Please read the fic first.
Hawaiian Pronunciation Guide
Hawaiian is actually super easy to pronounce. Let me show you how.
-Every syllable ends with a vowel.
-Each vowel makes only one sound: 'a' is 'ah' as in 'mama', 'e' is 'ay' as in 'prey', 'i' is 'ee' as in 'tree', 'o' is 'oh' as in 'go', and 'u' is 'oo' as in 'true'.
-When two vowels are next to each other, the sounds blur together, sometimes approximating another vowel sound (unless the vowels are separated by an ‘okina); for instance, 'ai' ('ah~ee') and 'ae' ('ah~ay') both sound sort of like 'eye', and 'au' ('ah~oo') and 'ao' ('ah~oh') both sound sort of like 'ow'.
-The ‘okina or backwards apostrophe indicates a glottal stop, as in the English words 'uh-oh' or 'uh-uh'. (The ‘okina generally goes where a consonant used to be, but has disappeared during the evolution of the language.) For pronunciation purposes you can pretty much ignore an ‘okina that comes at the beginning of a word.
-The kahakō, or macron over the vowel (as in the ō in kahakō) indicates a lengthening of the sound, not in the sense of a long vowel in English, but in the sense that you hold the vowel sound for an extra beat.
-The 'w' is usually pronounced like an English 'v'.
Glossary of Terms and Other Notes of Interest
Akua – The Hawaiian word for pretty much any sort of supernatural being: ghosts, spirits, ogres, gods, etc. The Christian God is called Akua Nui (“Big Spirit”) in Hawaiian.
‘Alalā, Hawaiian Crow – Despite the English common name, the ‘alalā is, more precisely, a species of raven. Like crows and ravens in other parts of the world, in Hawaiian culture they are associated with black magic and those who use it. This bird is extinct in the wild; the only surviving individuals live in captive breeding facilities, although reintroduction to several sites on the Big Island is being planned in the next few years.
Ali‘iolani Hale – The real-life home of Five-0 headquarters! This historic building houses the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court, and is across the street from ‘Iolani Palace, where the original Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980) headquarters was located.
Aloha – This Hawaiian word simply means 'love', and is an important part of every greeting and farewell.
‘Aumakua – A family or personal god; guardian spirit. (Plural: ‘aumākua.) Ancient Hawaiians (and many modern ones) believed that the spirits of their ancestors took the form of a specific animal, plant, rock, or cloud and protected and advised the members of the family. I don't use this word in my story, but Pele makes reference to ‘aumākua in her conversation with Steve and Danny: the Kilauano family ‘aumakua is the dog, and the Olokui family ‘aumakua is the pig.
Banana poka – Passiflora tarminiana, a species of passion fruit so-named because the exterior of the fruit resembles a short, straight banana. The plant is a climbing, smothering vine with pink trumpet-shaped flowers; it is an invasive species in Hawai‘i. Also, it's not as delicious as liliko‘i. :P
Big Island – The commonly used nickname for Hawai‘i Island, to prevent confusion with the name of the State/kingdom/island chain. The State/kingdom/island chain gets its name from the island, because King Kamehameha I was a Big Island boy, and when you conquer eight islands you get to call them whatever you want. As a nickname, 'Big Island' is apt; Hawai‘i Island has an area of 4,028 square miles (10,430 square kilometers); it is almost twice as large as all of the other main Hawaiian islands combined, and is the largest island in the United States. I would estimate Steve and Danny walk 80-something miles in my story, from Makapala in the northernmost part of the island, to the Kalapana-Kaimu area in the easternmost part of the island. Here, have a map:
Birds and flowers – There are a few birds and flowers that I describe in my story but don't name. When Steve climbs the tree to try to get satellite reception, Danny sees a black and yellow bird called the Hawai‘i ‘Ō‘ō (Moho nobilis), an extinct Hawaiian bird last seen in 1934; the white-and-purple flower it drinks from is a species of lobelia, a group of plants endemic to Hawai‘i that co-evolved with Hawai‘i's nectar-eating birds. The green and yellow birds that Steve doesn't recognize are ‘ō‘ū (Psittirostra psittacea), another endemic Hawaiian bird last seen in the 1980s. During Steve and Danny's journey they enter a sort of spirit-world, a parallel Hawai‘i that never knew people and subsequently looks very different from the Hawai‘i we know today.
