Thursday, October 15, 2009


1.  bottle gourd. 
2. watermelon 
3. general name for vessel or container. 
4. drum consisting of a single gourd or made of two large gourds joined together. 
5. Crown of a hat.

    Ipu are most visible in hula.  When dancing the ancient style of hula (hula 'ōlapa), usually the dancing is accompanied with an ipu to help keep rhythm or beat while the ho'opa'a (the chanter) chants the mele.  This style of hula is termed hula 'ala'apapa.  This is hula accompanied by an ipu.  In most cases the ho'opa'a uses an ipu heke or a double gourd (this is actually two ipu glued together).  This is in contrast to the ipu heke 'ole  or single gourd ipu which is used more for the hula 'auana or modern type hula.

    Since ipu was also used as a container for water, food, or supplies, containers are also known as ipu today, even if it is not made from an ipu.  Ipu is also the general term for watermelon, sometimes followed by another word to be more specific:

ipu 'ai waha - watermelon (ipu you eat with your mouth)

ipu wai - watermelon (water ipu)

ipu haole - watermelon (foreign ipu)

ipu 'ai maka - watermelon (ipu eaten raw)

ka ipu o ka 'ike
 a container of knowledge
 (a learned person)

Got an ipu comment or question? Press on comments and type away! I LOVE COMMENTS! It keeps me going. Day after day after day. Having a one way conversation is NOT fun. Part of the blogging beauty is the ability to "converse".

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