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Sa'dan Toraja chants (was Re: Hebrew poetry)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Sunday, February 23, 2003, 0:36
On Jan.28 Peter Clark wrote:

> On Monday 27 January 2003 10:48 pm, Roger Mills wrote: > > (snip interesting listing) > > There are some very fine (almost too fine) translations of Sa'dan Toraja > > (Celebes, Indonesia) funeral chants, published in the 50/60s by the
> > (for those interested), consisting almost entirely of parallelisms; I'll
> > if I have any examples....Their poetry provided a ready-made pattern for > > translation of the Psalms; if I can find my copy of their Bible will
send a
> > few.
> Please do, that sounds interesting. >
It's still too cold to go hunt in boxes in the shed for the Bible, but here are some exs. from the Sa'dan Toraja chants (I use "q" for glottal stop): kurre sumangaqna te tallang maqlampa raraq/ sabaq parayanna te aoq maqbuku bulaan 'Hail to this thin bamboo with the glorious internodes/ abundant be the blessings on~of this thick bamboo with the golden nodes' bangunmi mekutana londong lako indoq to kumombongna/ diongmi metinti masiang lako to mendadianna 'Then he stood up and persistently questioned the mother who bore him/ there below, he asked clearly and distinctly, of the one who brought him into the world...' diranteimi adeq buntu karua lan tangngana langiq/ dilappaqimi tanete gannaq bilanganna... 'then eight mountains in the centre of the firmament were made flat/ the hills, complete in number...were levelled out' my favorite: nokami dipotedong tedong uma Datu Bakkaq/ tang maqdinmi dipokarambau tempe Pong Malaleong 'Datu Bakkaq refused to be treated like a buffalo used for work in the fields/ Pong Malaleong refused to be handled like a kerbau used for labor on the sawah[rice paddy]' illustrating an interesting prefix in these languages, po- 'use as, consider as, serve as'; tedong is the native word for "water buffalo", karambau prob. ult.< Ml. kerbau 'id.' The Sa'dan texts are really quite terse. (Proper interlinears on request.) The rather baroque (but suitably poetic) translations are apparently the work of whoever translated van der Veen's Dutch for publication in English-- the (her, IIRC) name was given in the book but I neglected to note it H. van der Veen, The Sa'dan Toradja Chant for the Deceased. Verh.KITLV 49, M.Nijhoff, The Hague, 1966