Glyph of the word 'nawa'.


  • (n.) fish (not mammals)

Ei i liliki hu’u ou nawa.
“I’m a big fan of fish.”

Notes: This is a term for sea-going fellows with gills (and river-going gill-having guppies, too). This excludes all aquatic mammals, and also aquatic creatures without gills (crustaceans, crabs, lobsters, crawdads, etc.). It does include eels, which I think many Westerners wouldn’t readily categorize as “fish” (though they are fish, too).

The iku is a standard compound of na and ua. Well, kind of, anyway. The line across is meant to give the impression of ua over the shape of na.

Nawa is one of the first words of Kamakawi—certainly one of the first nouns (for the record, I think eine was the first noun). And the canonical sentence I used to test things out was:

Ka mama eine ie nawa.
“The woman hugged the fish.”

The woman was always hugging that fish! I’m certain the fish felt loved.

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