Nagari - The Name

 
    Nagari    Nuh-gar-ee   Aboriginal  word meaning 'flowing' or 'to flow'
   
     NO, it's NOT Japanese and NO it was NOT copied from any other manufacturer.
 
    NAGARI is an ancient Australian Aboriginal word, found in many of the 270-odd Aboriginal languages
    (plus many more dialects) spread across this Wide Brown Land. 'Flowing' is one of many meanings.
    And there are also potentially many different spellings.
 
    But still there is a modern controversy over the name.
 
    Campbell Bolwell, one of the Bolwell Brothers who created the original Nagari, found the name in a 'dictionary'
    of Aboriginal Australian words, back in the 1960s. He lost the reference and with the passage of time (50 years)
    the exact origins became a little vague.
 
    When Laurens van den Acker, Chief Stylist for the Japanese car company Mazda, came up with the name Nagare
    for a new Mazda concept car, some pundits began to assume that the name had originated from Japan.
    Of course the chronologically-incompetent (mainly teenagers) also claimed it was 'stolen' from Mazda - a
    bit ridiculous given that (a) Mazda (then Toyo Kogyo) had only just begun vehicle production in 1966, 5 years
    after the Bolwell Car company and (b) the first Mazda Nagare concept was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto
    Show in November 2006 (40 years later).
 
                     
        
    Mazda Nagare  - first produced in 2006
 
    Still, there was an intriguing connection that probably promoted this false notion....
  •     Campbell Bolwell said he believed Nagari meant 'flowing' or 'smooth and flowing'.
  •     Mazda PR flunkies claimed that Nagare meant 'to flow'.
 
    Actually the designer (who gave the concept car its name) never claimed that. This is what he said.....
 
    'Nagare is one of a hundred or more Japanese words that describe the embodiment of motion... such as how
    wind shapes desert sand, or the way the currents stir the ocean floor...'
 
    In-depth research with Japanese linguists, schools, universities, and other authorities produced no reference
    to 'flowing' . Using translation 'tools'  to search Nagare doesn't produce 'flowing' and reverse-searching using
    'flowing' in English doesn't locate Nagare in Japanese. However one expert advised that adding a suffix - i.e.
    Nagare-ru could mean 'flowing'. It's not exactly Nagare - and definately not Nagari.
 
    Additionally, the pronounciation is different....
    The Japanese pronounce Nagare as Nah-ga-reh (emphasis on the first syllable, Nah, rolling-off the last syllables).
    The Aboringines pronounce Nagari as Nuh-Gar-Ree (emphasis on Gar).
 
    In fact, the Japanese pronunciation is very difficult for westerners and could also be spelled in many different
    ways. To add chaos to the confusion Nagare is a common word in the controversial Japanese Manga (mun-ga)
    cartoons and in a Japanese Manga video game it is used to communicate 'Ki' or energy (see examples below).
 
                                                        
        Manga 'assassin' by Nagare                 Manga Ryoma Nagare                            Manga Celia-Pirate Nagare
 
    Confused?  You ain't seen nothing yet ... if there is a real Japanese word Nagari it is for Magnesium Chloride
    (a form of salt). It's also spelled Nagarie, Nigari, Nigara - and comes in powder, flakes and other forms. It was
    originally 'mined' from the seabeds and it is a vital ingredient in the manufacture of TOFU - an Asian diet staple.
    In this form it has probably been around for thousands of years, with appropriate variations in the spelling
    over time. Its real meaning in Japanese is 'bitter'.  Not much connection with 'flowing' , but it could refer to
    the experience of ownership of some Nagari vehicles !
 
    Japan is not the only place you will find the word.
 
    If you Google 'Nagari' you will get a few million references, hundreds of thousands from India - villages, towns,
    cities, states, counties, a type of dance, music, highways, rituals and festivals. If you are into BIG NAGARI - how
    about Kumbh Nagari, a religious festival which 5-25 million Indians attend (almost as many as your local car
    club meeting!). This gathering is so big it shows up on satellite pics.  I'm sure you were dying to know that. 
         
