1. ancestral spirits, ghosts

  • lukaut long tambaran beware of ghosts

2. ancestral spirit worship cult for men

  • Ol man long ples i go long haus tambaran long wokim singsing tambaran.
    The men of the village have gone to the spirit house to participate in a chanting ceremony.

3. wooden spirit masks kept in the spirit house

  • Ol tambaran i mas stap insait long haus tambaran.
    The spirit masks must remain in the spirit house.

4. haus tambaran traditional spirit house, men’s house in the Sepik region


1. a taboo

  • No ken brukim tambu.
    Do not break the taboo.

2. to restrict, to not allow, to forbid

  • Tambu tru long smok long opis.
    There is a total ban on smoking in the office.

3. a restricted place, a sacred place, to be tabooed

  • Dispela raunwara em ples tambu we yumi man nating i no inap go long en.
    This lake is a sacred spot where ordinary men like us may not go.

4. in-laws

  • Em i tambu bilong mi.
    He is my in-law.

5. (also tabu) shell money

  • Ol Tolai i yusim tambu long maket bilong ol.
    The Tolai people accept shell money in their markets.