dewel

English: ‘devil’.

All Papua New Guinea societies have complex and varying beliefs about things which in English are rendered as ‘seat of conciousness’, ‘soul’, ‘will’ and so on, and and the fate of these (i) during sleep or unconsciousness, (ii) at death.

Many have corresponding observances for everyday life. For example, in some areas you should not step on or over a person’s shadow, which is often seen as a visible corrollary or ‘shadow’ of their soul (correspondingly, this makes possible forms of attack sorcery, for example surreptitiously hammering a peg into, or somehow capturing, a shadow to render its owner vulnerable to accident or an attacking enemy). Similarly, you should wake someone gently, so as to allow the dreaming spirit to re-enter the body properly. Equally, a sudden start or surprise can cause the spirit to be temporarily dislocated.

See original Mihalic entry.

Noun forms

  1. Supernatural world: the spirit and/or soul of a dead person.

  1. Physiology: the seat of consciousness of a living person.
    mi harim draipela pairap na dewel bilong mi go pinis I heard an enormous bang and I jumped out of my skin
    mi driman olsem dewel bilong mi i wokabaut long nambis in my dream I walked along the beach

  1. Physical world: a person’s shadow.


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