Friday, July 17, 2009


n. Head, summit, head or director of an organization, executive, principal; end, as of a rope, leaf, pole, cane, kōnane board; head of a penis or boil; headline, heading, title; father.

That is a lot! Mainly, poʻo refers to head as that which sits on your neck or head, as well as in that who "heads" your office/organization/business.

In the hālau hula (hula school), poʻo is used to refer to the poʻo puaʻa (literally the pig head), the number one person who assists the kumu, a position of high esteem. The poʻo is also the top of the ipu heke (the double gourd) and as such is considered sacred, much like the poʻo of a person. That is why it drives me CRAZY when I see kumu hula (say, at Merrie Monarch) hitting their ipu heke on the poʻo. Auē. Now I understand as much as the next person that ʻaʻole pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi, not all knowledge is found in one school, so some hālau do not have this same belief but still, it pains me to see it done. Same way it pains me when some hālau flash the piko of the ipu (the bottom part) out to the audience, very blatantly.

ʻO wai ke poʻo o kēia keʻena? - Who is the head of this office?
ʻEha kuʻu poʻo - My head is sore.
ʻO Kāhealani ke poʻo kumu o ke kula - Kāhealani is the principal (teacher head) of the school.

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