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February 27th, 2007


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arwenofgenki
11:55 pm
Hello, now have more books (the collection ever grows) and was rather happy to purchase a few this summer in the islands themselves. Also have a CD program but am still not figuring out this whole grammar and verb thing. Anybody know how I change tenses? I've heard the grammar is like spanish but I still am incapable of constructing a sentance that says "The tree is green" or "the child is pretty" or something simple like that which is how we started out in spanish. (Still fondly remember learning first about school supplies and their colors.)

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From:maldito
Date:February 28th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
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basically and briefly....

past: ua verb/word pronoun/subject i ____
present: verb/word pronoun/subject i ____
future: e verb/word ana pronoun/subject i ____

examples:
past - ua hele au i Kualapu'u - I went to Kualapu'u
present - hele 'o Kalani i ke kula - Kalani goes to school
future - e hele ana au i Kaleponi - I'm going to California

There are these "ua" sentences, where it's not necessarily the past. In the case of the tree being green, I'd say Ua 'oma'oma'o ke kumula'au, or one could say 'o 'oma'oma'o ke kumula'au, but to me that is so English. For the child is pretty, it's a different type of construction - 'o nani ke keiki, or just nani ke keiki. Not sure which books you've purchased, but in Hawaiian there is no verb "to be" which may explain your examples where both are "to be" situations.
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From:maldito
Date:March 1st, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
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Ah, here comes UH Hilo N_z_. ;) Yeah, using the pepeke painu just seems so Englishized.

But your interpretation of "ua 'oma'oma'o ke kumula'au" as WAS green, I don't see it as that. I could check all of my grammar books, but I dunno. I know that the academics of UH Hilo are strict about those things and do so only to keep a more strict rule as far as grammar goes and I fully understand that. However, that's the sad thing. If that's how we do it on our island, and if that's how i learned it back in the 70s by our kupuna, then that is how I'll continue to use it. It's good to give a Hilo perspective on these things too though. I'd be more open to other differences too, especially when it comes to ka poe niihau.
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From:maldito
Date:March 1st, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
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E 'oma'oma'o ke kumula'au - the tree is going to be green

Sorry, I overlooked this. This sentence does not exist, or should not exist. This doesn't make sense to me, at least from an 'Oiwi concept since we know that tree will not miraculously turn green. It either is or isn't.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 1st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Although if you want to be picky, a decidious tree that is about to bud in spring could be termed "going to be green".
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From:maldito
Date:March 1st, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
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hahaha...ok.

I was actually thinking about it when it comes to colors, how did ancient Hawaiians use them in reference to description of nature? I'll have to ask other more knowledgeable people about this, but your question made me really think about it.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 1st, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
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I don't know but they were so tuned in with nature and described it well, that they must have used colors. There are Hawaiian words for colors. I just never questioned whether or not a culture would or wouldn't. It seems an essential part of a basic description of an object.
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From:maldito
Date:March 2nd, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
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Sorry, I was thinking from a Hawaiian perspective more so b/c there are things in nature that are used for color descriptions too, like wewehi, uluwehi, wehiwehi, terms that I just mentioned to a friend last night as far as referring to green foilage which I guess in english they'd use "verdage" or something like that? From Latin I know that much...verde. There is a description of the sea being dark (uli or specifically kai uli) which is obviously the deeper parts of the ocean. That term along w/ a couple of others I can't think of off-hand have been used for a color reference. It's not to say that there were never terms for colors, but that when it comes to nature it's different. Remember, Hawaiian is not an Indo-European language and if you learned Spanish, they'll say that the language is a result of the culture and perception is different. More so for Hawaiians and Polynesians in general, which explains the various possessive differences and wider variety of pronouns indicating amount and exclusion or inclusion.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 2nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
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I read how each island is represented by a flower and a color but I am fairly certain it's a haole thing that started from tourism. Wasn't there something how only the royalty could wear yellow feathers or some such thing. Colors have importance in somethings, but more culturally than as discriptors, I think.
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From:maldito
Date:March 2nd, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
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In Polynesia, red symbolized royalty or a high ranking chief. In the Hawaiian islands, it was yellow that was highly prized because of the birds they used to produce these feathered cloaks which were symbols of royalty were hard to come by. That is why too in the language there are references to bird feathers as far as something precious or rare is concerned.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 3rd, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it would make sense that colors had special or certain meanings. But it still may not have been crucial in an object's description. It likely says somewhere in one of my history books (of which I have nowhere near enough). I'm also certain that some bird species were sacred and only ali'i could use feathers from that bird. Possibly this had to do with color or with the fact that the birds were not highly populous. One of the parks I went to last summer had a display about how chiefs would make a certain area kapu for a while so that animals or plants wouldn't die out. They had a good handle on sustainability.
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From:maldito
Date:March 4th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
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I never heard of birds being sacred to ali'i at all. There was nothing mentioned in our stories about that and not sure what books you are referring, most importantly who wrote them. We do know that there were people skilled in fetching bird feathers. It was also known that Kamehameha had gathered a lot of the mamo feathers, highly prized feathers for himself as he conquered the islands and there was no kapu placed on them. As for certain areas, perhaps. You mentioned a park, so I am going to guess that it was on the Big Island?
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 4th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
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Yes, the park is on the big island. It was a sign at Kaloko-Honokohau. But it didn't mention about sacred birds, that only mentioned how certain areas were kapu at certain times so that overharvesting would not occur. And I read that the iwi'i and 'alala are sacred birds to ali'i. This was in "Hawai'i's Birds" by the Hawaiian Audubon society and "Traveller's Wildlife Guides: Hawai'i" by Les Beletsky. And I think there were some others too. And so, correct me if I am wrong, but logic would dictate that birds considered sacred to the ali'i would only be used by ali'i. But possibly not. I'm not sure.
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From:maldito
Date:March 4th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
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Ah, ok...kapu for areas in order to prevent over harvesting makes sense. I know that they did that w/ fishing for certain fishes and I read somewhere it was the same for certain fishponds too, so I guess if forests were placed under kapu, then it is understandable that included the birds.

