Nukoa

Glyph of the word 'nukoa'.

nukoa

  • (n.) meat
  • (v.) to have or be meat (said of an animal)
  • (v.) to be edible, to be nutritious
  • (adj.) edible, nutritious

Ka li ia i nukoa ke nevi i’i! Ae eli i ia!
“You have given me meat! I love you!”

Notes: HAPPY CATURDAY!!! :D

After an utterly inexplicable one week absence, Caturday has returned! And to make it for it I thought I’d do something special.

I’m not quite sure when it started, but Keli and I have a tradition. Some time after Erin has gone to sleep, she meows to let me know that her food dish is empty. If she needs wet food, I give it to her, and she goes up and sniffs it and then leaves it there (the expensive food we buy for her specially doesn’t excite her in the least). If she needs dry food, though, that’s a different story.

We store the dry food in an airtight tupperware container, and what she does is she meows and follows me to the container, I open it, it makes a loud sound, and she runs away (every time!). Then I give her one or two scoops of dry food, she goes over to the dry food, and then (and this is the strangest part): she thanks me.

Every time!

She goes up to her food bowl and puts her face in as if she’s about to eat, but then she stops, turns up her head to me and gives me a look (or, if she’s feeling especially grateful, gives me a little meow), and I pat her head and she starts eating.

Though filming this little ritual ought, by rights, to be a two person job, I’ve tried my best to get the whole thing on video myself. The results are below:


A video of Keli getting dry food!

Unfortunately, she didn’t give me her darling little mmmrow this time, but her little head tilt is on camera. I’ll try to get another one where she makes her thank you noise in the future.

The Kamakawi are very much a meat-centric people. A meal isn’t a meal unless there’s a meat dish involved. Hence, something that’s “good” for you is derived from the word for “meat”. Meat is supposed to give you strength and vitality and renew your spirit; fruit and vegetables is for flavor and (for lack of a better word) regularity.

The iku for meat (in case you’re wondering. It looks right to me, but I know what I was basing it on, so you can let me know if you saw it before the following explanation) is a hunk of meat roasting on a spit (the ends of the rotating pole are on the right and left of the iku, and the line in the middle is the meat [the glyph has been simplified over time]). The Kamakawi do a lot of spit-roasting like this. Some day I’ll have to put up the vocabulary that surrounds such roasting. Some day soon… :)

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