kapa kulture

This blog is dedicated to Hawaiian kapa and matters related to Hawai'i nei…kuku kapa e!

Hawaiian Word of the Day: kanu

kanu: To plant, bury; planting, burial. Fig., hereditary. Mea kanu, crops, plants. Kanu papahu wili, to set solidly into the ground by twisting in and then tamping with a post; lit., plant stick twist. He moʻopuna na kō lākou haku kanu, he was a grandson of their hereditary lord.
hoʻokanu. To cause to plant or bury, (Proto-Polynesian tanu).

Kanu e ka mala wauke. (Plant the wauke garden.)

Kanu e ka mala wauke. (Plant the wauke garden.)

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Manaʻo

Did you know that Hawaiian language was once considered a good example for a universal and global language? The alphabet is short and pronunciation is phonetic. Well, it may be true that phonetic spelling is simple to speak at face value, but Hawaiian language is far from that simple.

Hawaiian language has layers of depth, metaphoric expression, dualism, and symbolism that intertwine with scientifically-based manaʻo for living. This knowledge takes a lifetime to maopopo (recognize and understand). I think that generational transference is the best way for this kind of knowledge to be absorbed in language development. As with any language, idiosyncratic phrases are expressed colloquially and embedded in the language as cultural nuances. At any rate, immersion in cultural understandings is a must. For me, ongoing immersion implies a contextual base in which the language is used. For instance, making kapa is ideally suited for language development, and practical use. Some other activities with specific vocabulary can be found linked with culturally consistent practices such as fishing, farming, weaving, woodworking, and canoe paddling… these provide contexts for developing language and cultural understanding. Language and craft, and a healthy understanding of values are foundations of cultural growth and perpetuation…

Traditional stories, chants, riddles, and proverbs are relevant today for contemplation of Hawaiian manaʻo and can be used to build up our culture. This kind of culture-based education is already being done here and there. To this I say, E mahalo nō! E ola mau i ka Lāhui o Hawaiʻi! Thank you and long live the Hawaiian Nation!

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Hawaiian Word of the Day: manaʻo ʻiʻo

manaʻoʻiʻo: Faith, confidence; to have faith, confidence; to believe. Kumu manaʻoʻiʻo, creed. Pelika o ka manaʻoʻiʻo, covenant of faith. Ua manaʻoʻiʻo i ke Akua, [he] believes in God.

Staying Safe During Hawaii’s “Two Seasons”

Pacific Island National Parks

(The following article courtesy National Weather Service Honolulu Office Website )

Hawaii’s Ocean Awareness Week: October 21st – 25th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie’s Proclamation for Ocean Awareness Week

Weather and surf are distinguished by two distinct seasons in Hawaii. The surf seasons generally follow the seasonal changes in the weather pattern across the North-Central Pacific Ocean. The dry season in Hawaii runs from May through September, while the wet season runs from October through April.

During the dry season, long period south swells are most common. These swells are generated by storm systems churning away in the southern hemisphere to the east of Australia and New Zealand. Two distinct zones of storm generation are favorable for south swell development. The most favorable location is in the area just east of New Zealand, while a second less consistent area is located between Australia and New Zealand. The south swells travel nearly…

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Hawaiian Word of the Day: Makaliʻi

Makaliʻi: 1. Tiny, very small, fine, wee, small-meshed; narrow wefts. Makaliʻi ʻohua, tiny ʻohua, spawn: fig., anything wee, tiny. 2. Pleiades; Castor and Pollux. 3. Hawaiian month name; the six summer months collectively.

Makaliʻi  (Pleiades)

Makaliʻi (Pleiades)

To learn more about the Makaliʻi constellation and the associated Hawaiian season of Makahiki, check out this website:

http://www.kaahelehawaii.com/pages/culture_makahiki.htm

Bark Cloth on the Island of Uvea is Ngatu

Closely related to Tonga, the term for bark cloth in the island of Uvea is ngatu. Paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera, or hiapo, is cultivated on the east coast where rainfall is heavy. Double layers of ngatu are beaten out and pasted together and are designed using freehand designs or kupesi-imprinted methods. If the kupesi pattern block is used, it is made form the midrib of leaf sewn to wads of leaf as in Tonga, and this is the traditional style for Uvea to make designs on the cloth.