Blala – A Pidgin word; the stereotypical local guy. Speaks Pidgin, wears old tank-tops or cut t-shirts that may be faded/stained/full of holes, surf shorts that are in a similar condition, and rubber slippers. Drinks light beer. ...Basically this is what we have instead of rednecks.
Chili – Made with ground beef and kidney beans. The only correct way to eat this is on top of white rice. All other options are wrong.
Calling ghost – A malicious type of akua that calls you by name in an attempt to lure you to your death, by leading you to the edge of a cliff or into a hidden earth crack or collapsed lava tube.
Choking ghost, pressing ghost – A type of spirit that manifests in many ways in many cultures. Can be visible or invisible; can suffocate you by its weight/pressing down on your chest or by actively choking you with its hands. Usually disappears just when you think you're going to die. ...This one's probably scientifically explained by sleep paralysis/night terrors.
Coconut porter – Made by the Maui Brewing Company. DELICIOUS.
Coquí – Puerto Rican tree frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus; declining in their home range, they are an invasive species in Hawai‘i. The frogs were introduced accidentally, hiding in potted plants imported from Puerto Rico to be sold in greenhouses in places like Wal-Mart. There are now 50,000 affected acres, mostly on the Big Island, with as many as 20,000 animals per acre. The male frogs sing at night; a single individual's call can be up to 80-90 decibels, as loud as a lawnmower. So imagine 10,000 of them in the woods behind your house. The frogs are very controversial; many people like them, like their calls, think they're cute. Many other people, like myself, think they are A PAIN IN THE ASS and an ecological/economical nightmare. A lot of money and effort goes into fighting the spread of the coquí, but it's a losing battle.
‘Ehu – A reddish brown color, especially a reddish tinge in human hair. This hair color was prized among ancient Hawaiians; women with ‘ehu hair were, and are, considered to be very beautiful. I don't use this word in my story, but the little girl who pulls out Danny's hair has ‘ehu curls.
E komo mai – Hawaiian; 'welcome' or 'come in'.
Elika Olokui – Elika is the Hawaiian form of the name 'Eric'; this is an homage to Eric Knudsen, a kama‘aina (local) haole born on the island of Kaua‘i in 1872. Knudsen was a story-teller; he recorded many myths and legends of Hawai‘i, and most especially ghost stories, personal encounters with akua in the forests and valleys of old Kaua‘i. I was raised on his books from a very young age, and along with Glen Grant, another story-teller with a passion for the ghosts and spirits of Hawai‘i, he is a massive influence on my story.
Fairy Tern, Manu-O-Kū – Gygis alba, also called White Tern; this seabird is found throughout the tropics. They're known for their strange habit of laying their single egg in the fork or depression of a bare branch, without building a nest. The manu-o-kū is Honolulu's official bird, and a common sight in the city.
Gecko – There are seven species of gecko in Hawai‘i, none native; four were introduced by the Hawaiians, stowing away on their voyaging canoes. The gecko was an important figure in Hawaiian mythology, and today these cute lizards are almost universally beloved by residents of Hawai‘i. The gecko that keeps Danny awake at night is a Common House Gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, introduced in 1940 and known for its loud chirp.
Guava – Psidium guajava, a delicious fruit native to the tropical Americas and widely cultivated in Hawai‘i; unfortunately, also an invasive species.
