Ayioang amip sì ayu alahe—New animals and other things

Kaltxì, ma frapo.

As you know, Cirque du Soleil’s production “Toruk,” created with James Cameron’s participation and full approval, has expanded our knowledge of the Na’vi universe, and that includes new additions to our Na’vi dictionary. Let me give you some of that new vocabulary here—clan names, animals, and cultural items.

First, we have names for four clans other than the Omatikaya:

Anurai [n., A.nu.ra.i]

Kekunan [n., KE.ku.nan]

Tipani [n., TI.pa.ni]

Tawkami [n., taw.KA.mi]

You’ll be able to find some descriptive material for these clans online.

Next, a couple of animals:

[Note: The descriptions below of animals and cultural items, which I’ve put in quotes, are excerpted and slightly paraphrased from the information I’ve received from official sources.]

tspìng (n.) ‘austrapede’

“Similar to the Terran ostrich or emu, the austrapede is a flightless avian-like creature with a long extended neck and two vestigial “wings” on either side of its body.  Spindly, multi-jointed legs and neck and head protuberances resemble Terran avian plumage.  It’s decorated with mottled skin and has a long tail. Size: Up to 4 meters in height, fully grown.”

mawup (n., MA.wup) ‘turtapede’

“Large six-finned aquatic creature with a plated and armored outer carapace shell leading to a multi-colored dorsal ‘fin’.  Four ‘arm’ fins are used for propulsion, with the two ‘back’ fins used in a rudder-like fashion.  Mouth is a long snout-like protuberance with small, baleen-like teeth. Size: 5-6 meters from snout to tail, and roughly 4 meters tall.”

And some cultural items:

Txärpawk (n., TXÄR.pawk) ‘Palulukan Bone Horn’

This is derived from txärem ‘bone’ and:

pawk (n.) ‘horn, wind instrument’

[Note: The general term for musical instrument, as you know, is ’otxang. Pawk refers to a specific kind of instrument, one you play by blowing into or across.]

“The Palulukan Bone Horn is a sacred object created by the Anurai, a Na’vi clan that reside in a vast bone sanctuary.  This fine piece of craftsmanship has the ability, once blown, to summon from the skies the great Leonopteryx.”

Lo’akur (n., lo.’a.KUR) ‘Toruk Makto Amulet’

This literally means ‘hanging amulet,’ from lo’a ‘amulet’ and kur ‘hang.’

lo’a (n., LO.’a) ‘amulet’

“The first of five sacred items that fit into the prophecy and legend of the first ever Toruk Makto.  This totem is suspended above a raging fire pit, and as part of a young Na’vi’s Iknimaya rite of passage, the young Na’vi must climb the precarious rope to reach and retrieve the suspended amulet.”

Note: In writing, this word is identical to the dative case of the Na’vi name Lo’ak. But in speech they’re distinguished. Do you see how?  🙂

Nawmtoruktek (n., nawm.TO.ruk.tek) ‘Toruk Makto Totem’

Derived from nawm + toruk + :

tekre (n., TEK.re) ‘skull’

“In the center of the Omatikaya clan’s Hometree eating area is a huge skull of a Great Leonopteryx, which serves as a totem to the Toruk Makto, the great, great, great, great grandfather of the Olo’eyktan. This totem serves as a constant reminder of the legendary hero who rode the Great Leonopteryx and brought together the Na’vi clans in a time of great strife.”

ionar (n., I.o.nar) ‘banshee rider visor’

Derived from io ‘over, above’ and nari ‘eye.’


Edit March 1: txär —> txärem  Irayo, ma Plumps!
Edit March 1: Changed stress in Tawkami from TAW.ka.mi to taw.KA.mi, which seems to be more in keeping with how the Cirque du Soleil cast members are pronouncing it.
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18 Responses to Ayioang amip sì ayu alahe—New animals and other things

  1. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Faylì’uri amip irayo seiyi ngaru nìwotx, ma nawma karyu.

    Great to see that the fauna is still being explored 🙂

    So, lo’a is both ‘totem’ and ‘amulet’?
    Loak and Lo’ak are both names? ’Ipu nìtxan 😛 Imagine a mother naming each of her sons like that 😀

    Surely, the distinction between the dative and the Toruk Makto Amulet is in stress, one is LO’akur, the other is Lo’aKUR.

    Letsunslua kxeyeytsyìp: ‘bone’ is txärem, not just *txär, kefyak?

    Wonderful new words. Thank you so much 🙂

    • Pawl says:

      Kaltxì, ma Stefan!

      Yes, lo’a can sometimes mean ‘amulet,’ although its basic meaning is still ‘totem.’ Note that in the English description, both “totem” and “amulet” are used to describe the same object.

