*Fau [Proto Polynesian]

Whau

Entelea arborescens (Tiliaceae) and Pseudopanax arboreus (Araliaceae).

Tui

Alternative names for Entelea arborescens: hauama, houama, whauama, whauma , from Proto-Polynesian*Fau + ama (Proto-Polynesian *hama) "outrigger float". See also Whauwhau for information about Pseudopanax arboreus.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Proto Polynesian *Fau Hibiscus tiliaceus, "Shore Hibiscus" (Malvaceae); through
Proto Malayo-Polynesian: *baRu Hibiscus tiliaceus;
Proto Oceanic: *paRu Hibiscus tiliaceus; and
Proto Eastern Oceanic: *vaRu Hibiscus tiliaceus.

Whau-flowers
Inflorescence of Entelea arborescens - Whau
Awhitu Peninsula. (c) John Swayer, NZ Plant Conservation Network

Whau-Leaves
Foliage of Entelea arborescens - Whau
Awhitu Peninsula. (c) John Swayer, NZ Plant Conservation Network

COGNATE WORDS IN SOME OTHER POLYNESIAN LANGUAGES
Tongan: Fau (Hibiscus tiliaceus, "Beach Hibiscus", Malvaceae);
Samoan: Fau (Hibiscus tiliaceus);
Marquesan: Fau ~ Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus);
Hawaiian: Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus); Hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus spp., Malvaceae);
Tahitian: Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus);
Tuamotuan: Fau (Hibiscus tiliaceus);
Rarotongan: 'au (Hibiscus tiliaceus)

RELATED MĀORI PLANT NAMES
Houhere (Hoheria populnea & H. glabrata, Malvaceae)
Note: See the other linked pages (highlighted at the top of this page) for more information about the ancestral names, their modern descendents, and the plants they denote.


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 "News" for February 2016 for more information.

Although it belongs to a different botanical family, the New Zealand whau, Entelia arborescens, is highly reminiscent of its tropical namesake, the beach Hibiscus, Hibiscus tiliaceus, fau in Samoa and Tonga, and hau in Hawaii and Tahiti. The botanical name of the tropical fau also hints at the similarity - tiliaceus "resembling a Tilia", i.e. the family in which the genus Entelea has been placed.

References and further reading: See linked pages and general works on NZ trees in the bibliography.

Photographs: The two photographs above were taken by the late John Sawyer and are used by permission.

Pohutukawa
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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