Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1. to go down, descend; downhill, towards the sea.
2. core, as of an apple, breadfruit, or pandanus.
3. directional, down, below; used with words describing activities of ones own body, as eating, drinking, etc. ('ai iho - to eat. No'ono'o iho, to think) "self" personally.  

E hana ana 'o ia nona iho - he will work for himself.  Used with words of time, usually present or future, or just past.

WOW. The first two are pretty straightforward.

Iho i lalo - go down.
Ua iho a i ke kai - (It) descended until it reached the ocean.
He iho ko ka 'ulu - the 'ulu has a core.

The third translation is a bit more tricky.  In an English teacher's term, it is a particle, and its placement usually (but not always) follows the verb:

hele iho - go down, descend
makewai iho 'o Kaniela - Daniel was thirsty.
'O au iho nö me ka ha'aha'a - I am yours, humbly
ma hope iho - right afterwards
kēia lāpule iho - this coming Sunday
There are four directional words: mai, aku, iho, a'e. Iho is not as straightforward as mai (since mai is generally a direction towards the speaker). Iho is used in reference to a downwards motion, such as rain or tears, a motion unto oneself, such as inu iho, drinking, reflecting unto oneself, pa'akiki me kāna iho - stubborn with his own self, and has a time reference, such as i kēia mau lā iho nei - a few days ago (though the other directionals has a reference to time, also). Not always an easy concept to grasp, the unconscious use of directionals in speaking Hawaiian is hard to explain by a native speaker and very difficult to understand and use by a second language speaker. As with anything, practice makes almost perfect.  Pay attention to Hawaiian songs, which tend to use the directionals a lot. if you don't know what the whole line is referring to, at least you'll have an idea of what direction it's happening in!

Ke iho la ka ua - The rain is falling

Iho i lalo! - get down!

'O au iho nō me ke aloha nui no ka 'ōlelo makuahine (just me, with great aloha for the mother tongue)

Monday, December 7, 2009


Smooth, thin, as poi; fine, mashed, soft, powdery, supple, limber, as a dancer's body.
Ho'owali is the word used when mixing something, like poi or dough, because your main goal when doing this is to get to that smooth, fine consistency. NEVER a good thing to have lumpy poi.  You MUST ho'owali until it is wali. Bad karma to have lumpy poi.

Ua wali ka poi
- The poi is smooth.

'uala ho'owali 'ia - mashed sweet potatoes.

Nā mea ho'owali o loko - digestive organs (literally "the smoothing things inside)