PAPUA, n.p. This name, which is now applied generically to the chief race of the island of New Guinea and resembling tribes, and sometimes (improperly) to the great island itself, is a Malay word papuwah, or sometimes puwah-puwah, meaning ‘frizzle-haired,’ and was applied by the Malays to the people in question.

1528.—“And as the wind fell at night the vessel was carried in among the islands, where there are strong currents, and got into the Sea of the Strait of Magalhães,1 where he encountered a great storm, so that but for God’s mercy they had all been lost, and so they were driven on till they made the land of the Papuas, and then the east winds began to blow so that they could not sail to the Moluccas till May 1527. And with their stay in these lands much people got ill and many died, so that they came to Molucca much shattered.”—Correa, iii. 173–174.

1553.—(Referring to the same history.) “Thence he went off to make the islands of a certain people called Papuas, whom many on account of this visit of Don Jorge (de Menezes) call the Islands of Don Jorge, which lie east of the Moluccas some 200 leagues. …”—Barros, IV. i. 6.

PARABYKE, s. Burmese parabeik; the name given to a species of writing book which is commonly used in Burma. It consists of paper made from the bark of a spec. of daphne, which is agglutinated into a kind of pasteboard and blackened with a paste of charcoal. It is then folded, screen-fashion, into a note-book and written on with a steatite pencil. The same mode of writing has long been used in Canara; and from La Loubère we see that it is or was used also in Siam. The Canara books are called kadatam, and are described by Col. Wilks under the name of cudduttum, carruttum, or currut (Hist. Sketches, Pref. I. xii.). They appear exactly to resemble the Burmese para-beik, except that the substance blackened is cotton cloth instead of paper. “The writing is similar to that on a slate, and may be in like manner rubbed out and renewed. It is performed by a pencil of the balapum [Can. balapa] or lapis ollaris; and this mode of writing was not only in ancient use for records and public documents, but is still universally employed in Mysoor by merchants and shopkeepers, I have even seen a bond, regularly witnessed, entered in the cudduttum of a merchant, produced and received in evidence.

“This is the word kirret, translated ‘palm-leaf’ (of course conjecturally) in Mr. Crisp’s translation of Tippoo’s regulations. The Sultan prohibited its use in recording the public accounts; but altho’ liable to be expunged; and affording facility to permanent entries, it is a much more durable material and record than the best writing on the best paper. … It is probable that this is the linen or cotton cloth described by Arrian, from Nearchus, on which the Indians wrote.” (Strabo, XV. i. 67.)

1688.—“The Siamese make Paper of old Cotton rags, and likewise of the bark of a Tree named Ton coi … but these Papers have a great deal less Equality, Body and Whiteness than ours. The Siameses cease not to write thereon with China Ink. Yet most frequently they black them, which renders them smoother, and gives them a greater body; and then they write thereon with a kind of Crayon, which is made only of a clayish earth dry’d in the Sun. Their Books are not bound, and consist only in a very long Leaf … which they fold in and out like a Fan, and the way which the Lines are wrote, is according to the length of the folds. …”—De la Loubère, Siam, E.T. p. 12.

1855.—“Booths for similar goods are arrayed against the corner of the palace palisades, and at the very gate of the Palace is the principal mart for the stationers who deal in the para-beiks (or black books) and steatite pencils, which form the only ordinary writing materials of the Burmese in their transactions.”—Yule, Mission to Ava, 139.

PARANGHEE, s. An obstinate chronic disease endemic in Ceylon. It has a superficial resemblance to syphilis; the whole body being covered with ulcers, while the sufferer rapidly declines in strength. It seems to arise from insufficient diet, and to be analogous to the pellagra which causes havoc among the peasants of S. Europe. The word is apparently firinghee, ‘European,’ or (in S. India) ‘Portuguese’; and this would point perhaps to association with syphilis.

PARBUTTY, s. This is a name in parts of the Madras Presidency for a subordinate village officer, a writer under the patel, sometimes the village-crier, &c., also in some places a superintendent or manager. It is a corruption of Telug. and Canarese parapatti, parupatti, Mahr. and Konkani, parpatya, from Skt. pravritti, ‘employment.’ The term frequently occurs in old Port. documents in such forms as perpotim,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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