Monday, February 3, 2014

The proper names of the saha islands

In a couple of recent posts, I've been gnawing on the names of some islands at the mouth of the Tumen river, where the word saha appears to mean "island".

Initially I was working from European maps, which alternated between saba and saha, and I had thought that the word must be saba.

However, today I remembered a volume at the Bibliothèque national de France containing a long list of Manchu place names. I skimmed through it, and managed to find the page shown below, which now allows me to give the proper names for the islands, as transcribed from Manchu script.

The islands listed on Danville's map are (from South to North) Taitou saha, Siské loun, Tayam ou saha, Sarbatchou saba, Mama saba, and Youanga toun. The names, as transcribed from the page below in Manchu script, are Daidu saha, Sishe tun, Dayanggū saha, Sarbacu saha, Mama saha and Yohangga tun (not shown on this page, but on a later page).

Also listed on this page is a river called Fiya bira (bira meaning "river"), which bears a passing resemblance to the ethnic name Fiyaka.

No comments:

Post a Comment