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Danbwa: in the woods; wild overgrowth; wilderness

  • Language: Kreol Morisien
  • Region: Mauritius

Danbwa is a word that is literally translated into ‘in (dan) wood (bwa)’ and would be a synonym for ‘bwa’ (wood). Subtle variations of the word bring nuanced meanings, such as, separating it into two ‘dan bwa’ to describe ‘in the woods’ or the motion of going into the woods.

Danbwa is a word used to represent the woods or wilderness. For some it brings to mind the forest and trees. For others, the latter could also mean the wild nature or the notion of savagery – as applied to humans too. ‘Danbwa’ can also mean ‘unexploited’ and ‘undeveloped’ land, where the forest and natural ecosystems are perceived as ‘empty land’ which is meant for human intervention, construction, and exploitation.

I was drawn to this word because it's so obviously rooted in French, my first language. I tried to put myself in the crazy, wild woods one might find on a tropical island upon discovery.

For the full description, along with pronunciation, more images, a map and video, click HERE.