The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 474 pages of information about The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai.

[Footnote 43:  To express the interrelation between brothers and sisters two pairs of kinship terms are used, depending upon the age and sex.  Sisters speak of brothers as kaikunane, and brothers of sisters as kaikuahine, but within the same sex kaikuaana for the elder and kaikaina for the younger is used.  So on page 431 Aiwohikupua deserts his sisters—­kaikuahine—­and the girls lament for their younger sister—­kaikaina.  After their reunion her older sisters—­kaikuaana —­ask her counsel.  Notice, too, that when, on page 423, the brother bids his youngest sister—­kaikuahine opiopio—­stay with “her sisters” he uses the word kaikuaana, because he is thinking of her relation to them, not of his own.  The word pokii,—­“little sister”—­is an endearing term used to good effect where the younger sister sings—­

  “I am going back to your little sisters (me o’u pokii)
   To my older sisters (kaikuaana) I return.”]

[Footnote 44:  The line translated “Fed upon the fruit of sin” contains one of those poetic plays upon words so frequent in Polynesian song, so difficult to reproduce in translation.  Literally it might read “Sheltering under the great hala tree.”  But hala, also means “sin.”  This meaning is therefore caught up and employed in the next line—­“is constancy then a sin?”—­a repetition which is lost in translation. Malu, shade, is a doubtful word, which may, according to Andrews, mean “protected,” or may stand for “wet and uncomfortable,” a doubt evidently depending upon the nature of the case, which adds to the riddling character of the message.  In their songs the sisters call up the natural scenery, place names, and childhood experiences of their native home on Kauai.  The images used attempt actual description.  The slant of the rain, the actual ladder of wood which helps scale the steep footpath up Nualolo Valley (compare Song of Kualii, line 269, Lyons’ version), the rugged cliffs which are more easily rounded by sea—­“swimming ’round the steeps”—­picture actual conditions on the island.  Notice especially how the song of the youngest sister reiterates the constant theme of the “follow your leader” relation between the brother and his younger sisters.  Thus far they have unhesitatingly followed his lead; how, then, can he leave them leaderless? is the plea:  first, in their sports at home; next, in this adventure over sea and through the forest; last, in that divine mystery of birth when he first opened the roadway and they, his little sisters, followed after.]

CHAPTER XI

[Footnote 45:  This ti-leaf trumpet is constructed from the thin, dry, lilylike leaf of the wild ti much as children make whistles out of grass.  It must be recalled that musical instruments were attributed to gods and awakened wonder and awe in Polynesian minds.]

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The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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