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The Geographical Quiz – January 2015

  • Written by  Adam Jacot de Boinod
  • Published in Quiz
Test your global knowledge

1 Whistling
On which tiny mountain island is there a language that uses a variety of whistles instead of words? The language has four ‘vowels’ and four ‘consonants’, which can be strung together to form more than four thousand ‘words’. This birdlike means of communication is thought to have come over with early African settlers over 2500 years ago. Able to be heard at distances up to two miles, these practitioners, known as silbadors, were until recently a dying breed:
A) Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
B) The Canary Island of La Gomera
C) Asamushi Onsen Island, Japan

Click here to reveal the answer:

B) The Canary Island of La Gomera


 

2 Gift Swapping
Where do The Kiriwina people have an elaborate gift exchange system called the Kula? Here the islanders set off round the islands in large, ocean-going canoes and trade red shell necklaces (veigun) in a clockwise direction, and white shell bracelets (mwali) in an anti-clockwise direction. The round trip is several hundred miles:
A) The Aleutian Islands of Alaska
B) The Philippines
C) The Trobriand Islands in the Pacific

Click here to reveal the answer:

C) The Trobriand Islands in the Pacific


 

3 Across the Spectrum
Which people have words for only four different colours? They have cipsuka (red/orange), cicena (yellow and yellow-green), citema (green-blue) and cipsuka again (the word also represents both the purple end of the spectrum):
A) The Shona of Zimbabwe
B) Cambodians
C) The Yakuts of Siberia

Click here to reveal the answer:

A) The Shona of Zimbabwe

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