ipngs at global.net.pg
Wed Sep 4 11:50:13 EST 2002
I seem to have missed the original correspondence re sanguma, so please
excuse any duplication.
An important article is:
Laycock, Donald C.
1996 "Sanguma." In Papers in Papuan Linguistics, 2, pp. 271-81.
Pacific Linguistics, A 85. Canberra: Australian National University.
Laycock reviews much of the literature on this subject, both regards
definition and origins of the word in TP. He cannot find any similar word
from southern Africa (p. 277) and concludes the TP word is most likely from
Monumbo (who nowadays are most often called Mambuan by other groups).
Laycock has a very useful bibliography which, however, should also include:
1908 "Reisen an der Nordküste von Kaiser Wilhelmsland." Globus
In this source, there is a reference to the Monumbo 'zanguma' on p. 141.
This comes from Pöch's research there with Fr Vormann in 1904. Laycock's
first reference to the term is a letter from Vormann in 1906-7. (BTW, Pöch
is also important to us as he made the first sound recording of TP in 1904
which he was in Potsdamhafen in the Monumbo area: of a Sulka police man!).
Re your comment via Luke Kabariu (whom I met at the Garma Festival right
before he went on to see you) about Papua New Guineans in Africa. This
interests me a great deal. Certainly a group of 150 boys and men from
German New Guinea went to Dar-es-Salaam (arriving on 29 January 1906) to
help suppress the Maji-Maji Rebellion. Some returned for health reasons on
12 March, others on 25 May. Otto Dempwolff, of Austronesian linguistics
fame, was working in Africa then and was thrilled to spend as much time as
possible with the Papua New Guineans. He even recorded some of them singing
on cylinders. Perhaps Lupak was part of this contingent (sadly he is not
among those recorded)? Or were there other trips to Africa by PNGns during
this period? I have no information that this group ever went to other
German colonies in Africa.
Head & Senior Ethnomusicologist
Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies
P.O. Box 1432
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
tel.:  325-4644
fax:  325-0531
email: ipngs at global.net.pg
> Thanks Thomas. Excellent work as usual. I must apologise for the
>dearth of new entries recently (work, book reviews etc). As it
>happens, a Lihirian visited me last week with one new item of information
>on the topic of sanguma. A man from Matatukuen village, Masahet Island,
>NIP, called Lupak was a policeman in German times, dying in the 1950s or
>60s. He always maintained that he had been to Africa, "another country
>with black people in it", which educated Masahet islanders late in his
>lifetime apparently thought rather far-fetched and disbelieved him. But
>my informant, Luke Kabariu, says he now recognises that he must have been
>telling the truth; there is no argument, I should say, that Lupak was in
>the police force of German New Guinea. Although I do have genealogies for
>the whole of Masahet, they are rather shallow and only a modern
>Lupak appears in them, not the old police fellow. This is a reminder
>that the Southern African sangoma killer witch theory is at least
>feasible. Presumably the Germans would have had their colonial police in
>Namibia and Tanganyika. Does anyone know for sure if sangoma is known in
>Namibia as it is in South Africa? I don't have the Murphy reference,
>but we do need more detail on sanguma in the Monumbo language of Bogia,
>and indeed some proof that it hasn't entered that language from TP, to
>attribute the term to this place. John Burton
> -----Original Message-----
>From: Thomas H. Slone [mailto:THSlone at yahoo.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, 3 September 2002 5:44 AM
>To: Multiple recipients of list
>Subject: Saksak & Sanguma
> 1. John Burton asked for additional entries for saksak. Quotes are
>from Wantok's Stori Tumbuna
> 2. John asked for other variants on the definition of sanguma.
>Murphy (1985: 100) defines sanguma rather specifically: "The term
>originally comes from Madang where it was used to describe a species of
>malign sorcery and also the person gifted with the power of performing
>it. It was performed by bringing about an apparent mesmerism of the
>victim by the sorcerer who then led him to his assistants and then the
>thorns were pushed into parts of the body where it was desired pain or
>illness would manifest itself and eventually cause the death of the
>victim. A short thorn was pushed into the tongue causing it to swell
>so that the victim could not talk and tell the name of the sorcerers.
>The thorns were dipped in a special secret brew which apparently
>rendered them poisonous. The victim invariably died. The term has
>spread to other parts of the Territory to describe similar sorcery
>where the victim first undergoes mesmerism or is frozen with fright."
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