or Birdsnest Fern.—Ponapean talik. Probably connected with Malay taringa, an ear, taring, a prong, with the idea of projection. Perhaps the Ruk word tanaka, a tongue, and the Central Carolines tallak, dilak, and silak, a spear, come from the same root.
Flowers, &c.—Quichua mokomoko, a piperaceous plant; Marquesan makomako (sp. Solanum). Philippine Islands and Sulu Archipelago (passim) sampaga, a flower (especially appled to jessamine or Cananga odorata), Javanese champaka (id.), Macassar champaga, a flower. Cf. Indian champa, champak, a tree bearing a fragrant yellow flower; its flower Michelia champaca. Thence probably Hindu chamak, splendour: chamakta, bright, brilliant; chamikar (Sanscrit), gold; chamai, copper-coloured—cognate with Samoan samasama, yellow. Perhaps the Favorlang (Southern Formosa) is akin—sammi-sam, a chaplet, garland of flowers.
Lastly, for the word "tree" itself there are three remarkable classes of words:—
(1) The Ponapean tuka, Ngatik thuka (perhaps also the Kusaian sak) may be connected with the Malayan tunggul, the stump of a tree, and with Maori take (id.).
(2) A large class of words very widely extended appears to show the intrusion of prehistoric Mongolians or very early Dravidians in Micronesian waters. Cf. Yap and Ngoli kaquei; Gilbert Islands kai; German New Guinea kai and ai; British New Guinea kaiwa, - 140 kai-pui, hau, au, and kai-yau; Mariannes hayo (k to h, a common letter-change in Mariannes); Sulu Archipelago kayu and kahoi; Tagalog, Bikol, Panayan, and Ilocan kahoi (Ilocan also kayu); Pangasinan quieo; Malayan kayut. Compare Annamese kai and Japanese ki. In Hindustani gachh=a tree.
(3) A very curious word appears in the Central Carolines, and apparently re-appears in distant French Guiana—Mortlock Islands ura, a tree; Pulawat, Uluthi, Lamotrek and Ifalik and Satawal, ira, a tree; Solomon Islands uroi, a tree. Cf. Oyampi (Guiana) iouira, ouira, a tree; Emerillon (Guiana) wira, ouira (id.). Elsewhere the word seems to be unknown.
1 In Solomon Islands nika denotes two species of Areca palm (the nika-solo and nika-torulo.)
2 The custom of wrapping the betel-nut and lime in a wrapper of kava-leaf, probably paved the way to kava-drinking from the warm aromatic flavour of the leaf.
3 By way of comparison notice, Ponape uchu, Polynesian fetu, hetu=star, Ponape ichu, Polynesian fitu, hitu=seven, Ponape ichau, Polynesian fetau, hetau,=a tree (Callophyllum).
4 “Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money” (Isaiah xliii, 24). “To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country?” (Jeremiah vi, 20). In the other passage (Exodus xxx, 34) where this plant is mentioned, it is as an ingredient in the sacred incense.