LIST DISCUSSION - KWILAI forwarded earlier notes on the derivation of KWILA to David Frodin at Kew and here are his comments:
Thanks for passing on the messages about 'kwila' (Intsia bijuga and I. palembanica). There are actually two species but they are not easily distinguished and the timber is traded collectively.
The origin of the name in the Austronesian languages of New Ireland is quite plausible, but I think Jabim (south of Finschhafen) and any Austronesian languages around Madang are also worth attention. In New Ireland, Nusa Island and (opposite it) Kavieng were among the earliest German establishments, and these were soon in regular contact with Blanche Bay.
I have access to Lane-Poole's book in Kew Library, so can check this out. Another paper that I think uses vernacular names is Warburg's 'Plantae papuanae' of 1891 (Bot. Jahrb. Syst.); this was based on his tour to Papuasia in 1889. For overseas spread of the name, another work is the Department of Forests' 'New Horizons' promotional booklet (1973) which advertised key timbers and was produced in colour.
David Frodin/George Morren 5 Apr 2002