Hā – Hawaiian; 'breath', 'breath of life', 'spirit of life'. For ancient Hawaiians, the life-breath had great spiritual significance; thus, the sharing of breath in the traditional greeting, honi, was a gesture of great respect and aloha.
Haku lei – A type of lei (garland of flowers, leaves, seeds, and/or shells) made using a specific braiding style; haku lei are frequently worn on the head, but also around the neck, wrists, or ankles, especially in hula.
Hāmakua Coast – The northeast coast of Hawai‘i Island in the district of Hāmakua; the drive up the Hāmakua Coast on Highway 19 is very scenic.
Haole – Hawaiian; from hā, 'breath', and ‘a‘ole, 'no'. Literally, 'no breath'. When Europeans first arrived in Hawai‘i, their breath smelled different from the Hawaiians because they ate different foods; the Hawaiians thought they had no breath at all. Haole used to mean anyone or anything foreign, but now strictly refers to white people. Can be used as an insult or merely as description.
Hāpu‘u – Tree ferns of the genus Cibotium, endemic to Hawai‘i. A common understory plant in the Hawaiian rainforest, they can grow up to 40 feet tall. They are also a popular plant in people's backyards.
Haupia – Traditional Hawaiian dessert, a pudding made from arrowroot and coconut cream; in modern Hawai‘i made with cornstarch instead of arrowroot. DELICIOUS.
Hawaiian calendar – The ancient Hawaiian calendar was based on the phases and cycles of the moon, with certain days or nights of the month and certain months of the year being associated with specific farming and fishing activities, as well as the activities of spirits.
Hawi – A town in the district of North Kohala on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, home to about a thousand people. Hawi is near the town of Kapa‘au; together they comprise the most densely-populated region of North Kohala.
Hilo – The largest settlement on the Island of Hawai‘i, with a little over 43,000 people. It is the second-largest population center in the state, and the county seat of Hawai‘i County.
Hunting – Hunting is an extremely popular sport in Hawai‘i, as well as a significant source of food for many families. Hawai‘i has only one native land mammal, a bat, but a number of non-native animals have been introduced for the purpose of hunting: pigs, goats, feral sheep, mouflon sheep, and axis deer, as well as a number of game birds. The introduced ungulates wreak havoc in our native ecosystems. The hunting community and the conservation community are, unfortunately, locked in a perpetually adversarial relationship.
Ice – The local term for crystal meth. Ice is a MASSIVE problem in Hawai‘i.
‘Iolani Palace – The royal residence of Hawai‘i's last two reigning monarchs, King Kalākaua and Queen Lili‘uokalani. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the Palace served as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawai‘i until 1969; the Palace was also the fictional home of the original Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980) headquarters. The building is now a museum, and has been restored to its monarchy-era appearance.
Jawaiian – Hawaiian reggae; an extreeeeemely popular style of music in Hawai‘i. Just for fun, here are the songs Team was listening to in the bar before Kaulike Pihi started shooting up the place.
“One On One” by Natural Vibrations. It's mostly hiding under heavy Pidgin, but this song is reeeaaallllyy dirty. XD
“Coconut Girl” by Brother Noland. Instant happy. :3
“Fire”, Bruce Springsteen cover by Harold Kama Jr. featuring Fiji. I adore this song, for all that it's kind of terrible. NO MEANS NO. CONSENT IS SEXY.
“Blue Light”, Prince cover by Ho‘onua. Way better than Prince's version. :P
Junior-Boy – Yes, this really is a common given name in Hawai‘i. The female equivalent, also quite common, is Honey-Girl. ...I don't know either.
Kāhili ginger – Hedychium gardnerianum, a species of ginger native to the Himalayas, so called because the spike of yellow flowers resembles a traditional Hawaiian feathered standard, or kāhili. Introduced to Hawai‘i as an ornamental due to the fragrance and beauty of its flowers, kāhili ginger is now one of the biggest invasive species problems in the state.
