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Pacific banyan, an essential role in Melanesian societies
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The Pacific banyan (Ficus prolixa or Ficus mariannensis) is native to the Pacific Ocean ecozone which extends from Micronesia to Polynesia. Its different names in the Kanak languages of New Caledonia - Be (ajië), Hmana (drehu), Ma (drubea), Paki (fagauvea), Thilic (nemi), Inedr (nengone), Bwe (paicî) or Duru (xàràcùù ) - illustrate its essential role as a place of palaver or burial in the traditional Melanesian societies.
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