Glyph of the word 'ikavaka'.


  • (n.) book, or other piece of writing (document, tract, etc.)

A fulele e ni’u i iko ikavaka…
“I want to bite this book…”

Notes: Happy Caturday! :D

Here’s the picture that inspired the sentence:

Keli getting cosy with a book.

So my wife’s brother sent us a book for us to scan and send to him while he’s in Sénégal (apparently he needs to finish it for school). I opened it up and put it on the bed, and Keli was fascinated by it. She rubbed up against, she started to bite it, she clawed at it a bit. Eventually she laid down on top of it, finding it to be a fine seat. We did get it scanned in, but not until she’d had her way with it.

This word is derived from kava—or at least that’s what it looks like. It’s not immediately apparent to me what fire has to with writing, but the derivation from “write” to “book” is pretty clear.

Oh, but I forgot to do an entry for “write”… Oops. I’ll get to it by and by.

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2 Responses to “Ikavaka”

  1. Ka kavaka Anthony Docimo ti:

    >It’s not immediately apparent to me what fire has to with writing,
    when you’re passionate about a book, or you finish (reading or writing) a book before you realize it?

  2. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    I should say, there are two parts to this. I can think of how I would derive it, but I’m trying to imagine a culture deriving it thus… My guess was burning characters into wood. The other idea I had was that it’s actually not derived from “fire”, and the spelling is a kind of folk etymology.

    But now here’s the real secret: The word kavaka is the Kamakawi rendering of “Kafka”: As in Franz Kafka, one my favorite writers. But, of course, that won’t work in a world Franz Kafka doesn’t exist… ;)

    Hee, hee… I feel so naughty for doing that.

    I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book before I realized I’d finished it… Or is that what you meant? For me, though, reading is a long, slow, sometimes tortuous process. I’ve never been a quick reader. Nor can I read for long stretches at a time. I often have to get up and go do something else after a few pages. Takes me awhile to finish a book…

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