Kahuna – Hawaiian; an expert in a field of learning. In my story I introduce three types of kahuna, kahuna ‘anā‘anā (experts in black magic and death curses), kahuna ho‘opi‘opi‘o (experts in counteracting black magic and curses), and kahuna po‘i ‘uhane (experts in manipulating and controlling spirits). There are many other types of kahuna, including kahuna who heal by touch, kahuna who heal using plants, kahuna who deliver babies, kahuna who specialize in agriculture, and kahuna who read omens in clouds or stars.
Kailua-Kona – A town of approximately 12,000 people on the west side of Hawai‘i Island, in the district of North Kona; the center of industry and tourism in West Hawai‘i.
Kalapana – A mostly Hawaiian community in the Puna District of Hawai‘i; most of the town was destroyed by a lava flow in 1990, but a few people still live there.
Kaleilehua – A beautiful and not uncommon girls' name in Hawai‘i; a lei being a garland, usually of flowers, the name means 'the lei of lehua blossoms'.
Kamapua‘a – In Hawaiian, 'hog child'; Kamapua‘a is a notorious trickster demi-god associated with rainforests and fertility. Like many Hawaiian gods, Kamapua‘a was a shapeshifter, able to change size or take on other forms, known as kinolau. Among other shapes Kamapua‘a could transform from a man into a pig, a kukui tree, an ‘ama‘u tree fern, and our state fish, the humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a. Kamapua‘a was a sometimes lover, sometimes enemy of the volcano goddess Pele; they were always either going at it like rabbits or trying to kill each other. This is why Pele shows disdain for pigs in her conversation with Steve and Danny. A common myth in Hawai‘i is that it is dangerous, even fatal, to attempt to bring pork from one side of O‘ahu to the other over the Pali Highway; the most common version of the myth attributes this as an insult to Pele (one side of the island belongs to her, the other to Kamapua‘a). I have also heard a version where a man kills and butchers Kamapua‘a while he is in his pig form, only to be killed when Kamapua‘a's spirit enters one of his plant kinolau, tripping the man and sending him to his death at the bottom of the cliffs; this version of the myth holds that he continues to resent anyone carrying pork over the Pali. I reference this second version in my story.
Kapa‘au – The largest town in North Kohala, with a little over a thousand people; celebrated as the birthplace of King Kamehameha I (his actual birthplace is a few miles away).
Keanakolu Road – A rough 4x4 track circling Mauna Kea at about 6,500 feet, connecting Mauna Kea Road with Mānā Road and the town of Waimea.
Keiki – Hawaiian; 'child' or 'children'.
Kīlauea – One of two active volcanoes on the Big Island and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The summit crater, Halema‘uma‘u, is the traditional home of Pele, the volcano goddess. In my story I mention Kīlauea's East Rift Zone; Hawaiian shield volcanoes are so massive that they split under their own weight; the seams along which the volcano splits are weak points in the Earth's crust, through which lava can easily make its way to the surface. Kīlauea is as likely to erupt from one of its two rift zones as it is from the summit.
Kīpuka – Hawaiian; puka meaning 'hole', a kīpuka is any area that is a variation or change of form from its surroundings, such as a calm place in a high sea, a deep place in a shoal, an opening of sky through a cloud formation. In modern usage kīpuka is usually used to refer to an island or oasis of older lava, often with trees or other vegetation growing on it, surrounded by a younger, more barren flow.
Kiss – It is very common in modern Hawai‘i for two girls/women, or a boy/man and a girl/woman, to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, even if they've never met before.
Koa – Acacia koa, a species of tree endemic to Hawai‘i, and the second most common tree in the state. Its leaves are a definitive crescent shape, and its beautiful wood is highly prized.
Kolohe – Hawaiian; 'mischievous', 'naughty', 'unethical', 'unprincipled', 'rascal', 'scamp', 'prankster', 'rogue', 'crook'. Many akua are kolohe, pranking unsuspecting mortals but not causing them harm, beyond scaring the bejeezus out of them.