Contemporary kupesi are carved in wood. Freehand painting is also done. The design motifs have changed over time from simple, repetitious patterns to modern designs that show a slice of life such as drinking kava, dancing, climbing trees, and fishing. Uses of ngatu include bed covers and screens, and clothing. There are two types of wrap-around skirts that are distinct in Uvea. One called a lafi that is decorated using the kupesi and then over-painted with black dye. The second is called a tohihina, which is decorated completely with freehand design using a pen in black dye on white ngatu cloth.

Ngatu of Uvea

Ngatu of Uvea

Hawaiian Word of the Day: ʻāwīwī

ʻāwīwī: To hurry; speedy, swift, quick, fast.

ʻĀwīwī kēia ka'a.  This car is fast.

ʻĀwīwī kēia ka’a. This car is fast.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: lapa ahi

lapa ahi: Flame, blaze.

Hula kane me ka lapa ahi

Hula kāne me ka lapa ahi

Hawaiian Word of the Day: ʻoluʻolu

ʻoluʻolu: Pleasant, nice, amiable, satisfied, contented, happy, affable, agreeable, congenial, cordial, gracious; please. E ʻoluʻolu ʻoe e hele mai, please come here; lit., be kind to come here. E ʻoluʻolu ʻoe i koʻu manaʻo, please do me a favor. ʻOluʻolu ʻole, unpleasant, impolite, uncomfortable. ʻaʻole o lākou ʻoluʻolu i ʻelua dālā, they are not satisfied with two dollars. Mōʻi ʻoluʻolu, gracious majesty. ʻOluʻolu nō iāia iho, satisfied with himself, complacent. ʻAʻahu ʻoluʻolu, comfortable, casual, informal wear. Ke noi aku nei au i kou ʻoluʻolu, I am asking a favor of you. E ʻoluʻolu i ka mea i loaʻa, be satisfied with what you have got.

hoʻoluʻolu: To satisfy, alleviate, allay, console; to retire to rest, to seek rest; parade rest, at ease (military commands). E hōʻoluʻolu mai i kō ʻoukou mau naʻau, comfort your hearts.

ʻOluʻolu ka pōpoki.

ʻOluʻolu ka pōpoki.

Tapa in Niue

On the island of Niue, hiapo is the term for bark cloth. When Samoan missionaries came to Niue in 1830, it is recorded that they brought hiapo with them, along with the Tahitian tiputa, which is a sort of poncho. It is reasonable to believe that this cultural sharing could be a historical bridge between Samoan and the Society Islands,arising not only from Missionary influence, but also as a result of a long history of inter-island voyaging typical of canoe expeditions in the region.

Although the hiapo is said to have come originally from Samoa, the quality in Niue is different from Samoan siapo. Samples from Niue, are made by felting layers into a single sheet the way it’s done in the Cook Islands. The mystery about hiapo of Niue is that no one knows what it is made for, since the size seems to be small for clothing or blankets. Speculation has it that the very creative designs on Niuen hiapo were made for some sort of commercial purpose. Perhaps the artistry involved points to a creative purpose that served as a pastime activity? Since 1901, no hiapo has been produced in Niue.

The designs on Niuen hiapo are not made with the rubbing method. The Niuens decorated their hiapo with freehand painting that is similar to the Samoan style. Rectangular or circular design compositions with abstract forms and plant forms are drawn with fine black lines, in a grid formation. Occasionally, people, stars, and fish are also drawn into the design. Hiapo beaters found in Niue, called ike, are unique to Niue. The ike are carved with very fine grooves and shaped with a cuff on the handle.

(Neich & Pendergrast, Pacific Tapa, 1997).

Niuen Hiapo

Niuen Hiapo

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