Archive for ‘Harry R. Fritz’

February 27, 2007

The origin of Palauan names

(Note: This post originally appeared in the comment section but was taken out and published here as a contributor’s item – Administrator)

Please allow me to begin the story of Adaruchei Clan in Beliliou long time ago when the people arrived on the Eastside of Beliliou. Chief of Adaruchei clan welcomed them and he placed in various villages in Ngesiliong, Ngerdelolk and Luiil. The population kept increasing and increasing. The food started to deminish and living standard become deteriorating. The people began to discuss of going to the other islands looking for new space where there are abundant of food. So, one morning an old man went to visited the Chief to tell his plan to go abroad. He asked the Chief for permission to cut log tree for canoes to carried some of the people to look for new and fertile islands. Chief agreed and asked the strong young men to help to build sail canoes. His wife started a plan with older women for preparing the food ready in few months before sailing.

Finally, the sailing canoes and food are prepared for departing one morning. They all gather in the Taoch-village dock called Ngurungor. They started the journey on the eastside of Beliliou. There was a young boy who joined the sailing for the first time. So, the island he saw he asked for the name and the old man replied it is Ngebad. Then, he continued to the second, third, fourth and the fifth. The old man replies the second was Ngerkesiule, 3rd was Ngeruchebtang, 4th was Ngerchong and 5th was Ngerekleim. Ngerekleim is island between Ngerchong and Ngeruchebtang. Because after they made a trip aroung Ngerchong the tide was already very low. Then, the boy saw it and started to count to five an islands. Again, on their way in the channel the saw tree flower and he asked the name the old replied it is Denges. Now it is called Denges Channel. Then continued to the shore or beach then the boy saw big fish swimming toward the deep channel and he shouted asking what is that? The old man hurried to reply and said Ngermaml so, the end of the beach now called Ngermaml. Because he was going reply Ngerchong then he saw Maml-big fish swam passed the canoe.

The next day, they continued to sail to island they Miich (nut tree) on the corner so, old man named it Pkulaesmiich. The sail continued Ngermeyaus after fish name Yaus; Beyab cause looks like mouse; Ngermiich cause of plenty miich on the shore-beach; Double reef: the outer reef called Lukes from there they could have seen the sunken reef between Beliliou and Adyaur; the inner reef called Ngchesau after Barsekesau of Ngerdelolk village; then, comes the long beaches of Ngeremdiu island. Because while sailing closer to the young boy shouted and they heard an echoed. The old man said to the boy that his mouth shouted ngeremcholdiu and he named the island Ngeremdiu.

The next morning they continued sailing to make around the island until they reached the reef the tide was going low. The canoe hit the reef and the taro (kukau) fell down. Old man named it Tabkukau cause the canoe hitted the reef and taro fell; while canoeing in to inside reef the water was very calm. Old man said its beginning of the new year so, name the reef Taberrak; then cross the channel old man saw an eel name it Kesebekuu channel; upon reaching other side the old man said again, let us welcome the new year now the reef called Ngederrak.

They continued sailing to cross another channel the boy said that Ngel floating by and old man name it Ngel Channel; then they reached on new island with beach and stop for lunch; when they opened their lunch the taro already molded old man name it Beknguiek then they heard rattle on the other smaller beach. Group of older people ran toward the beach and land crabs hid themselves under the rocks; they the rocks to collect crabs old man name it Betikel; while they had lunch the boy saw small island similar to the one called Uchel-yuns in Beliliou. So, the old man name the new one called Uchel-beluu cause they already reached on

Beluu not Yuns.

I close for now and will continue………….

By Harry R. Fritz