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X-Posted from "Hausa language, literature and culture" <H-HAUSA@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: "John Philips, Hirosaki University" <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> ------ From: Muhammad Kabir Muhammad <email@example.com> QUERY Could someone please tell me the English name of kirya, the tree whose wood is used by blacksmiths to make ashless fire brand? ------- REPLY 1 Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:03:08 +0900 From: "John Philips, Hirosaki University" <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 08:09:03 -0400 From: "John Hutchison" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Kirya Abraham has it with a hooked k, thus k'irya, and defines it only with the latin: "the tree Prosopis oblonga). John Hutchison -- John P. Hutchison African Language Coordinator Boston U. African Studies Center 270 Bay State Road Boston MA 02215 office: 617-353-7305 Alliance Dalaba-West Newbury 511 Main Street West Newbury MA 01985 home: 978-363-5443 ------- REPLY 2 Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:18:04 +0900 From: "John Philips, Hirosaki University" <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 10:57:16 -0400 From: "Don Osborn" <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Kirya (& digression on tree names) The scientific (Latin) name of the k'irya tree is Prosopis africana. Known as you mention for the quality of its wood, it has been exploited to the point that it is rare in parts of the Sahel. To my knowledge it has not been planted much in reforestation efforts. Here are several sites with more info on this tree, for any who are interested: FAO http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/GBASE/data/pf000370.htm ILDIS http://www.ildis.org/LegumeWeb/6.00/taxa/97.shtml ICRAF http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sea/Products/AFDbases/AF/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1346 US Forestry Serv. http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/techsheets/HardwoodNA/htmlDocs/prosop1.html USDA http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PRAF2 I verified its name on a very nice list put together by Roger Blench for ODI called simply "Hausa names for plants and trees" (which is indicated as a draft for comment only, but it is a very helpful reference as is) at http://www.rogerblench.info/Ethnoscience%20data/Hausa%20plant%20names.pdf . A list with all sorts of vernacular names for Prosopis africana in different languages and diverse orthographies with unfortunately inadequate source info is at http://www.metafro.be/xylarium/species/SN10095 . I'm not sure there is any bonifide English name for this species. Blench mentions "false locust" (locust in this sense is a generic term for hardwood trees of certain families in the temperate zone), the USDA page mentioned above gives "African mesquite" (k'irya is in the same genus as the thorny mesquite tree of SW US and northern Mexico), a Gambian list with surprisingly no indigenous names at http://www.darwingambia.gm/Checklist3.pdf gives "ironwood" (ironwood being another generic term, and one also applied to at least one other unrelated species outside of Africa), and there are probably others. Only half jokingly, I wonder if there might not be as many English names for Prosopis africana as there are names in African languages. So if you need to refer to the tree in a vernacular name in an English text, I would suggest using the term in the dominant African language of the geographic area involved, along with a clear reference in the beginning to the Latin species name. Indeed, many sources, instead of using English or French monikers, adopt African names (see the FAO page above, for instance, which has the Hausa and Yoruba names). To digress a moment on the topic of English or French nomenclature for African tree and plant species: As a general rule (there are exceptions I will come too) the exercise of creating names in English or French for African plants seems a dubious exercise at best and in some cases a waste of time. This may seem harsh, but having looked just recently at the Gambian list above and a similar list of French names, I was reminded of several criticisms: 1) There are often several names for a given species proposed by different sources (as is the case with Prosopis africana), so there is no advantage in terms of standardizing a common English or French name 2) Technical experts (foresters, botanists, agronomists) will likely use the species name anyway, which is universal (though these are sometimes changed as taxonomy is refined), or an abbreviation of same 3) The African language names are already used and understood in local areas or regions, so when dealing in those contexts and needing a vernacular, it is often efficient to use (one of) those 4) The English or French names proposed are sometimes hopelessly linked to references outside of African environment and cultures. An example of this are a couple of names devised in English for Acacia albida (=Faidherbia albida), the tree famous for losing its leaves during the rainy season and regrowing them in the hot season: "Apple ring tree" (a reference to how the seed pods look to someone familiar with peeling an apple in a certain way) and "winter thorn" (winter not generally condsidered a season in the tropics). The exceptions I refer to are trees that have major economic importance (fruit, wood) and/or that have a prominent image beyond Africa. How these names for these particular trees have come into use is probably an interesting story (stories) but as far as I know these have not been the result of efforts to apply new names to them. I see two categories. 1. Those for which an African name has been adopted in the European language, for instance, * shea butter tree (Butyrospermum parkii) - shea from the Manding si or shi * cailcédrat (Khaya senegalensis) - derived from the Wolof xay * cola (Cola acuminata, C. ntida) - possibly Manding kolo * rônier (Borassus aethiopicum) - from the Wolof ron * baobab (Adansonia digitata) - possibly from Arabic bu hibab * coffee/café etc (Coffea spp.) - from the name of the province in Ethiopia from which this plant was propagated 2. Those for which an adoption of a name in English/French which alludes to another economically important species: * African mahogany (Khaya spp.) [mad'aci in Hausa] * Desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca) [aduwa in Hausa] I did come across another approach some time ago where an English name proposed was apparently the literal translation of an African name - in this case the Fulfulde gi'e daneeje for Acacia sieberiana was translated as "white thorn" (it is a tree with very long pale thorns, longer even than those of aduwa). Still, I don't know of anyone who actually used it, and it turns out that "whitethorn" is more widely used for an Acacia in North America. If there really is a need to find a name for wider use in English or French one idea would be to adopt an African name that is already in wide use. English is known for absorbing words from other tongues anyway. So perhaps k'irya could become kirya or kiriya in English? All the above is a quickly assembled set of information and opinion - hope it is of interest and doesn't miss the mark too far on the various points made. (Feedback is welcome - I'll probably adapt this for another purpose.) Don Osborn -- Wannan wasik'ar i-mel ce daga H-Hausa, inda za'a cigaba da hira game da harshe da al'adu da tarihi da sauran lamura na Hausawa da mak'wabtansu. ------- REPLY 3 Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:19:20 +0900 From: "John Philips, Hirosaki University" <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 19:21:42 -0400 From: "Peter Rogers" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Hi Muhammad: The kirya tree is sometimes referred to in English as "African mesquite" but more commonly cited by the Latin species name, which is Prosopis africana (see http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/GBASE/data/pf000370.htm ). Yours, Peter A. Rogers Williamstown, MA USA ------- REPLY 4 Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 18:09:48 +0900 From: "John Philips, Hirosaki University" <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 23:02:12 -0400 From: "Ibrahim Hamza" <email@example.com> G.P. Bargery's Dictionary entry for kirya is "A very hard-wooded, accacia-like tree, largely used in charcoal burning." 'Yan uwa ina Malam Phil Jaggar ne? Hausawa sun ce "A inda babu kasa nan a ke gardamar kokawa. Ibrahim Hamza Toronto-Canada. -- Wannan wasik'ar i-mel ce daga H-Hausa, inda za'a cigaba da hira game da harshe da al'adu da tarihi da sauran lamura na Hausawa da mak'wabtansu.