Posts Tagged ‘manmade’


• Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pe'a'.


  • (v.) to clothe
  • (adj.) clothed
  • (n.) top, shirt

Ea. A pe’a ei ie palaki oi’i.
“Yes. I clothe my dog.”

Notes: And why not? Dog clothes are adorable!

I had a really hard time keeping up with the blog this week, as I was filming for a program on CNN called The Next List. Was super, hyper, global, mega busy. Just trying my best to catch up now; not doing too well. (Also very busy with other stuff.)

Today’s word is used for the shirt tops introduced by Zhyler speakers. It was the old word for “clothing”, but pe’aka is the preferred term now. It does show the torso, as it was used in the olden days to refer to any kind of covering (usually worn to keep from getting wet, if one wanted to keep dry for some reason).


• Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mi'e'.


  • (n.) yarn

Mi’e?! Li ia i mi’e i’i?!
“Yarn?! You get me yarn?!”

Notes: There was some highly specific reason I came up with a word for “yarn” in Kamakawi. It was something around about something at some time that led me to think, “I need a word for ‘yarn’ in Kamakawi!” I cannot for the life of me remember what that something may have been. I know nothing of the history of yarn, and honestly can’t think of a good reason for it to exist nowadays. Honestly, what do you do with yarn? Make hair for dolls? Use it in “art” projects in elementary school? What the heck is it good for?!

So Kamakawi’s got a word for “yarn”. Hooray. Even has it’s own iku. And it’s not like it’s an ikunoala, or anything: That’s an ikuiku that looks like a spool of yarn. What on Earth was I thinking…


• Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fate'.


  • (n.) hole, gap
  • (v.) to put a hole in (something), to punch a hole
  • (adj.) full of holes
  • (n.) window

Ka lalau nea i amo poiu fate.
“She threw it out the window.”

Notes: Today’s iku featured in a word from a while back. If you go back and take a look at that entry, the etymology of the word should now be clear.

Fate’s glyph is a pretty simple ikunoala built off of te with a little fa on the inside.


• Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'leke'.


  • (n.) olona, hemp (used to make fabric, rope, etc.)
  • (adj.) made from olona

Li ia i ipe levu leke e nevi i’i.
“Give me that olona rag.”

Notes: This is, basically, hemp that’s used to make stuff. I always get a kick out of this iku, though. I call it “Old Tooth-Head”. Also kind of reminds me of those things that pump oil. When I was a kid, I would call them army ants.

I’ve made my piece with the Patriots winning this Super Bowl. I’m prepared to approach with a zen-like calm. Instead, I will focus my attention on replays of the Puppy Bowl. Nothing warms the heart (or the feet, come to think of it) more than adorable puppies. I shall think on them while enduring an awful Patriots victory.


• Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'iana'.


  • (v.) to recognize someone (for something they’ve done)
  • (n.) recognition

Iana’u iko tou!
“This could win an award!”

Notes: Next week I’m going to be giving a talk at SWTX PCA/ACA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one of the professors volunteering her time to the conference created this video for my talk, which I thought was great. Heh, heh. Fire and blood! (Oh, and hey, Kenakoliku peeps: Check out the modified Halfsies font on there!)

Today’s word was created for a specific reason way back when, but the iku, I thought, really came out well. First it uses the li glyph as an ikuiku (symbolic of giving), and it uses the “good” circle determinative to represent the gift or award. Below it are some lines, which I thought were quite fetching. I thought it came out awesome. Unfortunately, I rarely ever have a reason to use this word—it’s a bit too specific. Oh well. I shall use it today, to say: Nice job, Tamy Burnett! :D Your video made my day.


• Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pa'a'.


  • (n.) mallet, hammer, club
  • (n.) drumstick, mallet for a large drum or gong

Li ia i ipe pa’a ko.
“Bring that hammer here.”

Notes: I gots a little smashing to do.

After designing this iku, I thought, “Naaah! Too simple!” But I went with it, and it’s stuck. And it is a good design, in principle; it’s not inconceivable that another culture would come up with it. Seems useful for those great big drums—and also for cracking open crabs and mussels and other shellfish.


• Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'huva'.


  • (v.) to blow out air

Kavakava novu! A huva ia i amo.
“The soup is hot! Blow on it.”

Notes: Huva is one of those words that arose mainly because of the shape I could make with the iku. It’s built off of hu, of course, and then by adding the little circle for the mouth, it looks like a face blowing out air. And voilà!

I think this is a useful word. It’d be perfect for modern birthdays. Although it occurred to me that I’m not sure if the Kamakawi would have candles—or if they did, if the concept would be borrowed from Zhyler. Apparently the oldest candles were made out of whale fat, and while the Kamakawi have plenty of whales about, they hold the whale in high esteem (indeed: it is one of the three sacred animals. It occurs to me I should add a tag for that and link to it here… […and done!]), so I’m not sure if they would harvest them… Certainly they would have at one point in time, but I’m not sure if they would continue to (it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to without coming to a conclusion).

Anyway, this is a true iku’ui. This is what I meant by that term: a syllabic glyph with an ideographic element to it, combined in a single iku.


• Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hiku'.


  • (n.) pile, heap, mound

Oku olomo i ipe hiku o temi.
“Don’t walk on that pile of bones.”

Notes: This is the word that gave birth to the term hikuiku, which describes a word comprising two or more iku. It just means “pile” in the sense of…”pile”. Nothing very fancy about it (well, unless it’s a pile of something valuable, like gold bars). Unlike the English word “pile”, it can also be used with mass nouns, so you can say hiku o ta, “a pile of sand”.

Actually, I’m having a syntax class moment… Is “pile of sand” infelicitous in English? I know “pile of ice cream” is. Oh dang. Or is it…?! Wow. My English grammar thing has just gone haywire. Hooray! :D


• Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'powi'.


  • (n.) music

Oku hala’i ei io powi tou oku.
“I can’t live without music.”

Notes: The Kamakawi word for “music” is an homage to the greatest musician of the 20th century: David Bowie. (That’s right: I’m saying it! If anyone comments, “But what about Elvis?”, so help me…)

The iku for “music” gives a clue as to the real derivation of the word—that is, it’s onomatopoeic. The concept derives from drumming, as the beat is the backbone of all music. I kind of think of it as the spine, and the rest of the instrumentation branches off from the spine (and from those bones the muscles, the tissue, etc.).

Oh, and by the way, today is David Bowie’s birthday. He’s now 65, which means that 66 is the new old: if you’re 65 or younger, you’re now young. And so it shall go from here on out! :D


• Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'tone'.


  • (n.) ladle

Neo ia ie tone, funa!
“Use a ladle, you oaf!”

Notes: Sometimes a word is born simply because I have a good idea of the way the iku will work. So we have mate, novu and fa’e, all of which rely on the “open box” shape seen in a lot of Kamakawi iku acting as a tureen of sorts. In this one, then, you have the ladle going into the tureen, and thus: tone.

I didn’t give much thought to how a ladle would work its way into Kamakawi culture. I’m pretty sure, though, that if you have soup, you’ll find a way to get a ladle. Ladles just make sense, after all—at least if you have big pots or bowls. And why wouldn’t you? Those are useful! I mean, who makes a stew for one?

Ha, ha. That’s a good name for a blog for single cooks: Stew for One. If you use it, the royalty checks come straight me.