Language / spelling

Most of the people on the island of Savu speak Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) and / or the local language, Savunese or Lii Hawu. A few people speak a minimum of English. The island is called Hawu in the local language, Sabu in Indonesian and Savu in English. The spelling Sawu, which is also found, is derived from the Dutch (Sawoe) in which the letter /w/ corresponds to the letter /v/ in English. The inhabitants are Do Hawu in the local language, or orang Sabu in Indonesian, and they are the Savu people or the Savunese in English.

Lii Hawu belongs to the Austronesian group of languages and its Central Malayo Polynesian (CMP) subgroup. Variants of Lii Hawu are spoken on islands where important communities of Savu people have established themselves, for instance in Kupang, (Timor), East Sumba and Ende (Flores).

Lii Hawu does not have the letters /f/ and /s/, the latter being replaced by /h/. However in Dutch manuscripts from the 17thcentury, the names of the island and of its inhabitants are spelt using the letter /s/, indicating that the change to /h/ occurred during colonial times. The first list of Lii Hawu words (with translation into English) was established by Sydney Parkinson from Captain Cook’s expedition on the Endeavour. The list contains some 250 words written with English orthography; it too uses the letter /s/.

 team of researchers under the leadership of Dr. Chuck Grimes has been documenting the Savu language, Lii Hawu, since 2000 and a dictionary of vernacular terms has been published on-line with translations into Bahasa Indonesia and English. See www.e-kamus2.org(dictionaries Hawu). It is a work-in-progress and the dictionary will be augmented from time to time.

The glossary given below was produced for Palm blossoms of Savu / Bunga Palem dari Sabu (G. Duggan, 2010) and refers more specifically to weaving traditions and ceremonies related to textiles. It follows the spelling of the on-line dictionary.

