Tongan: OTUAMOTOGA

TerryJ2

New Member
English
Hi,
This is a piece of bark cloth that my dad brought back from the Pacific in WWII. There are many more designs on a huge, wall-sized covering, but this seemed representative. I do not know if it is from Australia or the Philippines. (He served in both places.) Some of the designs have Christian symbols and some have almost African style designs, and some have Latin letters. It is clearly a mishmash of languages. But is there a combination language that has a name?
Thank you in advance.
Terry
Dad's Grasscloth smaller 1.jpg
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi
    I may be mistaken, but I think I can read AMO YOGA among other symbols/signs unknown to me. The phrase would mean ''I love yoga'' both in Latin and Italian.
     

    TerryJ2

    New Member
    English
    That would be interesting! Although I don't think that's a Y. I will photograph more images and maybe we can figure out the alphabet used.
    Terry
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hi
    I may be mistaken, but I think I can read AMO YOGA among other symbols/signs unknown to me. The phrase would mean ''I love yoga'' both in Latin and Italian.
    Wouldn’t it be AMO YOGAM if it were Latin?

    There are some “letters” before the AMO bit anyway, which don’t seem to be Latin or Italian
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Well, at the time of ancient Romans yoga wasn't known in the West, to my knowledge. An accusative 'yogam' would be correct if that noun had ever been admitted into the Latin 1st declension... Maybe the author of the phrase has left 'yoga' unchanged.
    Concerning the other signs, I'm not so sure they are real letters. However, please take my hypotheses as mere and doubtful speculations.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Hi, Terry!

    It is the Coat of arms of Tonga, with the motto:

    Ko eʻOtua mo Tonga ko hoku Tofiʻa

    (in the Tongan language: 'God and Tonga are my inheritance')

    Note: the letter T looks like the rune letter Ear, but surely it was intended to be the rune letter Tyr (the author had no Wikipedia at his disposal :)).
     
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    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    The Wikipedia says:

    The red enamel riband has the National motto "KO E ‘OTUA TONGA KO HOKU TOFI’A" (sometimes written as "KOE OTUA MOTOGA KO HOKU TOFIA" due to a manufacturing error) in gold capital letters, in the base is a spray of gold laurel.

    and

    ng ... written as g but still pronounced as [ŋ] (as in Samoan) before 1943...


    So the Google can find both spelling variants.
     
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