Not sure about birds sacred to alii. I know that other birds (less colorful ones) were used too for helmets & I think some cloakes may have used them, but not sure about that. I know helmets.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 6th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
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My book on birds, which is by the Hawaii Audubon Society lists the 'alala and the iwi'i at least as being birds sacred to the ali'i. I know cloaks are only a nobility thing and helmets (I am guessing) are nobility and high warriors, but I know hat bands were made by a lot of people. I would guess though that they would not be allowed to use feathers from the 'alala and iwi'i and other sacred birds.
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From:maldito
Date:March 6th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
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The hatbands came later, a late invention and involves sewing whereas the cloaks and helmets you would tie them on a net mesh, or at least w/ the cloaks, not sure about the helmets. I just never really heard of certain birds being "sacred". Perhaps, it's just that I never heard about that.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 6th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
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Hatbands I assume started when the supply of feathers dwindled. Cloaks I know were tied to mesh (I saw the exhibit at the Bishop this summer). There were two types of helmets; completely feathered ones like the cloaks for the ali'i and goard ones with feathers attached. The birds being sacred may be a tradition that developed later, perhaps after the Kamehameha dynasty. I don't know. There is so much I don't know! It's all so fascinating and there are so many questions I have to ask scholars or native traditionalists.
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From:maldito
Date:March 6th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
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Well after the Kamehameha Dynasty the making of feathered cloaks pretty much slowed down due to the introduction of cloth from the western world.

I only say that I've never heard of being sacred b/c I have never run across them in my readings in old Hawaiian newspapers or books in the Hawaiian language. Those are much more reliable sources. Even in the 'olelo no'eau (Hawaiian proverbs) there's nothing that I ran across that refers to certain birds being sacred. These birds became on the endangered species list only b/c of introduced diseases and rodents or other animals that have upset the balance.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 6th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
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All I know as they keep being referred to as sacred now. Of course, that could be because they are endangered now. Do you know where I could get books in Hawaiian (that aren't children's)? I'm still fine with ordering them from Hawai'i. I'd like somethings to read to help for practice of learning the language.
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From:maldito
Date:March 6th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
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http://ahapunanaleo.org/ seems to be the best source as far as getting books in Hawaiian as well as Native Hawaiian Books. You'll have to google for their website. At least w/ aha punana leo, you can get videos to practice listening to it.
From:arwenofgenki
Date:March 1st, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
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That actually helps a lot thank you! Having my first foreign language be spanish, I'm frustrated by the lack of a "to be" verb, but I'll work around that. I hope within the next couple of years to be able to take the Hawaiian 101 online class from HCC.
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From:maldito
Date:March 1st, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Also, there is no verb "to have".
Hello, now have more books (the collection ever grows) and was rather… - Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono

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