Eka’i

Glyph of the word 'eka'i'.

eka’i

  • (n.) abalone

Nievu eika iu eka’i kau.
“We dive for abalone.”

Notes: When I was very young, my stepfather brought me an abalone shell, and I kept it as decoration in my room until I left for college. Since then, it’s been lost to the winds (or, more likely, the trash heap. Happened to a lot of my stuff without my knowledge).

You’ll recognize the iku for eu in this glyph. It’s kind of used as a leyaka to stand for a shellfish, and then ka is added as a phonological clue. Of course, it rather looks like the “bad” line determinative, so there are some superstitious folks that think it’s bad luck to disturb or harvest abalone for their meat or shells. It’s kind of a motif in Kamakawi lore (perhaps like black cats or broken mirrors in Western culture).

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