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My Garifuna -> Gari-History

A CARIBBEAN VOCABULARY COMPILED IN 1666

07/05/02
By: Clifford Palacio

A CARIBBEAN VOCABULARY COMPILED IN 1666

Retrieved and translated by Clifford J. Palacio
This list of Garifuna words was compiled in St. Vincent (Yurumein) in 1666. Over the past three hundred years many of these words have undergone major changes and modifications, but Garifuna speakers of today still use many of them. More than two dozens of them have remained unaltered. After repeating the sounds of the words several times, the Garifuna speaker will begin to recognize the word.

The existence of this list is indeed a very powerful testimony to the fact that our ancestors learnt, adapted and used the Garifuna language on the island of St. Vincent. This evidence validates and strengthens our claim to the history of the Garifuna in St. Vincent (Yurumein).

Here is in part an answer given in response by Nancy Gonzalez to the following questions: “What African language is Garifuna most similar to? Have any Garinagu gone to Africa and studied similarities and differences? Is there any documentation available?”

“Dear friends,
The Garifuna language has been extensively studied by linguists, and is basically of the South American Arawak family, with numerous words taken from the Carib family, also from South America. It has also borrowed heavily from French, English, and Spanish. No more than five possible loan words from African languages have ever been found, and these are not confirmed… My work, starting in 1955, has been oriented toward the ethnography and ethno-history of the Garifuna… The language, as well as most of the technology, much of the religious ritual, and the agricultural and fishing complex derive not from Africa, but from South America…Don’t let yourselves lose sight of this unique heritage. There is no other group in the world with your culture because it is a product of your unique history! It has changed through time as the people have faced new challenges, but its core, largely due to the language, has remained firmly in place. Best wishes for the holiday season and beyond. Nancie Gonzalez”

