Keen-eyed readers will have noticed a new category of links on the right side over there —>
I’ve been doing a ton of reading about Hawaii and the Pacific the last few months, though I’ve been too busy to write anything too much about it here on Nubui Kuduchi. But, as Hawaii and its history have come to be more prominent in my mind, I figured it is long past time that I add a section of links for Hawaii-related websites, or blogs.
Right now, there’s only two.
Nā Puke Wehewehe ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (http://wehewehe.org/) is an online Hawaiian-English dictionary. I’m tempted to say it’s the best I’ve come across, but it’s actually the only one I know of that’s not just a word list or the like, but a real searchable dictionary interface.
Buttons above the search box allow you to input macronned letters (e.g. the ‘ō’ in kahakō, meaning “macron“), or the ʻokina, the mark in Hawaiʻi that is, most correctly, not an apostrophe. You can also search without them, and the site will offer you options with and without. For example, if you search for “aina”, without any special characters, the site will still recognize it and offer you the dictionary entry for ʻāina (“the land”).
The site itself (menus, options, the fine print at the bottom) can be set to either Hawaiian or English, and the menus allow for a few different options, including the ability to search six different dictionaries (two of which are chiefly databases of placenames). On the default settings, it searches two different dictionaries: the “Hawaiian Dictionary,” which in my limited experience tends to give the more general meanings, including alternate meanings and connotations, and the “Māmaka Kaiao,” which often gives only more specifically modern meanings. For example, I searched for the word “mālama,” a word which I have often heard in Hawaiʻi used in the phrase “mālama ʻāina,” meaning “to care for the land.” The Hawaiian Dictionary gives us a fairly lengthy definition, beginning with:
1. nvt. To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain; to keep or observe, as a taboo; to conduct, as a service; to serve, honor, as God; care, preservation, support, fidelity, loyalty; custodian, caretaker, keeper. Cf. makemake, mālama hale, mālama hele, mālama moku, mālama pūʻolo, pālama 1. Mālama ʻana, custody. Mālama pono ʻia, well cared for. Mālama pono! Be careful! Watch out! Mālama makua, one who cares for parents. Mālama wahine, caring for one’s wife. Mālama i kou makua kāne, honor your father. Mālama kauoha, obey orders. Mālama Lā Kāpaki, keeping the Sabbath. Ē kuʻu Akua, e mālama au iāʻoe ma ka noʻonoʻo, O my God, let me serve you in thought. O ka hoʻolohe a me ka mālama pono i ke aupuni, obedience and fidelity due the government. Ka mālama ʻole i kō haʻi ola, negligence of the lives of others. hoʻo.mā.lama
The Māmaka Kaiao, meanwhile, gives us “To save, as in a computer program. … Mālama ma ka inoa ʻo. To save as. Hoʻi i ka mālama. To revert to previous save.” So, you get an interesting look into how traditional words have come to be employed to refer to modern concepts.
I know the vast majority of us don’t come across Hawaiian terms very often. But, even if you’re not reading deeply in Hawaiian history or the like, even if you’re just visiting Hawaiʻi and hear some words you want to find out more about, this can be a great tool. If you read blogs, news articles, or the like about Hawaiʻi, or for that matter Facebook or Tumblr posts by Hawaiian locals, you may come across some terms – and you’ll learn something new!
Speaking of blogs, the other link I have put there on the right side is The Hawaii Independent (http://hawaiiindependent.net/), which describes itself as “a digital newsmagazine publishing bold reporting and commentary on politics, economics, arts, and culture since 2008. We strive to tell stories that improve, empower, and educate our community.”
I have only read a few of the articles so far, but everything I have read I have quite enjoyed. They generally do focus on news, that is to say current events and current affairs and issues affecting Hawaii today. There are certain types of topics I tend to find myself a bit more informed of anyway, such as the voyages of the Hokuleʻa and the dangers of climate change for low-lying Pacific Island states, but the Independent also covers current political topics, such as gubernatorial candidates’ plans to address homelessness, and the question of how much federal money goes towards Native Hawaiian programs. There was even an article recently on a rare address given by the Robinson family, “stewards” (owners) of the island of Niʻihau, something quite interesting and unexpected.
Like I said, I haven’t read that much, but even just skimming the headlines, I feel that much more connected to these issues and goings-on.
Do you know of any good Hawaii-related websites? Things I’d like to read, or things I should link to? Let me know! Mahalo!