 
       
        Nagari name & image in Deva-Nagari             Nagari temple
                                
    Nagari in India derives from an entire Indian language or script - Deva-Nagari, which in turn is derived from the
    Neo-Brahmic scripts of Central Asia with geneses in Nepalese, Tamil, Thai, Laotian, Javanese, Balinese etc.
    Deva-Nagari can be traced to the 8th Century, but its precedessors are thousands of years old - Sanskrit.
   
     
      Nagari Script
 
    Nagari in Sanskrit is said to be a boy's name and means 'the enemy of serpents'  - does this mean Nagaris can
    defeat Cobras ? Down with Fords... !  But wait ! The Bolwell Nagari had a Ford (V8) engine ! Damn !
 
    Nagari in Brahman is a singular feminine adjective meaning 'urban' or 'city'.... a long way from flowing, but
    try to stay with me here...
 
    If you go back to the last Ice Age (which allegedly ended about 10,000 years ago) the Asian Continent was joined
    to Indonesia, New Guinea and Northern Australia. Rising sea-levels from the ice-melt formed the archipeligo
    nations (such as Indonesia) and ... Australia.
    
                             
         
       Australia - linked to Asia in the Ice Age             Continents connected by similar vegetation
 
   Nagari as a word occurs right across Asia, down through Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
   Until the Ice Age put a big moat around Australia, it was thought there was free passage to Asia and that the
   Aborginal people migrated from Asia. So if the word which exists in many Aboriginal languages owes any
   origins elsewhere it is to Central Asia - not Eastern Asia (Japan). And the Aborigines probably 'imported' it.
 
   So how did we arrive at Nagari in Australia ?
 
   This gets more intriguing since the Aborigines had no 'dictionary' - they didn't write any letters or words down.
   So imagine you are a white explorer and an Aborigine uses the word Nuh-gar-ee.
   You might interpret the spelling as... Nagari.... or.....maybe....
  •     Ngarri
  •     Ngari
  •     Nugarri
  •     Ngaari
  •     Nagare
   All of which, curiously enough, appear as spellings of the word in different 'dictionaries' of different
   Aboriginal languages and dialects.
 
   There are dozens of 'authorities' on Aboriginal languages who have produced scores of reference books.
   I once reviewed 38 at a single sitting, covering only about 50 of the available 270 Aborginal languages.
   Nevertheless, I found these variations....
 
   Ngare - white ant/termite (Kabi - South Queensland)
   Ngari - dance (Yugumbir - South Queensland)
   Ngarri - name (Yugumbir - South Queensland)
   Ngari - mine (Wakka - South Queensland)
  
    Note, all these variations in the same district, and some even the same language.
    Interestingly, Ngari - dance - is similar to a Deva-Nagari Indian intepretation (well, one of them).
 
   If your head isn't already spinning, how about these variations...
 
  •    Ngarra - corners of the mouth
  •    Ngarrai - sleep
  •    Ngarrie - honey
  •    Ngaria - black swan
  •    Ngarri - rope
  •    Nakarri - black swan
  •    Ngaree - salmon
  •    Nakkari - awake
  •    Ngarri - casuarina tree
  •    Ngarri - to sit
  •    Ngarree - childish
  •    Ngairi - sky (Ikara - another Bolwell model - also means sky in one language, but 'throwing stick' in another).
 
    But what about 'flowing' ?
 
    After screening most of the authorative works in the major Australian libraries we finally found  this.....
  
     Australian Aboriginal Words and Place Names and Their Meanings
    Compiled by Sydney J. Endacott
    Published By Acacia Press
    Published 1949-1959
  
    On page 249, the reference.... NAGARI - flow
 
    Well, that should have been the end of it ... that was until I met Goomblar.....
                                                 
          
            Goomblar at the office                             Blue Mountains - some of the most magnificent gorges on the planet                     
    
    Goomblar is a full-blooded Aborigine and hails from North Queensland where he speaks the Durak dialect.
    These days he hangs out along the Blue Mountains escarpment entertaining tourists with his didgeridoo,
    or performing in ceremonial dances across the country.
 
    Goomblar is somewhat of a linguist and has not only worked and studied across Asia, but speaks
    a fair bit of a few Asian languages including Korean, Japanese and Central Asian languages.
    He also can trace many Aboriginal word lineages across Asia and even into Europe.
 
    So what about Nagari ?
 
