Glyph of the word 'mava'.


  • (v.) to faint
  • (n.) fainting spell

Ka mava nanai oi’i!
“My friend has fainted!”

Notes: Funny story. In ninth grade biology, my biology teacher showed us a video of his gall bladder surgery (and he narrated it) as a part of class. He made a joke that was something like, “If you’re squeamish, let me know now, because this is pretty ugly”, and we all laughed. Not even a minute later, after the video had started, one of my best friends (who was taking the class with me) reacted. From my vantage point, it seemed like he slammed the desk with his hands, and then shot his chair out behind him and fell to the floor and started shaking. Since this had come so quickly after our teacher’s joke, I thought he was faking it, and I thought to myself, “That is just in poor taste.”

But he really fainted, and was convulsing.

So, yeah. While I sat there rolling my eyes next to my friend who was convulsing, my biology teacher (easily 20 feet away) sprinted across the room and grabbed a hold of him to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. Eventually the convulsions stopped and he screamed and kind of fell into a stupor. He had to be taken away in a wheelchair and he had absolutely no memory later of what had happened.

Afterwards, though, I felt pretty stupid. Here I was sitting right next to someone that wasn’t even a stranger, but my friend of some ten years, and I did nothing, because I thought he was joking! The whole situation’s pretty funny now (he never had a problem like that before, and has never had one since), but at the time, I was mocked quite a bit—and deservedly so! Always better to be safe than sorry. :)

So where was I? Oh, yeah, mava. The iku should be familiar enough: it’s the same iku used in hopoko, “man”. It’s turned on its head, iconically representing the fallen person.

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