Glossary

Li Hawu Bahasa Indonesia English
a
a’a kakak elder sibling
ae banyak, besar, lebat many, much, great, big
aj’u kayu, pohon wood, tree
aj’u tegida kayu tegida (kayu dadap) tegida wood (erythryna orientalis)
aj’u genu . heddle stick
ama /ma bapak /ayah father
ana anak child
ari adik younger sibling
aru delapan eight
b ; b’
bèka sambungan tengah sarung middle seam of sarong.
bèla luas, lebar large, wide
bèni perempuan ; woman; also female name
èpu bèni nenek ; grandmother; ancestress
bèni menanu wanita penenun female weaver; master weaver
b’ab’a ; pendek, rendah; short; low;
èi b’ab’a sarung pendek untuk jasad seorang perempuan di Mesara short sarong for corpse of women in Mesara
d ; d’
dao nila / tarum / tom indigo
dini motif kecil di bagian ujung sarung small motif on the end part of the tubeskirt
d’ab’a upacara permandian adat; nama bulan di calendar adat traditional baptism; also name of a month of the ceremonial calendar
d’ue dua two
d’ula tempat makan/dulang; dibuat dari cabang pohon lontar basket/ container made of the stem of an areca tree branch; dish, plate, tray
e ; è
èhu pusat / puser navel
1. èi air water;
èi mada mata air; sumur source
2. èi sarung tubular cloth for women; sarong
èi lèko wue sarung pertama anak perempuan first tubeskirt worn by a girl.
hi’i lèko wue selimut pertama anak laki-laki first loin cloth worn by a boy
èi wopudi sarung anak (tanpa motif ikat) child sarong which has not yet ikat motifs.
èi mea  sarung merah (kramat) red tubeskirt; powerful cloth for a deceased woman
èki /èke ikat, mengikat to tie, to connect
( tali) (lihat: tali: mengikat benang sebelum mencelup untuk membuat motif) (technique of tying cotton threads to create a motif before dye process)
èmu rumah house
èmu kepue rumah adat leluhur house of origin
èmu rukoko rumah tradisional Sabu traditional house in Savu with extended ridge
èpu apu grand parent(s), ancestor(s)
g ; g’
gaa bagus nice
g’a besar great, magnificent
h
haba gayung dari daun lontar bucket made of one lontar leaf
hab’a bekerja to work (agriculture)
Hawu Sabu Savu
Hawu / j’awa Sabu asli / orang dari luar Sabu indigenous / non-indigenous; foreign
hebe motif utama untuk sarung perempuan main motif on woman’s tubeskirt
hengaa 1. nafas, napas 1. breath
2. arwah 2. soul that never dies
hegai bengkok; sangkutan hook
Hèb’a Seba (Sabu barat) Seba (West Savu)
hèru alat memintal benang spindle
menyèru memintal to spin (cotton)
hi’i / hig’i / hij’i selimut; juga selendang laki-laki man’s hip-cloth (also shoulder cloth)
hi’i wohèpi / selimut dengan motif pertama hip-cloth with basic motif of
hij’i wohèpi the same name
Hole / Kowa hole nama upacara terpenting di semua wilayah (pada bulan terakhir di dalam kalendar adat) name of one of the most important ceremonies in all domains (last month of lunar year)
hubi 1. mayang; bunga palem 1. palm flower
2. nama kelompok perempuan 2. name of the moieties
hubi ae mayang besar / Bunga Palem Besar Greater Blossom
hubi iki mayang kecil / Bunga Palem Kecil Lesser Blossom
huri belang; motif baris besar di atas selimut orang laki-laki stripe; large band of motif on man’s hip-cloth
i
ihi isi; badan content; body
b’ui ihi nama upacara: ‘siram badan’ name of ritual ‘to sprinkle the body’
iki kecil small
ina ibu mother
j ; j’
janga / kejanga cabang; branch
hebe kejanga nama motif khusus wini Putenga name of a pattern restricted to wini Putenga (Lesser Blossom)
Jingi tiu kepercayaan kuno nenek moyang name of traditional ancestral religion
Jingi wiki nama kelompok dari wini Putenga yang menpunyai gaib. Name of a group of people who practice black magic (wini Putenga)
j’awa asing foreign
k
kare ; pohon dadap Lat. erythryna orientalis. Kare tree has to be planted next to the tegida
aj’u kare = aj’u tegida kayu dadap = kayu khusus untuk tegida
keb’èla lebar , luas large, big
kepepe keb’èla pusaka tenunan asli heirloom basket for textiles
kekama hab’a pegangan gayung lontar; nama motif untuk selimut handle of lontar palm bucket; name of a motif on men’s hip-cloth
kelutu berbelang/bergaris/berbintik ; efek zebra dotted, zebra effect
kelutu mea berbintik putih dan merah dotted white and red
kelutu mèdi berbintik putih dan hitam ; memberikan efek garis-garis zebra dotted white and indigo dots; gives a zebra effect.
kètu; kepala; head;
rukètu 1. rambut; 2. nama upacara 1. hair ; 2. name of a ceremony
kene; hekene; sehelai kain tenun tanpa sambungan; weaving made of one piece;
d’ue kene kain yang terbuat dari dua potong dengan satu sambungan weaving made of two pieces (one seam)
kepepe pana (Mehara) keranjang terbuat dari daun lontar untuk menyimpan kain keramat wai plaited basket made of lontar palm leaves for heirloom weaving.
