Thomas H. Slone
THSlone at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 25 17:06:52 EST 2006
Moses Matamana Havini, from Buka, uses the term on this Web page:
"The Kapkap is an intricately carved turtle shell disc totem
surmounted on mother of pearl, and is equivalent to a crown."
The term also refers to Solomon Islands ornaments:
Perhaps it is a reduplication of the Solomon Islands Pijin word "kap"
(English cap; Jourdan, p. 91)? (Though it can also be worn on the
>This word for a particular type of shell-backed tortoise-shell
>ornament seems to be widely used in the Pacific art world. I came
>across it in a 1964 paper by H.D.Skinner, who apparently considered
>it an established trans-national term. I don't find it in Mihalic or
>on the revision web site, or in any other Melanesian Pidgin source
>I've looked at. It's not in OED, though it ought to be if it is as
>widely used as it appears to be.
>Is this a Tok Pisin word?
>Can anyone pinpoint its origin? (Shameful confession: I can't find
>my copy of Malcolm Ross's paper on AN words in TP)
>Has anyone seen a documented use earlier than 1964?
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