Anyone who has looked at a good map of Tristan da Cunha must have noticed that the Islanders have given a lot of places on their island strange names. Some of their toponyms are routine and simply descriptive—”Little Beach” for instance—while others can only be described as weird, like “Pig Bite.” Pig Bite is the […]

Semai names for places near their communities suggest their uses of the forests, their historical recollections, their spiritual values, and their commitments to maintaining a nonviolent society. Karen Heikkilä untangles these issues with a fascinating study of Semai toponymy, their understandings of place names, in a recent journal article. Heikkilä’s work provides a way of […]