john.burton at tsra.gov.au
Tue Sep 3 12:01:49 EST 2002
From: Bryant Allen [mailto:bryant.allen at anu.edu.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 3 September 2002 11:42 AM
1. John Burton asked for additional entries for saksak. Quotes are from
Wantok's Stori Tumbuna
There is a term used to describe the strong center spine of the sago palm
leaf, which is sometimes stripped out and used as a fine stick . I think it
is "nok bilong lip saksak" as in "nok bilong koknas", but I am not sure.
Separate words, but it is still sago products, are "pangal" or "bangal" the
word used to describe the outer spathe of the palm when it is split, dried
and nailed or tied on to a house frame in a weatherboard fashion as walling
(I think "pangal" is usual) and "morata" which is sago palm thatching.
Coconut is rarely if ever used for thatch but sago palm is an excellent
2. John asked for other variants on the definition of sanguma.
Mead describes how in 1931 Abelam and Plains Arapesh were trying to obtain a
new sorcery which involves assaulting people, that she calls "sagumeh", from
the coast . My theory is that it was "nabwa", a Manam Island form of
sorcery, coming back from the plantations, because Wedgewood describes how
the Manam Islanders were importing a new sorcery (via the plantations)
called "dzere" which from her description is almost identical to the
traditional sorcery of the Torricelli foothills. So they were swopping
sorceries, each believing the others was more terrible than their own.
In these description "sanguma" is always a sorcery that involves a physical
assault on the victim. It can be that the attacker is rendered invisible by
the magic, or the person being assaulted is paralyzed, but they always get
bashed or stuck with something, don't realize what has happened, go home,
and suddenly die. Traditional Torricelli sorcery involves making people ill
at a distance by performing nasty things over their leavings, "doti" (=
'dirty' in pidgin), (= exuviae in anthropological English) which incudes
hair, blood, semen, finger and toenails etc.
Mead, M 1970 (reprint of earlier publication) The Mountain Arapesh, Volume
2, The Arts and Supernaturalism.
Wedgewood, CH 1934 Sickness and its treatment in Manam Island, Oceania,
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