How do I specify priors for angle parameters in BUGS/JAGS?

I am writing a hierarchical BUGS model that involves both linear and angle variables. I want the hyper-parameters to be normally distributed, which is straight-forward for the linear variables, but I'm not sure what to do about the angle variables. I would gladly use a von Mises distribution or a truncated normal, but neither is available in the BUGS language. My angle variables range from 0 to pi.

Here is my model:

model {

# parameters
for ( i in 1:P ) {
Y[i] ~ dnorm(Yhat[i], eachtau[plot[i]])
Yhat[i] <- C[plot[i]] + a[plot[i]] * exp(-v[plot[i]] * year[i]) * cos(w[plot[i]] * year[i] - phi[plot[i]])
}

# hyperparameters
for ( i in 1:M ) {
C[i] ~ dnorm(mu.C, tau.C)
a[i] ~ dnorm(mu.z, tau.z)
v[i] ~ dnorm(mu.v, tau.v)

# what do we do with these angles?!
w[i] ~ ?
phi[i] ~ ?

eachtau[i] ~ dgamma(0.001, 0.001)
}

# priors
mu.C ~ dnorm(0.0, 0.001)
tau.C ~ dgamma(0.001, 0.001)
mu.z ~ dnorm(0.0, 0.001)
tau.z ~ dgamma(0.001, 0.001)
mu.v ~ dnorm(0.0, 0.001)
tau.v ~ dgamma(0.001, 0.001)
}


If it's important, I'm actually using JAGS (rather than OpenBUGS or WinBUGS), using the rjags package in R, but I believe the model syntax is the same for both.

What's the simplest way to model the angle variables with something like a normal in BUGS?

-
What you're actually doing is providing priors on them. You can always construct your own using the zeroes trick or the ones trick (users.aims.ac.za/~mackay/BUGS/Manuals/Tricks.html), or you could, for example, set them equal to $\pi$ times beta variates. The latter has the disadvantage of a discontinuity in the pdf at $\pi$, but maybe this doesn't matter. –  jbowman Feb 3 '12 at 19:36
Do you mean that the way I've written the model makes the normal distributions priors? Because that's not what I'm intending to do. My data consists of M plots and at each plot I have a value that is measured over time (P=M*#time-points). I want to fit a damped oscillator (the Yhat line) to each plot; I suspect that the damped oscillator parameters (amplitude, damping coefficient, etc.) are similar from plot to plot. So I want to have hyper-parameters on the damped oscillator parameters that are normally distributed. I am really interested in the mean and variance of these hyper-parameters. –  mkosmala Feb 3 '12 at 22:53