Archive for the ‘Ikuiku’ Category

Pe’a

• Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pe'a'.

pe’a

  • (v.) to clothe
  • (adj.) clothed
  • (n.) top, shirt

Ea. A pe’a ei ie palaki oi’i.
“Yes. I clothe my dog.”

Notes: And why not? Dog clothes are adorable!

I had a really hard time keeping up with the blog this week, as I was filming for a program on CNN called The Next List. Was super, hyper, global, mega busy. Just trying my best to catch up now; not doing too well. (Also very busy with other stuff.)

Today’s word is used for the shirt tops introduced by Zhyler speakers. It was the old word for “clothing”, but pe’aka is the preferred term now. It does show the torso, as it was used in the olden days to refer to any kind of covering (usually worn to keep from getting wet, if one wanted to keep dry for some reason).


Mi’e

• Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mi'e'.

mi’e

  • (n.) yarn

Mi’e?! Li ia i mi’e i’i?!
“Yarn?! You get me yarn?!”

Notes: There was some highly specific reason I came up with a word for “yarn” in Kamakawi. It was something around about something at some time that led me to think, “I need a word for ‘yarn’ in Kamakawi!” I cannot for the life of me remember what that something may have been. I know nothing of the history of yarn, and honestly can’t think of a good reason for it to exist nowadays. Honestly, what do you do with yarn? Make hair for dolls? Use it in “art” projects in elementary school? What the heck is it good for?!

So Kamakawi’s got a word for “yarn”. Hooray. Even has it’s own iku. And it’s not like it’s an ikunoala, or anything: That’s an ikuiku that looks like a spool of yarn. What on Earth was I thinking…


Hu’e

• Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hu'e'.

hu’e

  • (n.) geranium

Au nina hu’e li’i.
“My geraniums smell lovely.”

Notes: Kind of a…bizarre sentence…

I do like geraniums. The problem is I don’t like the word “geranium” in English (sounds ugly to me). I actually don’t much care for the word in Kamakawi, either. Huh. Really, though, the flowers aren’t all that bad. I mean, they’re all right. They’re flowery; have a pleasant smell. I’d like to have geraniums, I think. I just wouldn’t refer to them by name. I’d call them “those flowers out front”, or something similar.


Pa’a

• Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pa'a'.

pa’a

  • (n.) mallet, hammer, club
  • (n.) drumstick, mallet for a large drum or gong

Li ia i ipe pa’a ko.
“Bring that hammer here.”

Notes: I gots a little smashing to do.

After designing this iku, I thought, “Naaah! Too simple!” But I went with it, and it’s stuck. And it is a good design, in principle; it’s not inconceivable that another culture would come up with it. Seems useful for those great big drums—and also for cracking open crabs and mussels and other shellfish.


Ui

• Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ui'.

ui

  • (v.) to join, to conjoin
  • (n.) joining, conjoining, coming together
  • (n.) joint (body part)
  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ui

He ui eya i peaka!
“Let’s conjoin them!”

Notes: I’ve classified today’s word as an ikuiku, but I’m not sure about the classification. It derives from a figure that looks pretty much like this one, but it started out abstract. It’s, essentially, an abstract representation of joining (perhaps originally a drawing of a knot, though it no longer means “knot”). So the thing looks like what it’s supposed to look like, but it’s not very…picture-y. Aside from throwing up my hands and calling it an ikunima’u, though, all I can do is classify it an ikuiku.


Hoku

• Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hoku'.

hoku

  • (n.) elephant

Fumi ipe nili ti hoku.
“That field is good for elephants.”

Notes: You know what? I just decided one day that the Kamakawi Islands would have elephants. Native elephant populations, at that. How would a series of tiny islands support a population of elephants (even little miniature elephants, as the Kamakawi elephants are)? I have no idea. And despite all, I don’t care. I liked the idea of elephants wandering through the jungles and even splashing around in the waves on the beaches. I like to picture Kamakawi children riding on little baby elephants. It’d be adorable. And that was justification enough, way back when I came up with the Kamakawi elephant. And then I came up with this kickass iku to go with it.

So, there you have it. Elephants that exist on tiny little islands. Many elephants. Trumpeting and crashing and splashing about. Miniature elephants, by our standards (perhaps no bigger than a horse, at the biggest). So it was, and so it shall be. Forever.

The end.

Edit: As you may have read in my last post, the Kamakawi Word of the Day took a one-day hiatus to protest SOPA. Unfortunately, if you tuned in during the first hour or so of the 24 hours of the 18th, you wouldn’t have noticed anything different, since I made a counting error (something I do often). Eh. It’s the thought that counts…?


Powi

• Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'powi'.

powi

  • (n.) music

Oku hala’i ei io powi tou oku.
“I can’t live without music.”

Notes: The Kamakawi word for “music” is an homage to the greatest musician of the 20th century: David Bowie. (That’s right: I’m saying it! If anyone comments, “But what about Elvis?”, so help me…)

The iku for “music” gives a clue as to the real derivation of the word—that is, it’s onomatopoeic. The concept derives from drumming, as the beat is the backbone of all music. I kind of think of it as the spine, and the rest of the instrumentation branches off from the spine (and from those bones the muscles, the tissue, etc.).

Oh, and by the way, today is David Bowie’s birthday. He’s now 65, which means that 66 is the new old: if you’re 65 or younger, you’re now young. And so it shall go from here on out! :D


Tone

• Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'tone'.

tone

  • (n.) ladle

Neo ia ie tone, funa!
“Use a ladle, you oaf!”

Notes: Sometimes a word is born simply because I have a good idea of the way the iku will work. So we have mate, novu and fa’e, all of which rely on the “open box” shape seen in a lot of Kamakawi iku acting as a tureen of sorts. In this one, then, you have the ladle going into the tureen, and thus: tone.

I didn’t give much thought to how a ladle would work its way into Kamakawi culture. I’m pretty sure, though, that if you have soup, you’ll find a way to get a ladle. Ladles just make sense, after all—at least if you have big pots or bowls. And why wouldn’t you? Those are useful! I mean, who makes a stew for one?

Ha, ha. That’s a good name for a blog for single cooks: Stew for One. If you use it, the royalty checks come straight me.


Kaino

• Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kaino'.

kaino

  • (n.) Hawaiian goose (nene)
  • (nm.) a man’s given name

Ka ni’u ipe kaino!
“That goose bit me!”

Notes: And geese do bite. You be careful around geese! Those birds don’t mess around. If only I’d had a camera the day that goose tried to run me down… You think I’m joking, but it happened! My wife was there; she’ll attest to it!

The iku for kaino is one of my favorites, on account of how goose-ish it looks. It’s certainly a proud goose. I can see a language deriving the word from “pride” from the word for “goose”. Then you could make reference to a person’s goose-ishness.

For more information about the name Kaino, go here.


Hipa

• Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hipa'.

hipa

  • (n.) needle

Li ia i ipe hipa e nevi i’i.
“Give me that needle.”

Notes: The earliest Kamakawi needles were made of bone. They were rather long and a hole bored into the end of it. In the iku above, the top swoosh (going to the left) is the thread, and the vertical line is intended to be fabric. The entire thing, though, actually looks like a stylized version of hi, giving the reader a clue to the word’s pronunciation.


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