Glyph of the word 'leupoe'.


  • (n.) hammerhead shark

Oku hetu ei i leupoe.
“I don’t fear hammerhead sharks.”

Notes: In today’s post, I wish to reflect on a true fact about myself. Though I have feared for sharks for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve never feared hammerhead sharks. I’m not at all sure why.

I should mention that I had quite some exposure to sharks as a child. Nearly every week, I would go to the Cabrillo Park Museum (I guess it’s now [or actually?] called the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. I was the three, though; I couldn’t read [well] yet). There I would play in the simulated tidepools and look at all the exhibits—including the gigantic great white shark replica they had hanging above the exit. I was terrified of that shark. I would love going to the museum, but I would insist on closing my eyes and being led by hand through that section of the museum each time. The only thing that mollified me somewhat was my mother telling me that the eyes were probably M&M’s.

In addition to that, I, of course, likely saw sharks on television, and I also had several shark coloring books and a plastic toy great white shark that I used to play with. I guess I was kind of fascinated by sharks, but also terrified by them. I probably saw a commercial for Jaws as a kid; that did it for a lot of kids (and adults), unfortunately (and, in fact, the movies can still inspire terror in me).

But for whatever reason, I was never afraid of hammerhead sharks. I was probably more afraid of whale sharks than hammerheads, even though the latter are much more dangerous to humans (if, you know, you mess with them, which is just stupid). I have no solid explanation for this. Perhaps it was that they reminded me of Admiral Ackbar, with whom I was quite familiar as a child (I was a big Star Wars fan).

Hammerhead shark vs. Admiral Ackbar.

Who knows?

The iku is intended to look like the head of a hammerhead shark, but also incorporates part of the glyph for keva, “shark”, as reference.

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