      Loak and Lo’ak are variants of the same name. This pattern holds for most Na’vi names containing __o’a__. For example, the name of the Tsahìk, Mo’at, is often pronounced without the glottal stop and can be written that way as well. (Both variants of her name appear in the original language document I developed for “Avatar.”) The variant without the tìftang is more colloquial.

      As for the distinction between the name in the dative and the amulet . . . srane, ngaru tìyawr nìwotx. 🙂

      Finally, thanks for catching txärem vs. txär. Error corrected.

  2. Ma karyu anawm, fayrel faylì’usì txantsan nìtxan lu.
    Sìlpey oe tsnì fayioang ayoene zaya’u nìwin.


    • Pawl says:

      Irayo, ma Andi! Mipa fayioangìri lu oeru set ’awa ioang a tsun oe ayngaru muwivìntxu ye’rìn. Nìhek omum oel tstxoti leNa’vi tseyä, tstxoti le’Ìnglìsì ke omum!

  3. Neytiri says:

    Tewti! Aylì’u akosman nìwotx!

    ‘Awa tìpawm… Pefya lu keteng ionar sì renten?

    • Pawl says:

      Kosmana tìpawm, ma Neytiri! Mìftxele zene oe ’iveyng san nìfkeytongay ke omum. 🙂

      (Renten translates as ‘goggles’ while ionar is ‘visor,’ or more specifically, ‘banshee rider visor.’ I’ve been assuming that these are different, but perhaps they’re not. In that case, it could simply be that the two words are synonyms. It’s also possible that one of them, probably renten, is a more general term, while ionar is specifically the item used when riding a banshee. I’ll have to get back to you on that. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas about this, I’ll be happy to hear them!)

      • 'Eylan äyfalulukana says:

        I’ll jump in on this. We see renten in the film as a minimalist set of eye protection wear much like glasses, or maybe more specifically safety glasses. I would guess that even on Pandora, weight is a factor when flying, so any gear used while flying would tend to be lightweight/minimalist.

        This new word for visor, ionar might have application as a kind of face shield that would protect the entire face. What it would be made of is anyone’s guess. But some riders might prefer something like this over a renten, despite being heavier. And there may be some flying situations where a face shield is necessary. Of course, this term now has a new application, a non-cultural one, in that I understand the banshee ride at World of Pandora uses a VR visor. So, we now have a Na’vi term to describe this piece of gear 🙂

  4. Neytiri says:

    Eltur tìtxen si. Kxawm nulnatsew lì’ut alu renten olo’ol, pumti alu ionar olo’ìl alahe. (Tenga ral, ulte tsun tsamesa’ut tslivam frapo nìwotx.)

    Irayo nìtxan!

  5. 'Eylan Ayfalulukana says:

    Aylì’u atxantsan, ma Pawl nang, Set tsun pivlltxe oe san Fko syaw oeru ‘Eylan Ayfalulukanä, oloä alu Anuari, tsenga palulukan apxay kelku si sìk 🙂

    Concerning ionar vs renten, I would suspect that there is a place for both words. A visor principally protects one from the sun’s glare, and the goggles protect the eyes from wind and windborne debris. I would suspect some sute wear an ionar, some wear a renten, some wear both, and perhaps some prefer neither one.

    • Pawl says:

      Zola’u nìprrte’, ma Eylan Ayfalulukanä! Fpìl oel futa nga lu vay set le’awa hapxìtu lì’fyaolo’ä a lu kop Anuraiyä hapxì!

      And I certainly agree that visors and goggles are separate things here on earth that are independent of each other. What I’m not sure about is whether that’s also true on Pandora. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be, but I’d like to see pictures to verify it.

  6. Vawmataw says:

    Kaltxì ma Karyu Pawl!

    Tsaylì’u lu kosman. Furia nume nì’ul Eywa’evengteri, oe ‘efu nitram!

  7. Nìk (Wind12) says:

    Kaltxì ma Karyu Pawl. 🙂

    Mipa aylì’uri, Irayo nìtxan.

  8. 'Eylan äyfalulukana says:

    I noticed in the dictionary that Txärpawk is a proper noun, which kind of surprised me at first. Re-reading your blog post clearly explains why. But I suspect that animal bones are commonly used as wind musical instruments simply due to their somewhat hollow construction. And this is true in our cultures as well. So, the question is, if I wanted to talk about a flute, horn or labial whistle made from an animal bone, would I use this term as a common noun, seeing it has a fairly generic derivation? Or is there a different term because of the ceremonial nature of this particular bone horn (which, with the name ‘horn’, I suspect is sounded like a horn as opposed to a flute)?

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