Kukuihaele – A village of a few hundred people near Waipi‘o Valley; many of the residents farm taro and other crops in the valley, using traditional methods.
Lava – Lava flows on land conform to two main types, ‘a‘ā and pāhoehoe; these terms originated in Hawai‘i but are used by volcanologists worldwide. ‘A‘ā is a pasty lava with a surface of rough, spiny, tumbling clinkers; it solidifies into a treacherous field of loose chunks of rock entirely covered with sharp edges. It is hell on hiking boots, and worse on skin. Pāhoehoe is a very fluid lava under a congealing surface crust; it solidifies into a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface. Relatively young pāhoehoe (a few hours to a few decades old) tends to have a silvery sheen. In my story, Steve chases Olokui over a fresh lava flow; this is possible because the surface has cooled and solidified, insulating the still-molten interior. I have personally walked over lava that was still glowing in the cracks, and I know people who have walked over lava hot enough to melt the rubber soles of their boots. It's not as dangerous as you might think, but strictly speaking I wouldn't recommend it either.
Lava tube – A common feature of Hawaiian pāhoehoe lava; the surface of the lava cools fastest, creating an insulating crust that keeps the lava beneath hot and molten. The lava can flow for many miles in a tube of its own solidified skin. When the eruption ends or the tube system is cut off from the erupting vent, the molten lava flows out, leaving behind a tube-shaped cave. The Hawaiian islands are riddled with miles and miles of lava tubes; very little of the ground we walk on is truly solid.
Liliko‘i – The Hawaiian name for Passiflora edulis, or passion fruit. Native to South America, this viny plant is very popular in Hawai‘i and commonly cultivated. Delicious, but very invasive.
Lilinoekekapahauopānī‘au – My Lilinoe was named in honor of Rebecca Lilinoekekapahauomaunakea Sterling, this year's Miss Aloha Hula champion at the Merrie Monarch Festival. I'm not an expert, but I believe the name translates to 'the cold, rustling, misty rain of Mauna Kea'; I replaced Mauna Kea with Paniau, the highest peak on the island of Ni‘ihau, where my Lilinoe lives.
Lōlō – Hawaiian; 'stupid', 'idiot', 'crazy'.
Lua – Hawaiian; literally, 'pit'. The word has come to mean 'toilet', originally referring to pit toilets.
Mahalo – Hawaiian; 'thanks' or 'gratitude'.
Maka‘awa‘awa Kilauano-Rice – Another homage to the story-teller Eric Knudsen. Maka‘awa‘awa was an employee of Eric's father; in one of my favorite ghost stories, Eric retells the story of when Maka‘awa‘awa failed to make it back from a hunting trip before sundown and barely survived an encounter with a one-eyed akua, much like the one Steve and Danny met.
Makapala – A tiny community in the district of North Kohala on the Big Island, at the very end of the road; nothing beyond but rainforest and deep valleys for many miles.
Malihini – Hawaiian; 'stranger', 'foreigner', 'newcomer', 'tourist', or 'guest'.
Māmaki – Pipturus albidus, an endemic Hawaiian plant, a large shrub or small tree in the nettle family. Māmaki is a preferred host plant for the caterpillars of our two native butterflies. The ancient Hawaiians had medicinal uses for the fruit and a tea made from the leaves; the bark fibers were used to make kapa cloth and rope.
Māmalahoa Highway – Also known as Hawai‘i Belt Road, this highway comprises state Routes 11, 19, and 190, encircling the Island of Hawai‘i. The highway is named after 'Ke Kānāwai Māmalahoe', 'The Law of the Splintered Paddle', a law decreed by King Kamehameha I that protected the right of safe passage for all travelers throughout the islands.
