Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/387

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


ON SUNDANESE VERNACULAR NAMES. 359

daily. It lias already been mentioned by different antbors that the in- habitants of" the western part of Java (the ISundanese) are known to be good botanists, and that they use in sonie degree the Linnajan nomen- clature. They have ordinarily names for certain groups, and for the species of tliese groups they have also a special name. In the classification of tliese groups they often are mistaken, but this is especially the case with those plants that are only to be found iu the woods of the higher regions; for, as there are no villages (kampoenjj), the names of those plants are unknown to them. As an illustrating instance I give the name of tjanl'uji (pron. tyanteeguee), which they apply to nearly all the Ericaceae, to Mijrsine and Leplospermum, and perhaps to other plants with leaves similar to the above-mentioned.

Mr. Motley's remark, quoted by Mr. ColUns in the same volume, page 36 1, is thus very true. For example, the name for nearly all the Lan- rii/ea is koeroe (vYOii. hooroo), at 8uinatra and Haugka md(Mi/ff ; for all the Melastomacece, hdrhidoug ; for almost all the Perns, ^«/.oe (pron. pakoo) ; for all the epiphytous Orchids, diiggrtk ; for several Acanthacea and Lablutce, djarong ; the name kiara (pron. kee-ara) is used for many species of the genus Flcns ; kilampani (keelainpanee) for Ard'mu and Vlhiiucavdra ; kaiieka for the RldzophorecB ; pdm for Oaks. Concerning Dr. de Vry's remarks, also quoted by Mr. James Collins, I must remark, (1) that klara is only the name for certain groups of the genus Fie us ; for the other groups other names are adopted : (2) that the Qnercus fusifurmis, Jungh. {Q. Jmujlinhnii, Miq.) does not bear the name o^ kiara. Tliis tree, as is known, varies from the other Quercus by its peculiar habit and by its fruits. It is thus not surprising that the natives do not recognize this tree as a Quercus {pasan). Junghuhn misunder- stood the name, which is really tjara-anak \tjara — resembling to ; anak = children). In other parts of Sunda the name is rijoeng-anak (pron. rccyoong-anak ; rijoeug = around).

There are two causes for depreciating the value of vernacular names. The first cause is that not all the natives know all the indigenous plants. Must of them know the names of those common plants which are used for medical and culinary purposes, but only few know the plants which are found in the midst of the forest. Besides, the natives believe it un- polite not to answer a question, and, to please the interrogating traveller, they give a name of whose exactness they are not certain. The second cause is the small linguistic knowledge of most of the travellers. I have always applied myself to a careful inquiry about vernacular names, and tliough 1 am already a little accustomed to the foreign Sundanese souiuls, 1 am often obliged to (piestion my collectors several times before getting certainty about the names. One must be accustomed a long time to a language before being able to catch the sounds.

Usually the i\Ialayan names are given more correctly than the Sun- danese ones. The greater part of the Europeans in the Archipelago speak more or less the Malayan language, but those who speak also Suji- danese are very few. In consequence a great confusion is to be found in the Sundanese names.

For their specific names they like to use some characteristic words: for example, soesoe (pron. soosoo), they use for a fruit which has the form of the breast of a young maiden ; cnrit (pron. cureet), properly mouse, for a small sort; miujak (oil = smooth), for unarmed species of a genus that commonly possesses thorns (for example, Erglhrina).

�� �