[An-lang] etymology of foeja 'bark cloth'

Roger Mills rfmilly at msn.com
Sat Jan 29 04:33:42 UTC 2005

David Mead wrote:
> I'm wondering if someone could tell me the etymology of the word "foeja",
> a
> (widespread?) term in the Dutch East Indies for bark cloth.  Following
> modernized Indonesian spelling, the word would now be written as
> "fuya".  Curiously, I've not found any Dutch or Indonesian dictionary
> which
> lays claim to this word.

I'd like to know too! The word simply occurs in the literature without
further explanation. From the contexts I had the impression it was an
Ambonese word, or at least from that general area, as the initial f-
suggests. I'd also seen old pictures of Toraja men and women in bark-cloth

In the Wordlist of my dissertation (1975), Appendix E, pp. 666-7, I

(Proto-SSul) *buyang 'colored paper':  Bug. ujang, Mak. buyang 'playing
cards'; Mandar buyang 'paper, e.g. paper money'; cf. also Sausu, Palu
(Ledo), Uma buya, Tawaili, Pakuli, Sigi wuya, Lindo bua 'sarong'; (NSul)
Tombulu, Pakewa wuyang 'sarong'. (Also mentioned "Ambonese" fuya)

I later found Wolio (Anceaux 1952, VKI XI, p.16 if I read my note rightly)
pau _bia_ 'a parasol of tissue'

The Toraja and NSul cites were from Adriani 1898, Overzicht over de talen
van Midden-Celebes. Mededelingen van wege der Ned. Zendeling Genootschap
An-lang mailing list
An-lang at anu.edu.au

More information about the An-lang mailing list