PURIPURI - LIST DISCUSSION
Shnukal (1988: 187) attributes puripuri to the Kala Lagaw Ya language of the
Western Torres Strait, one of two main lexifiers for Torres Strait Creole. Mihalic does
not list it, and it appears unknown to Mühlhäusler (1979). Anyone any better idea?
John Burton 25 Nov 2001
Just a comment on puripuri. In the Tanga and Anir islands (New
Ireland Province) people talk about puripuri more specifically in terms of 'love magic' as
opposed to other kinds of sorcery or 'poisen'. Can't help much on the origin, but
interestingly FLS Bell lists "puri-kuf" (in his Tanga-English dictionary) as
meaning "magical healing". "Puri" is the verb to steal, which is also
kinda interesting in that a lot of 'poisen' cases involve what people refer to as the
stealing of one's 'dewel' by a masalai. 'Dewel' is used to refer to both the spirits of
the dead and the living; if you can't get your dewel back you'll most likely sicken and
Stephanie Garling 26 Nov 2001
Likewise for Lihir - hardly surprising given proximity. But
puripuri is rarely used. Poisen is often pronounced and spelled 'posen' by Lihirians.
People often simply say 'buai" when referring to certain types of magic, most of
which are conceptually linked to the 'Buai Cult' which I think originates in ENB. But it
seems to extend to all forms of magic that include ingestion of plants with betel nut and
lime where the aim is to transform the person so that, for example, he can be invisible,
or communicate with spirits, or take on the form of an animal to perform sorcery.
Martha Macintyre 26 Nov 2001
Don't know about the origin, but I know it's used as far as Katherine in the Northern
Territory, as well as PNG.
Craig Volker 24 Nov 2001