Archive for June, 2011


• Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mena'.


  • (n.) scallop

Ka hava ei iu mena kipe.
“I had scallops yesterday.”

Notes: Among other things. Since I’d just been talking about it, I had some cioppino yesterday for dinner. It was exquisite, but I simply can’t eat the way I used to be able to… :( I brought home a lot of it as leftovers. It was quite good, though! Scallops are easily one of my favorites.

The iku is a rendering of the famous scallop shell (perhaps the most visually salient of seashells). The reason it has no top is because this iku, in fact, is a modification of another iku, which…I haven’t done yet. :lol:

You’d think after more than a year I would have finally done an entry on every glyph in the Kamakawi writing system. Looking at the numbers, though, I think I’m about…halfway done? I think there are about 600 distinct glyphs. I’m getting there!


• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'inivieke'.


  • (v.) to be wonderful, excellent, superlative (etc.)
  • (adj.) wonderful, excellent, marvelous
  • (n.) excellence

Awela i ia ti no ulili inivieke!
“Thank you for three wonderful years!”

Notes: Today is my and Erin’s three year anniversary. We haven’t had the easiest time since grad. school (in life; not with each other), but it’s all been worth it since we’ve gotten to spend that time together. I couldn’t even conceive of anyone better to spend the rest of my life with. :)


• Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'o'opo'.


  • (n.) coconut

Kawa ia i ipe o’opo e neviki i’i!
“Split that coconut and share it with me!”

Notes: Kind of on a food kick right now, and one of my favorites is coconut. Crucially, though, I only like fresh coconut; absolutely cannot stand dried coconut. Anyone else like this? Or anyone feel the opposite way? I tell you, to me it seems sometimes like the two don’t come from the same fruit…

The iku for o’opo is an old one, which is why the box is used rather than the circle used in later iku. Any guesses why the triangle is there, though? (See the various number entries for a hint [if that didn’t give it away already].)


• Monday, June 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kapo'.


  • (n.) mussel

Ka hava ei i kapo.
“I’ve eaten molluscs.”

Notes: They’re in one of my favorite Italian dishes: cioppino. It’s a kind of seafood soup that’s just out of this world (if done right, of course; one could have a poor bowl of cioppino).

Huh. How about that. I just linked to the Wikipedia article on cioppino, and so started to read it. Turns out it’s not Italian at all: It came from San Francisco! And not only that, it’s typically served in a wine sauce! I didn’t know that, either. I’m terribly allergic to wine (not the alcohol: something in the wine), and break out if eat anything in a wine sauce.

So…yeah. Dang. That’s not cool. Now I’ll have that to worry about when I go out to eat… :(


• Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kava'.Glyph of the word 'kava'.


  • (v.) to be hot
  • (adj.) hot (feeling)

Kavakava ika…
“It’s hot again…”

Notes: And the way I know? It’s hot at night. When it’s hot at night, the hot is back to stay. We’re in for a hot, hot summer. Good thing I live next to an ocean. :)

This words derives from kava, in a way that should be obvious. The logic is hot things are hot. :)


• Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'leupoe'.


  • (n.) hammerhead shark

Oku hetu ei i leupoe.
“I don’t fear hammerhead sharks.”

Notes: In today’s post, I wish to reflect on a true fact about myself. Though I have feared for sharks for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve never feared hammerhead sharks. I’m not at all sure why.

I should mention that I had quite some exposure to sharks as a child. Nearly every week, I would go to the Cabrillo Park Museum (I guess it’s now [or actually?] called the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. I was the three, though; I couldn’t read [well] yet). There I would play in the simulated tidepools and look at all the exhibits—including the gigantic great white shark replica they had hanging above the exit. I was terrified of that shark. I would love going to the museum, but I would insist on closing my eyes and being led by hand through that section of the museum each time. The only thing that mollified me somewhat was my mother telling me that the eyes were probably M&M’s.

In addition to that, I, of course, likely saw sharks on television, and I also had several shark coloring books and a plastic toy great white shark that I used to play with. I guess I was kind of fascinated by sharks, but also terrified by them. I probably saw a commercial for Jaws as a kid; that did it for a lot of kids (and adults), unfortunately (and, in fact, the movies can still inspire terror in me).

But for whatever reason, I was never afraid of hammerhead sharks. I was probably more afraid of whale sharks than hammerheads, even though the latter are much more dangerous to humans (if, you know, you mess with them, which is just stupid). I have no solid explanation for this. Perhaps it was that they reminded me of Admiral Ackbar, with whom I was quite familiar as a child (I was a big Star Wars fan).

Hammerhead shark vs. Admiral Ackbar.

Who knows?

The iku is intended to look like the head of a hammerhead shark, but also incorporates part of the glyph for keva, “shark”, as reference.


• Friday, June 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'po'ule'.


  • (v.) to make move
  • (v.) to coerce
  • (n.) coercion

A male po’ule ei i ia ima!
“I will make you move!”


Today we’re going to try something I’ve never tried before. We’ll see how it works! Never seen before on the Internetz: Video of Keli:

First she decided to lie on the laptop while Erin was using it. Next she became interested in what was going on on the screen, and so she started to play around. Hee, hee! Priceless!

If I can get this to work, you can expect more videos of Keli in the future. Either way, there will, of course, continue to be pictures.

[Note: Cf. po’u.]


• Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ke'i'.


  • (n.) chukar partridge

A mata ei i ke’i!
“I see a chukar!”

Notes: I felt I needed a bird word, and so here one is. I encourage you to do an image search for the chukar partridge. They’re quite funny looking birds. Very plump. They look like they’re wearing a headband, or something. Funny little birds. :)


• Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'neki'.


  • (n.) hair
  • (adj.) hairy, having hair
  • (v.) to be hairy

A huita neki o ei i ika kipe ti fome kiko.
“My hair is shorter today than it was yesterday.”

Notes: Syntax on this one is rather complex. Literally, it is, “My hair surpasses its yesterday self in shortness today.” That’s how you form comparatives in Kamakawi. In fact, have I done a post on huita yet…? I see I have not. I’ve used it twice already, but I should definitely do a post on huita on its own, as it deserves explanation.

Anyway, the occasion for today’s example sentence is that I got my haircut (just a few hours ago, in fact). It feels good not to have all that hair on the back of my neck! After all, it’s summer, and summer is a time for cool breezes and sunshine—not for long, hot hair!

The iku for neki I classify as an ikuleyaka even though the “ground” determinative usually goes beneath the glyph. The reason it goes above should be obvious enough: It’s the hair! In fact, isn’t this glyph the exact opposite of another one (with the “ground” determinative on the bottom and the head on top)? I have no easy way to search this in my dictionary… I need a “looks like” search button. :?


• Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'hoave'.


  • (n.) jellyfish

Mata ia iu ipe hoave netoneto!
“Look at those lazy jellyfish!”

Notes: We’ve seen today’s iku before. It comes from the word hoa, which means “sleepy”. Since the iku kind of looks like a jellyfish (and has a the first two syllables of “jellyfish” inside it), the Kamakawi simply added the line determinative to it to get the iku for “jellyfish”. As an indirect result, jellyfish have a reputation as being really lazy in Kamakawi culture: just kind of floating through life sleepily, lazing about…