    Nagari ?   ..... he says... with a theatrical pause ... it means ... Madness  
 
    Perfect !
    Explains the last 40 years of my life.
 
     - Rob Luck
 
   NAGARI NAME FOOTNOTES: (1) Geographical References.
  
   Some Nagari enthusiasts and/or scholars have asked about Nagari global references (geo), so we've added some below...
 
   NAGARI (INDIA)
  
   There are probably hundreds, but one of the best-known Nagari locations in India is the town of Nagari in Chittoor
   (Province), Andhra Pradesh (State). Nagari is located just a hop-skip-and-jump (or about 50km if you use more scientific
   terms)  up Highway 205 from the coastal town of Chennai. If you're going there in your helicopter use this reference...
            
                      
      Nagari India by Road                        ...... Nagari by satellite                                               plenty of Nagari water, all 'flowing'
         
   Nagari has 24,000-odd people and is famous for textile manufacturing, temples, nice scenery and lots of businesses
   starting with the name Nagari ( e.g. Nagari Veddy Hod Curryshop). Nagari in Tamil means City (which we've told you
   before - were you paying attention?).  Nagari has lots of nice rivers and waterfalls that are 'flowing' . There's lots more we
   can tell you about this town which is about the size of Bathurst, but let's move on to ...
 
   NAGARI TIBET
 
   Actually it's spelled Ngari (but pronounced the same) and interestingly this spelling is similar to many Aboriginal versions.
   However it's core or root word is Gar which means 'Tent' because it used to be a military station. It dates back to the 2nd
   Century so it is oldish in language terms.
 
 
              
 
   However the region was formed millions of years ago and is known to probably every primary school student on the planet
   as.... The Roof of the World. Actually some students might be confused and think Tibet is known as R.O.T.W. but it is actually 
   this specific area.  Ngari is the westernmost province of Tibet, has lots of towns, but only 80,000-souls, is a staggering
   4500metres above sea level (that's nearly 15,000ft for you Imperialists), is also known as The Ridge of the World's Ridges
   (meaning a bloody big ridge), has some iconic temples built on impossibly inaccessible rocks (you've seen them in travel
   guides), and has lots of nice views of the Himalayas from various vantage points. Just in case you thought Tibet was just
   some poky little block of turf at the foot of Mt Everest, bear in mind that Ngari is 1600km from Lhasa, the capital (i.e. from
   Melbourne to Brisbane or Brisbane to Cairns - approx).
 
   NAGARI DEVIANT ART
 
   There is also an entire 'web-culture' running under the guise of 'Nagari Deviant Art'.  No, not porno sites, but pretty abstract
   if sometimes a little weird.  It can vary from photography, sketching, cartooning etc. to typography. An example (below) is
   'My Little Pony meets Battlestar Gallactica', but there is practically no limit to the creativeness of Nagari Deviant-artists.
   Pretty much like Nagari car builders really ... !                                                               
                                                                      
          
    My Little Pony - Battlestar                 Big Father                      Waxid                                                         Roy
   
  
   NAGARI OZ
 
   It is highly doubtful if Nagari Road Woy Woy is the oldest Nagari in Australia, but it is the only one  (we could find) with its
   own road-signpost. The local Council couldn't tell us when it was 'incorporated' and its major distinguishing geographical
   feature may be that it is more or less 4500metres below, Ngari Tibet (i.e. it is pretty much at sea level). Nagari Road
   Woy Woy which is about an hour north of Sydney on the Central Coast is famous for changing its name half-way from
   Railway Road, leading past the liquid waste depot and is probably not a bad place to test your Nagari's acceleration/braking
   and so on, as according to Google Earth it doesn't appear to have much in the way of residential. What does it mean?
   Who knows - take your pick from one of the 'Aussie' Nagaris in the main article above.  Or maybe just 'flowing'.                               
         
     
 
       ADDITIONAL REFERENCES....      
           
      Unknown authenticity......    
 
                                                                         
   
       Nagari Performer                       Nagari Weave                         Nagari Coins
                           
     
                          
                                                    
      Nagari 'Deviant Art'                Jaadu Nagari                          'Girls of Nagari'                  Nagari First Class
      Snake Girl by Kana Jedi           DVD now available                 Sorry, no addresses              
  
   
 
   
 
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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