Archive for the ‘Iku’ume’ Category


• Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'umu'.


  • (n.) lip
  • (n.) rim, edge

A kavi umu o ia!
“Your lip is big!”

Notes: Presumably from a fight. I think umu is an iku’ume. I mean, that seems right. Looks pretty good, for what it is. Not much else to say, other than iTunes won’t play right now, so I’m restarting my computer. So take that.


• Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fa'e'.


  • (v.) to boil
  • (adj.) boiling

A fa’e lelea.
“The water is boiling.”

Notes: Today’s iku may look familiar. It’s the iku for mate turned on its head.

Oh, shoot, wait a minute… Actually, maybe it’s the iku for novu with steam rising off the top, and mate is the iku for fa’e turned on its head. Darn!

I guess it kind of depends what order these glyphs were created in. Surely the word for “boil” would precede the word for “soup”, because you couldn’t have the latter without the former. Or could you…? Oh, but wait a minute: that’s not at issue. The iku for novu (“soup”) certainly preceded the iku for fa’e, whether or not the words were coined in that order. What’s at issue is the order of fa’e and mate (“pour”). Seems to me the latter word would come about first, but that doesn’t mean the iku would’ve come first… I’m going to go out on a limb and say that fa’e came first, and mate is fa’e turned on its head.

So, yes. Revise what I said above. Revise, I say!


• Thursday, November 10th, 2011

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.


• Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iloa'.


  • (n.) shoulder

Te kanekoi ie iloa o ei!
“There’s a cat on my shoulder!”

Notes: It’s not Caturday yet, but I’ve got a cat picture for you! A friend of mine just rescued a very young kitten, and I got to visit him yesterday. I present to you Chapps:

Chapps on my shoulder.

Isn’t he adorable?! I want to grab him and put him in a little hot dog bun! It’d be big enough to serve as his bed! :D

A truly adorable little kitten. He was malnourished and suffering from fleas, but my friend cleaned him up and gave him food, and he’s on the mend. I expect we’ll see more of him here at the Kamakawi Word of the Day as time goes by.

The iku for iloa comprises the top and left sides of ko, you may notice. That’s why this iku gets classified as an iku’ume, as opposed to an ikuiku (though its suitability is, of course, based on the fact that it kind of looks like a shoulder and arm dangling).


• Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'futa'.


  • (n.) knee, elbow
  • (n.) a hard knot on a tree or log

Au pama futa o ia ima!
“Your elbows are hard!”

Notes: In Kamakawi, there’s one word for either your elbow or your knee (or an elbow or knee). The two things are basically the same: It’s a hard piece of bone that sticks out at a limb joint. And if you get kneed or elbowed in the face, it doesn’t really matter which you got hit by: it hurts!

The iku is the reversed version of ti, and was chosen because the darn thing really looks like a knee or elbow (in fact, the original ti is a stylized version of an arm).


• Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'teva'.


  • (n.) delta (of a river)

Palei li’i ie teva.
“My home is in the delta.”

Notes: This is a song by Muddy Waters I quite enjoy. You can hear it here.

The iku for teva does, indeed, look like a stylized delta, but it’s based on the iku for kalio, which means “sea anemone”. The iku for teva is simply a rotated version of kalio. This is the second iku we’ve seen that’s a modified version of kalio. The first one was mena, which is the word for “scallop”.


• Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fie'.


  • (n.) albacore tuna (or just tuna)

A kaneko i oi’i poe havava i fie.
“I have a cat who likes tuna.”

Notes: I do! And yet, she only likes fish, it would seem, in the form of treats. Give her actual fish—in a bowl—and she’ll give it a sniff and then turn her nose away. What a cat she is…

This is actually one of my favorite glyphs, and i completely forgot about it. All it is is fi rotated 180°, but in rotating it, it reveals a “V” shape that’s reminiscent of e, turning it into a kind of ikunoala. I thought it was pretty clever. As for the fish, I like it; it’s pretty good. Not my favorite, but I dig it.


• Monday, September 19th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uma'.


  • (v.) to squeeze
  • (adj.) squeezed
  • (n.) squeezing

Oku uma ia i’i oku! Ae ne’ava…
“Don’t squeeze me! I’m full…”

Notes: I’ve been going over to my good friend’s on the weekend to watch football, and man, does he make a breakfast! And I’m not one who usually eats before…sunset. I was losing weight for a time, but now I think I’m putting it back on. Oh well. More pull-ups for me!

Today’s iku is a modified version of u. It’s highly iconic, as I see it: You have the “W” shape of u, and it’s getting…squozen. (By the lines, you see.) I’m pretty sure the line at the top is supposed to be a head, and the line in the middle is where the squeezing happens. I think the line at the bottom is for the feet… Yeah, if there were two lines under each divot, the lines would’ve been connected over time (just easier). I’m fairly certain that’s the story of today’s iku.

As for “squozen”, well… Some English verbs just feel like they should be irregular. “Squeeze” is one of them (to me).


• Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'upi'.


  • (v.) to float (on the water)
  • (adj.) floating

Ka mata ei i kuaki poke upi ie lelea!
“I saw a duck floating on the water!”

Notes: I kind of forgot about this word for awhile. I assumed, just looking at it, that it was an ikunoala. Then I went to actually look at it, and I saw that line, and thought, “That looks nothing like u…”

And, sure enough, it’s not an ikunoala. Rather, what it is is the iku for pi with a line over it to indicate the water line (the same line used in me). And while the pi is under the water, it kind of makes sense to me—like something is floating above, but you just can’t see it.

I’m sure the reason I did this is because the glyph for pi is such a meaty glyph. It can stand on its own easily, and should serve as a base for other glyphs wherever possible, says I.


• Friday, August 12th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'nanu'.


  • (n.) nose
  • (v.) to smell
  • (adj.) smelling of

Kaneko oi’i: Nea o nanu uliuli.
“My cat: She of the little nose.”


I don’t have a lot of full body shots of Keli (as I recall), so I snapped a good one today. Here she is sniffing a jacket lying on the ironing board:

Keli sniffing a jacket.

What a proper lady!

Nanu is built off the glyph for hu. It’s pretty straightforward: There’s a mark where the nose is. Here hu is being used for its face-like properties, no its phonetic properties.