     
WORDS USED IN
YURUMEIN IN 1666
  WORDS USED IN
DIASPORA IN 1999
THE PARTS OF MAN’S BODY
Nokobou The body Núgubu
Nora My skin Nura
Nabo My bones Nabu
Nillagra My veins Nílagüle
Lillagra His veins Lilegüle
Nitta My blood Nita
Nilibouri My hair Nídiburi
Nicheuke My head Nichügü
Nakou-ora My eye-lid Lidáü nagu
Nakou-iou The hair of the eyelid Liu nagu
Nérébe My forehead Nerebe
Nichibou My face Nigibu
Nichiri My nose Nígiri
Niouma My mouth Niuma
Nioumarou My lip Niumáru
Nari My tooth Nari
Narikae My ear Narigei
Nouboyoubou My temples Nubuyubu
Nitigne My cheeks Nidíen
Nouri My breast Nuri
Neche My shoulder Nege
Narreuna My arm Narüna
Neugueumeueuke My elbow Núgünügü
Noucabo My hand Núhabu
Noubara My nail Núbara
Nanichirokou My stomach Naniguogu* (gau)
Niouanni (f) My heart (Soul) Nuáni Nanichi(m)
Noubana My liver Nubána
Noulakae My belly (entrails) Nuragei* (ai)
Nauba My side Nauba
Nanagane My lower back Nanaganebu
Narioma My navel Nari
Nagagirik My knee Nagachürügü
Nichaoa-chaoua My ham Nichawachawa
Nourna My leg Núruna, Niáda
Nourna-aboulougou My shin Núruna
Namourgouti My ankle Namurugute
Nougouti My foot Nugudi
Nougouti-rokou Sole of my feet Nugudirugu
KINDRED AND ALLIANCE
Baba Baba (Speaking to him) Baba
Noukouchili My father (Speaking of) Nuguchi
Yao My uncle Yau
Niraheu My son Niraü
Hibali My grandchild (one) Nibari
Nibagnem My grandchildren Nibañan
Niboukayem My elder brother Níbugañan Namouleem
Hibali moukou My son-in-law Nibarimu
Liani His wife Liani
Naguette My grandmother Nagütü
Niraheu My daughter Nirou
Nitou My sister Nitu
Tamoulelouan Her younger sister Tamulelua
Nibache My niece Nibase
CONDITIONS AND QUALITIES
Ouekelli Man Wügüri
Ouekeliem Men Wügüriñan
Eyeri Man Eyeri
Eyerium Men Eyeriñun
Inarou Woman Hiñanru
Innouyum Women Hiñanriñun
Ouelle Woman Würi
Ouekelli-raeu Little boy Wügüri irahü
Ouelle-raeu Little girl Würi irahü
Ouaiali An old man Wéyali* Waiali
ACTIONS AND PASSIONS
Jacaba, Noubara Stay for me. Reideiba lidan nubara
Emenichiraba Hope in him. Hemenigiba luagu
Emenichira Hope Emenigi
Nemenichiraeu My hope Nemenigira
Lamanatina I am hungry. Lamadina
Nacrabatina I am thirsty. Mágürabutina
Natoni boman Give me some drink. Nata buma.
Baika. Eat. Baiga* Beiga
Aika To eat Aiga,* Eiga
Kouraba You drink. Guraba
Natiem I drink. Natuñan
Nacharouatina I have drunk. Bacharuadina
Hac-yete Come here. Áhü-ye
Ariangaba Speak. Ariengaba, ariñegaba
Maniba Hold your peace. Maniba
Niorouba Sit down. Ñunruba
Raoignaba Lie down on the ground. Rounba murougu
Raramaba Stand up. Raramaba
Arikaba Look. Arihaba
Akambabae Hear. Agambabai
Aochabae Taste it. Houchabai
Kouroubae Touch it. Gurubai
Bayoubaka Go Baibuga
Nayoubakayem I go Naibuga
Hehemba Run Henunba
Babenaka Dance Babinaha
Nabinakayem I dance Nabinahañan
Choubakouba Leap Chubaguaba
Choubakou naibou I am going to leap. Chubaguana
Béérraka Laugh Beheraha
Naouërekoyem I laugh Nouweguñan
Ayakouaka Weep Ayahuaha
Baronka Sleep Barumuga
Akakotouäba Awake Agaguduaba
Nemervoni Rest Nemeragua
Aouraba banichi Refresh thy heart Awaraguata banigi
Phoubaë Blow Fubai
Chouëba Spit Sueba
Hymba Cough Hinba
Homoura To ease oneself Ámura
Chibaba Wash thyself Chibaguaba
Akao bouka Go to wash thyself. Agawa bungua
Napouloukayem I swim Nabuluhañan
Niarakouäli He was choked. Ñanraguali
Talaba Open Daraba
Aloukaba Seek Alugaba
Hamamba Fly Hamaba
Batikeroyen You fall Bachugereguñan
Kebeciketabaë Sell it Gebegigüdabai
Akani An enemy Ágani
Oubao- bonon An islander Ubouhuna
Balanaglé A man who comes by sea Baranagüle
(Christians or Europeans)
Tamon A servant or absolute slave Idamuni
Inouti High Inñuti
Onabouti Low Ünabuti
Ouliliti Deep Huliliti
Taboubéreti Broad Dabubereti
Mouchinagouti Long Miginaguti
Chiririti Round Giririti
Nioulouti Soft Ñunluti
Téreti Hard Dereti
Kouchakouali Moist Gucharati
Alouti White Haruti
Ouliti Black Würiti
Ponati Red Funati
Youalouti Thief Hiweruti
Oulimateti An adulterer Ounliduati
Oulibati Evil Würibati
Nianouanti Evil Hañanwariti
Iroponti Good Irufuguti
