PROTO-POLYNESIAN ETYMOLOGIES
*Pilita [Proto Polynesian]
Dioscorea pentaphylla, "Five-fingered Yam" (Dioscoreaceae)
Tui
This word originated in tropical Polynesia.

Proto Nuclear Polynesian: *Pilita
REFLEXES IN SOME POLYNESIAN LANGUAGES:
Niuean: Pilita (Dioscorea pentaphylla "Wild yam", Dioscoreaceae)
Samoan: Pilita (Dioscorea pentaphylla "Five-fingered yam", Dioscoreaceae)
Tahitian: Pirita (Dioscorea nummularia "Yam", Dioscoreaceae)
Tuamotuan: Pirita (Dioscorea pentaphylla "Five-fingered yam", Dioscoreaceae)
Rarotongan: Pirita (Dioscorea pentaphylla "Five-fingered yam", Dioscoreaceae; also Jasminium didymum, "Native Jasmine", Oleaceae); Pirita tūtae poaka "Finger-leaf yam [lit. pig turd yam]", Morinda myrtofolia (Rubiaceae).
Maori: Pirita (Ripogonum scandens, "Supplejack", Ripogonaceae; also several species of mistletoe: Loranthus micranthus, Tupeia antarctica, Alepis flavida, Peraxilla colensoi, Loranthaceae).

Tapa-Samoa
Reserved for a photograph -
(Watch this space!)
Tapa-Samoa
Reserved for a photograph -
(Watch this space!)

COGNATE REFLEXES IN SOME OTHER AUSTRONESIAN LANGUAGES
This word seems to have originated in Polynesia.

RELATED WORDS
Another, now more widely grown species of yam, Dioscorea alata, is denoted throughout Polynesia by words derived from Proto-Polynesian *Ufi.


Watch this space! This is a page still very much under construction, but which contains the essential linguistic and botanical information, and to which both text and pictures will be added progressively as soon as time permits. See the first item on the "News" page for more information.

The five-fingered yam was a "canoe plant" carried by the first Polynesians. As a food item it has been largely replaced by the purple yam, ufi (Dioscorea alata), also an early Polynesian introduction.

Sunset-Tiapapata
Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)
Kauri+Text
Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)
Further information : (See Bibliography).
Photographs: (Yet to come.)

Te Mära Reo, c/o Benton Family Trust, "Tumanako", RD 1, Taupiri, Waikato 3791, Aotearoa / New Zealand. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License