Mana – Hawaiian; supernatural, spiritual, or divine power. Mana is present in every part of the body; Olokui was able to curse Danny because he obtained some of his hair, thus gaining access to/control over Danny's mana. Hawaiian royalty used to have trusted servants whose job it was to gather up fallen hairs, nail trimmings, even bowel movements, in order to prevent a malicious kahuna ‘anā‘anā from getting his hands on them and thus gaining power over that king or chief. It was forbidden for a commoner to even touch the shadow of a chief, lest they steal some of his mana.
Maopopo – Hawaiian; 'understand', 'recognize', 'realize'.
Mauna Kea – 'White mountain'; a dormant volcano on the island of Hawai‘i. At 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) it is the highest point in the state, and frequently sports snow. The summit of Mauna Kea is arguably the best site in the world for astronomical observation; the summit area is currently home to thirteen observatories.
Mauna Kea Road – A road that connects Saddle Road with the summit area of Mauna Kea. The road is very steep and only partially paved, requiring a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Mauna Loa – “Long mountain.” One of three active volcanoes on the island of Hawai‘i; Mauna Loa is the second-highest peak in the state (13,679 feet/4,169 meters) and the largest volcano on Earth in terms of volume and area covered. Mauna Loa takes up about half the island; by itself it's more-or-less the same size as the rest of the main Hawaiian islands combined.
Methane explosions – When lava flows over vegetation, methane gas becomes trapped under the molten rock at high temperature and pressure. The pressure is inevitably released in an explosion, flinging chunks of burning-hot rock in all directions.
Miloli‘i – A Hawaiian fishing village in the district of South Kona on the island of Hawai‘i. The community has no access to power lines or the county water supply.
Moke – Pidgin; pronounced like 'choke'. Basically the same thing as a blala, but to me at least implies large size and a certain amount of toughness; wouldn't wanna fight one of these guys.
Mo‘o – A Hawaiian mythological creature, the Hawaiian version of a dragon. Mo‘o were large, intelligent reptiles associated with bodies of water. Many mo‘o were shape-shifters, able to transform into geckos or humans. Some were dangerous and aggressive man-eaters; others were protective guardian spirits of certain fish ponds, springs, or sacred lakes.
Mo‘olelo – Hawaiian; 'story', 'tale', or 'legend', but also 'history'; the Hawaiians did not have a written language, so all knowledge was passed down orally, in story form.
Mountain View – A community of about 4,000 people in the district of Puna on the island of Hawai‘i. Mountain View is located on Highway 11 between the town of Hilo and the village of Volcano.
Mujina – Japanese; in Hawai‘i, refers to a faceless ghost, generally a woman with long hair. Hawai‘i is peopled by immigrants from many nations and cultures, and they all brought their ghosts and monsters with them: obake and kappa from Japan, aswang and dila from the Philippines... and, of course, all the Hawaiian akua that were already here.
Night Marchers, Huaka‘i Pō – Night Marchers, or Huaka‘i Pō, are the spirits of warrior chiefs that were killed in battle. On a certain night of each month, also called Huaka‘i Pō, they march along specific paths from the uplands toward the sea, carrying torches and drums. Anyone unlucky enough to get in their way is killed and must join the procession. Your only hope is to strip naked and lie face down in the dirt– some say, also, pee on yourself– basically just humble yourself completely, and then if you're really really lucky one of your ancestors will be in the line and take pity on you. Honestly, if you see torches and/or hear drums, your best bet is to try RUNNING THE HELL AWAY. Many people in Hawai‘i claim to have seen or heard Night Marchers, if only from a distance. Waipi‘o Valley, the ancient Valley of the Kings, is one place they are believed to march.
Ni‘ihau – The oldest and westernmost main Hawaiian island. Also known as 'The Forbidden Isle', the entire island is owned by the Robinson family. There are fewer than 150 residents, Native Hawaiians who speak a unique dialect of the language. There are no phones, or automobiles, or power lines on the island. The island is off-limits to most visitors.