Leuleuti ao A fool Lülütau
Talouali ao A fool (He who has no light) Daruguati lau
Imouemeti Sad Uwedemeti
Chouchouti Piquant or tart in taste Chou chou ti
Natiakayem I fish. Nadiahañan
Abourricaali He is coming into the port. Abürügaali
Naromankayem I sing a song. Narumanhañan
Ichoatoati tao He is in love with her. Ichuahati tuma
Chouba nioumolou- Kiss me. Chuba niuma
Kinchinti loné He loves him. Hisienti lun
Yerekati loné He hates him. Iyereguti lun
Liuetimali Drunkenness Luedifun
Baikoaba Strike, beat Baiguabai
Abaichaglé Whip or wand Abaichagülei
Apparabaë Beat him. Afarabai
Atouattienly He is well. Atuaditi
Naneteiti He is sick. Ganütariti
Hilaali He is dead. Hilaali
Bonambaë Bury him (it, plant) Bunabai
THINGS RELATED TO HOUSEKEEPING AND TRADE
Toubana An ordinary house Tuban
Maina Garden Mainabu
Nichari My garden Nichari
Béna A door Béna
Amac, Nekera A bed Nügüra
Halaheu A seat Haláü
Takae A vessel Tagai
Tauba A half vessel made of gourd Tauba wira
Ritta A drinking cup Rida
Keoue A hook Güwein*, Güwi
Akoucha A needle Agusa
Alopholer A pin (Harpoon) Arufun
Catoli A basket Gadouri
Aribelet Roast meat Alibele
Eberitina Merchandise Ebegidinou
Couliala A small vessel Guriara
Ibitarrou A cord Ifitaru
Ankouroute An anchor Ounguru
Couchique A knife Gusiñu
Chirachi Scissors Isiresi
Anhan Yes An an
Oua Nay, No
Alouka Tomorrow Haruga
Mabouë Good morning Mabuiga
Huican Farewell Awisaha
ORNAMENTS AND ARMS
Narikaela Pendants for the ear Narigaila* Narigeila
Chibouchi A looking glass Isibusei
Echoubara A sword Isubara
Rakabouchou Musket Aragabusu
Kaloon Great guns Galún
Laboulougou The point of it Labulugu
Lirana The middle Liranagua
Tiona The end Tiuna
Chimala A bow Gimara+
Ibitarrou The string of the bow Ifitaru
Narikaela Pendants for the ear Narigaila* Narigeila
Chibouchi A looking glass Isibusei
Echoubara A sword Isubara
Rakabouchou Musket Aragabusu
Kaloon Great guns Galún
Laboulougou The point of it Labulugu
Lirana The middle Liranagua
Tiona The end Tiuna
Chimala A bow Gimara+
Ibitarrou The string of the bow Ifitaru
LIVING CREATURES
Anly A dog Aunli
Oulle anly A female dog Würi aunli
Bouirokou A swine Buiruhu
Alouata An ape or monkey Arawada
Ouayamaka The great lizard Wayamaga
Karattoni A mouse Garadún
Mechou A cat Mesu
Makeré The soldier, a kind of snail Magüre
Héhué A serpent Hewe
Akourou A scorpion Aguru
Hueré-hueré A fly Were-were
Cogouyou A glittering fly Uhuyu, Wadigidigi
Tonolou A bird Dunuru
Ouekelli-pikaka A turkey-cock Wügüri figaga
Kayou An ordinary hen Gayu
Kanarou A duck Ganaru
Koulehuee A parrot Gurewegi
Ouakoukoua A pigeon Wagugua
Toubanna A feather, a leaf Tubana
Tarreuna Wing or arm Tarüna
Tiouma A beak or mouth Tiuma
Tougouti A foot or claw Tugudi
TREES AND PLANTS
Huehue Tree Wewe
Ninanteli A plant Ninadiri
Illehué A flower Ílewei
Toubanna A leaf Tubana
Arabou A forest Árabu
Youli Tobacco Iyúri
Battia Melon Badia
Maboulou A cane or reed Mabúru
Kaniche Sugar-cane Gániesi
Kanichira Juice of the cane Líra gániesi
Choure Sugar Sugara
THINGS ELEMENTARY AND INANIMATE
Oualoukouma A star Waruguma
Huyeyou The Sun Weyu
Kati The moon Hati
Lalloukone Light Larungounga
Ariabou Night Áriebu
Bourreli Darkness Luburiga
Haloukaali It is day. Harugougali
Boureokaali It is night. Buruwougaali
Naouaragle Air Nawaragun
Bebeité The wind Bebeidi
Ouattou Fire Watu
Balliffi Ashes Baligi
Konobou Rain Gunubu
Liromouli Summer Irumurugu
Lamoyeli Cold Hamuyeli
Loubacha Heat Lubacha
Yehumeti It is foul weather Yegumeti dan
Oualou ouyoulou Thunder Wayuhuyuru
Ourogan A tempest Huragan
Alamoulou A rainbow Heremuru
Ouebo A mountain Wübü
Tona Water, River Duna
Chiekati A well Chigati
Balanna The sea Barana
Itika Excrement Idigaü
Saccao Sand Sagoun
Ema A way Üma
Tebou A stone Dübü
Oubao An island Ubouhu
Huehue Wood or tree We we
Crabou Iron Gürabu
Other Articles By Clifford Palacio
09/14/02 Delegates of the Carib Internationals Society attending Conference at Barranco, B.H., Dec., 1931
08/02/02 GARIFUNA NAMES






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