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Yapese Text 1

Qaaw ngea Liib

From Yap (volume 2) by Dr. Wilhelm Müller (Wismar), in series Ergebnisse der SüdseeExpedition 1908-1910, published by Prof. Dr. G. Thilenius: II. Ethnographie: B. Mikronesien Vol. 2, pp 449-50. No name of the informant is given.

 Qaaw ngea LiibCoconut fibre rope and retting pits
1. Faqän raa fool ea girdiiq, meqeree ni qunum ea quchub, meqeree niin’ keeruq nga maliib, ma faqän i buraen, meqeree ni puug nga ni feek nga laang nga ni pirdeqiy nga ba lëy i magad qaaw, ngea m’aay, meqeree ni ruurruug nga madaay nga ni gälik’aed, meqeree gapoel. When people pick coconuts, and drink the coconut water, they throw the husk into the retting pit; then when it is retted, they take it out and pound it with a coconut fibre pounder. When it's finished they shake it around in the sea and then spread it out to dry until it's dry.
2. Meqeree ni feek nga naqun, meqeree paqalib bathum mea choob naag ngea m'aay, meqeree ni nifithey ngea m'aay ea finaeth. Then they take it into the house, bundling it into sheaves and pack it and spin it into threads.
3. Meqeree ni l’aeng ngea m’aay ea qaaw, meqeree ni diriq1 naag mea raqay. Kea yog, faqän raa da qu ra man raqay, meqeree ku ni l’aeng ngea fin i mang ea raqay. They plait them all up by fathoms into lengths of a hundred fathoms. If there isn't enough fibre to make a hundred fathoms, more is added to make a hundred.
4. Ma kea yog, meqeree m'aay, meqeree ni th'eeth'aeb ea matharthaar riy, meqeree m'aay. Meqeree ni cheen naag ngea m'aay, meqeree ni taay nga naqun. They shave off the rough edges of it. They coil it up for house-building.
5. Meqeree baay ni toey ea naqun, meqeree ni feek nga ni m’aag ea naqun ngaay. Meqeree m’aay meqeree ni taay nga naqun. When they are going to build a house, the use it to tie together the house. That’s how they build a house.
6. Qaaw ea ba piireq faan rook’, ea suusun machëy u ngabchëy, ma liib ea yi maa taay ea qaaw ngaay, ma daab i yog ni yi raa taay nga maraen, yaa raa kireeb. Coconut fibre rope has many uses, like nails and bolts in foreign houses. Retting pits are what they put coconut fibre into; it shouldn't rain on the rope as it will ruin it.
7. Ma qaaw, faqän yi raa l’aeng, ma goqo raqay diriq. Daab i yog ni ni l’aeng ni ba liichliich. Coconut fibre can only be made in hundred-fathom lengths; they can’t make coconut fibre in small amounts.
8. Qaaw ea daab i qaaw2 ea n’uw ngaay, ma raa paer ni ba geel, ma faqän raa qaaw ea n’uw ngaay, ma daab i n’uw nap’an, mea kireeb. If rain doesn’t fall on it, it will remain strong, but if rain falls on it, it will soon be ruined.

1 diriq the length of widespread arms; fathom.
2 qaaw ‘coconut fibre rope’ and qaaw ‘to fall’ are homonyms.

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Qaaw ngea Liib

Yapese Text 1

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