Posts Tagged ‘manmade’


• Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Glyph of the word '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.


• Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'oko'.


  • (n.) drum

Au noala oko!
“The drums are sounding!”

Notes: The frost if off the ground: Moving day is at hand.

It’s a new year, and it’s time for some news. I’ve done 731 words of Kamakawi so far, and it’s been fun. But this pace is absolutely exhausting (as evidenced by when this post and the last one went up in real time), and I can’t keep it up. There’s no way I’ll be able to put up every word of Kamakawi (there are several thousand, and I’m not even at a thousand yet), but I did vow to at least get all the foma up, and that I’ll do. Once I’ve got them all up, though, this blog will become the Kamakawi Word of the Every-So-Often-If-That (or something similar). I may drop in and do a word now and then, but there won’t be a word everyday.

That said, there’s got to be at least 200 foma left, and they don’t always fit with the caturday pictures, so there may yet be another full year of “daily” Kamakawi word posts. But I’m letting my many fan (no typo. I elea, Anatoni!) know that the end is coming. Probably some time after the new Mayan calendar begins, but it’s coming.

Thanks for following along or dropping in every now and then! It’s nice to have an online catalogue of all these glyphs, so they exist somewhere other than in my computer. Have a happy new year!


• Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'levu'.


  • (n.) rag, washcloth, chamois, etc.

Hou! Ipe ie levu li’i!
“Hey! That’s my washcloth!”

Notes: Meeeeeeerry Catmas! :D

Today’s quote comes from The Simpsons. At the end of one of their Christmas episodes, everything is stolen from their house except a washcloth. They proceed to fight over the washcloth and run around the house trying to get it. You can see a clip of the ending here.

The word levu is just one of those words like “rag” that gets used wherever applicable. It’s one of those filler words you never think about that every language has. It’s never appropriate; it’s not particularly interesting: it just is. And this is the word I greet you with on this happy holiday. Hooray! :D


• Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mono'.


  • (n.) canoe
  • (v.) to go by canoe

A male mono ei poiu a…
“And now I’m going to canoe away…”

Notes: Something like, “And now I’m taking my ball and going home.” It’s the first week of the fantasy football playoffs, and I’m not in them. I finished with a 7-7 record, behind even the terrible division winner who finished with an 8-6 record. Total bummer. On the other hand, in my friend’s league, which I’ve been helping out in, we finished with a 12-1-1 record and got a bye in the first round in a three tier playoff system. We’ve been relying on the Jets’ defense, but picked up the Broncos’ D at the last minute, so I think we should be good.

Today’s iku is another that’s based off mo, which is one of my favorites. All the iku based off mo turned out to be pretty good, in my opinion (that one and nu). And to me, it kind of looks like a canoe (or somehow the triangle reminds me of rowing a canoe). If I ever have a canoe, I’ll probably paint this on there. Or on an oar. Maybe both…


• Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kakalaka'.


  • (n.) interview

Kakalaka oye kaneko!
“Interview with the cat!”

Notes: Keli received some exciting news today: Her picture was in The New York Times! Check it out here (scroll down to see the picture).

The photographer is Monica Almeida, who’s a staff photographer for the Times. She’s an animal lover herself, so she was more than happy to take pictures of me and Keli. I didn’t think one would actually make it into the article. I was quite pleased to see it! It’s funny, she took a bunch, but I think she chose this one purpose because the contrast between my expression and Keli’s is pure hilarity. That’s just like my cat: Anxious to be the center of attention, and then once she has everyone’s attention, desperate to escape. What a cat she is!

Kamakawi also gets a brief mention in the article. A long while back someone added a Wikipedia page for Kamakawi, and it got deleted. Maybe if it ever gets re-added it’ll stick around.

And if it does, maybe then it’s time to add a Wikipedia page for Keli… 8O


• Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'natio'.


  • (n.) rack
  • (n.) spear rack

Toko ia ie la li’ia ie natio.
“Put your spear on the spear rack.”

Notes: This was a fun one. The iku for natio is the same as the iku for lave, “rain”, but it has the “identity” determinative beneath it. The reason its iku is used is because, coincidentally, the iku for lave (which is an ikunoala) looks kind of like a spear rack (after all, it’s got la right in there). Thus, the iku for natio was born.


• Friday, October 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'palei'.


  • (n.) home

Ipe i palei lapa li’i.
“This is my new home.”


Recently Erin slightly rearranged some items upstairs. She put all my stringed instruments together in one corner so they leaned against the wall. This make it much less convenient to get at them, but it made a wonderful new little cave for Keli, and it’s become her new favorite spot:

Keli in her hidey hole.

I realize it’s kind of hard to see because Keli is such a dark kitty, but if you can make out her eye, it’ll help you make out the rest of her face.

Today’s word (the diminutive of pale) is the word for the concept of “home”. It can also be used to mean “little house” or to refer to one’s own house (or hut), but it’s the idea of “home” that it encapsulates.


• Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ilo'.


  • (n.) oar (of a boat)

Au utu ilo o eneta.
“The oars of the ship are broken.”

Notes: Yesterday’s word was iloa, which is right next to today’s word alphabetically, so I thought I’d throw it up. Nothing special about oars, I suppose—or this iku. The iku comprises a pair of oars. For boats. And rowing. Hooray! :D

The iku itself is still pretty simple (just four strokes), so I figure it works out well enough. By the way, for those who have never tried to row a small boat or canoe: not as easy as it looks! I was surprised. Also, it looks completely automatic, the rowing motion. It’s not. That’s something you’ve got to work at. Good workout, though.


• Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ote'.


  • (n.) plate, dish, tray
  • (v.) to serve
  • (n.) serving, portion

Li ia ie ote li ia e nevi i’i.
“Give me your plate.”

Notes: Today’s word is an old word that means “to serve”, and it’s still used in that capacity, to some extent, but now it’s most commonly used to mean “plate” (or a serving).

The iku is a rather straightforward compound of te and o. It might look familiar, but temi, its closest cousin, has two horizontal strokes across the middle rather than one.


• Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'peka'u'u'.


  • (n.) homeland

Kiko nemei ei ie peka’u’u li’i.
“Today I leave my homeland.”

Notes: I’m currently sitting in the John Wayne Airport (not at my actual gate, since there—and nowhere else—the outlets aren’t working) getting ready to fly to the wilds of eastern North Dakota. I won’t be there long, though, as I’ll immediately head over to western Minnesota for the 2011 Faith, Reason & World Affairs Symposium to spread the good word about conlanging. It should be fun, provided it isn’t going to be as cold as the Weather Channel seems to think it’s going to be (no room for a jacket). Plenty nice in the airport, presently.

We’ll see if I can keep up with the word of the day posts. If anything, I should only miss a day—two at the most. I’ve got other things to do with the computer right now, though, so I’m going to attend to those. Happy day to one and all!