kepepe kenana peralatan sirih betel box
kèbo hida / mengkudu Lat. morinda citrifolia
kèbo mèmo mengkudu Lat. morinda tomentosa (considered indigenous)
kètu kepala head
kewèhu simpul knot
kewèhu kètu konde hair bun; chignon
kewèhu rai upacara didalam kalender adat lit. ‘knot of the land’; generic name for ceremonies at fixed times in the calendar adat.
kowa perahu traditional boat
kowa hole nama upacara ‘melarung perahu’ (April-Mei) name of a ceremony ‘to launch a boat’ (April-May)
kowa Makaha perahu Makasar (nama motif di selimut) Makassarese boat (name of a motif on men’s hip-cloth)
l
lado mahkota crown
lede gunung, bukit mountain, hill
ledo 1. tarian tradisional waktu upacara kematian orang penting 1. traditional dance at funeral ceremony of important people
2. nama motif pertama untuk sarung kelompok Bunga Palem Kecil 2. basic motif for sarongs of the Lesser Blossom
lehu destar head-cloth
lèba tabu; nama motif sarung bangsawan (motif larangan) taboo, restriction; name of motif for sarongs of the ruling classes (restricted motif)
lèmi lima five
huri wolèmi selimut dengan lima baris motif utama five rows of main motif on hip-cloth
huri wopidu  selimut dengan tujuh baris motif utama seven rows of main motif on hip-cloth
Liae Liae (kecamatan Sabu selatan) Liae (district in southern part of Savu)
ligu wake sabuk alat tenun belt of back-tension loom
liru langit sky
lod’o matahari ; hari sun; day
Apu Lod’o Liru Tuhan (‘Keturunan Matahari’) God (‘Descendant of the Sun’)
lore niddy-noddy
lua pembuluh darah, urat blood vessel ; vein ; tendon
lua wèngu benang kapas cotton thread
m
made mati dead
dou (dèu) do made orang mati deceased (the dead person)
wai made tenunan kecil untuk membungkus mayat small weaving for wrapping a corpse
mago mangkok bowl
huri mago nama motif di dalam baris ikat kecil pada selimut laki-laki name of a motif in a small ikat band of a man’s hipcloth
mea merah red
Mehara Mesara (kecamatan di bagian barat) Measra (district in western part of Savu)
mèdi hitam black
miha sendiri; satu-satunya itself, on its own; the only one
Hawu Miha/ JawaMiha nama leluhur utama names of key ancestors
mola’i / morena laki-laki (pria) / betina, perempuan male / female
Kobe morena Nama motif utama kelompok wini Ga Name of main motif wini Ga
Kobe mola’i Nama motif utama subkelompok wini Ga (keturunan Mojo Lado) Name of male motif of subgroup of wini Ga (descendant of Mojo Lado)
n
ngi’u badan body
j’uli ngi’u badan dari sepotong tenunan body of the cloth
p
pehere jara tarian kuda horse dance
pehèdu belida, balira (dari kayu asem) sword (of the loom; made of tamarind wood)
pudi putih white
r
raa darah blood, ‘humor’
rai tanah/daerah/pulau/darat land, island, region; realm;
Deo Rai nama dewan : Penguasa Bumi /Tuhan Tanah name of priesthood: Priest of the Earth
raja 1. pukul; 2. raja 1. hammer; 2. king
èi raja sarung dengan garis raja (dulu untuk bangsawan) sarong with raja stripes (earlier restricted to nobility)
rena / morena betina female
roa 1. lubang 1.hole; empty space
2. tempat antara dua papan 2. space between two planks
3. baris kecil hitam antara dua baris bermotif ikat 3. small black band between two bands of ikat design
ru daun leaf;
ruhelagi daun pohon asem tamarind leaf (name of a pattern)
ruwèngu daun kapas; benang kapas cotton leaf; cotton thread
t
tali mengikat benang sebelum mencelup untuk membuat motif technique of tying cotton threads to create a motif before dye process
tegida rumah adat keturunan garis ibu; pusat organisasi untuk satu wini atau hubi ritual house of a wini or a moiety
 tegida mea rumah adat untuk mencelup mengkudu  ancestral house for red dye
tegida mèdi rumah adat untuk mencelup nila ancestral house for indigo dyes
aj’u tegida  pohon dadap; kayu dadap erythryna orientalis
tèlu tiga three
u
ub’a mulut, teluk mouth, bay
Ub’a ae nama sebuah tempat upacara di Mesara name of a ceremonial place in Mesara
ub’ad’ara pelabuhan harbour
udu / kerogo suku, (clan, garis ayah) / sub-group dari suku clan (paternal line) / lineage
w
wai sabuk (upacara) belt (ritual)
wai labe; wai made kain penutup jasad orang mati weaving used for covering the corpse
wèngu kapas cotton
wènyi 1. pohon pinang 1. areca palm tree
2. nama perempuan 2. female name
wini 1. bibit 1. seed;
2. cabang dari kelompok 2. branching group in a moiety
wokelaku nama motif utama di sarung kelompok Bunga Palem Besar name of main motif on sarong Greater Blossom
wurumada 1. mata halus delicate eyes;
j’uli wurumada 2. bagian terakhir/ujung tenunan (rumbai) end part of loin cloth (also the fringe)