Glyph of the word 'oli'.


  • (n.) fruit
  • (v.) to pick (fruit, nuts, etc.), to harvest
  • (adj.) picked, harvested

Ai ipe i oli ai?
“Is that fruit?”

Notes: Fruit sounds good right now. I may have to go and harvest me some.

So this iku is a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t contain either o or li, and it doesn’t really look like an ikuiku. (What do you think? Does that look like a piece of fruit?) My first idea, on looking at it again, was that it kind of looked like a harvested field, but that doesn’t seem likely.

No, I think I may have intended this to be some sort of bizarre iconic representation of the category “fruit”. I’d say it looked like a coconut, but this is what a coconut looks like to the Kamakawi. Yes, I have to say that this one is a true mystery. We may never know what it’s supposed to represent…

Well, aside from the word oli.

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2 Responses to “Oli”

  1. Ka kavaka Anthony ti:

    I’ve been trying to think of what that image reminds me of (a bit of durian fruit, maybe breadfruit?)…or maybe its a stylized basket (2 or 3 chambers?) once used for hauling fruit?

  2. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    I once drank a shake consisting largely of durian fruit (terrible!), but I’ve never seen one. Given the general round > square nature of many Kamakawi glyphs, you could probably get away with calling this iku pretty much any fruit. Just don’t know what I had in mind…

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