‘Ohi‘a – ‘Ohi‘a lehua, Metrosideros polymorpha; this endemic Hawaiian tree is the most common tree in the state. It is characterized by beautiful flowers resembling exploding fireworks, usually red but occasionally orange or yellow.
‘Ōkole – Hawaiian; 'buttocks'.
Outrigger club – The sport of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing is massively popular in Hawai‘i; it is, in fact, the state sport. There are many many canoe clubs.
Pakalolo – Hawaiian; marijuana. Literally, 'crazy tobacco', or tobacco that makes you stupid/crazy. Guys, there is a LOT of pot in Hawai‘i. A lot. So much. People pretty much smoke it in public.
Palms – The coastal lava plains of Puna and Ka‘ū used have forests of native loulu palms growing on them. The Hawaiians slashed and burned these forests for agriculture. Today the area is mixed native and alien grassland and shrubland... the parts that aren't bare lava, that is.
Pali – Hawaiian; 'cliff' or 'steep slope'. Steve goes sprinting down the Hōlei Pali (named for a plant that grows in the area), a 1,312 foot/400 meter tall lava escarpment, and then back up it, carrying Olokui. I've done some vegetation surveys on this cliff; trust me, it's even harder than it sounds. Be impressed by Steve's badassery.
Pele – The Hawaiian volcano goddess, a powerful and terrifying deity known for her fiery temper. Pele is deeply revered, especially on the Big Island where she makes her home. People frequently leave offerings for her at the edge of Kīlauea Caldera: lei, coins, food, and very frequently cigarettes and bottles of gin, which she's known to be especially fond of. She sometimes appears to mortals as a Hawaiian woman, sometimes young, sometimes middle-aged, sometimes old, often in the company of her beloved pet, a small white dog. She is known for hitch-hiking on the sides of dark, lonely roads in the middle of the night, especially in the districts of Puna and Ka‘ū. If you see a Hawaiian woman of any age hitch-hiking in this manner, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO PICK HER UP. Be really really nice to her. Offer her a cigarette or something to eat or drink. She'll probably disappear out of the back seat of your car and leave you incredibly unnerved, but when the next eruption happens she'll remember you and steer the lava around your house instead of just paving over it. ...Nearly everyone in Hawai‘i has a Pele story. Ask me about mine.
Pidgin – In Hawai‘i, the usual name for what is actually a creole language as opposed to a pidgin (a pidgin is a simplified language developed to allow two or more groups that do not share a language to communicate, whereas a creole is a stable natural language derived from two or more parent languages, the distinction being that in a creole, the language has been nativized by children who learn to speak it as a first language, resulting in features of natural languages that are normally lacking in pidgins). Hawaiian Creole/Pidgin English developed from the pidgin used in the plantations of 19th century Hawai‘i and is influenced by the languages of all of the peoples that worked on those plantations: Portuguese, Hawaiian, Cantonese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, English... even Spanish from Mexican and Puerto Rican workers. It incorporates vocabulary from all of these languages and cultures, and has its own unique grammar and pronunciation. English and Hawaiian are the official languages of the State of Hawai‘i, but anyone who grew up here uses Pidgin in everyday conversation.
Piko – Hawaiian; most commonly used to refer to the navel and umbilical cord, but refers to other peaks or dimples, nodes in the human body, in plants, in the Earth. Piko are often places where mana is concentrated. The umbilical cord is very full of mana; when a Hawaiian child is born, the tradition is to hide the piko somewhere safe, such as in a cave, in a crevice in the rocks—different communities had different traditions. The piko must be protected in order to keep the child safe. The summit of Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Hawaiian islands, is a sacred piko and a place of great mana. ETA 7/15/14: As I mentioned in the fic notes, I am not an expert in Hawaiian culture, and some of the aspects of the culture as represented in my story are fictionalized to a certain extent. Since writing my story I've determined that there are only three piko in the human body, rather than the larger number I presented in the fic—the top of the head, where a baby's fontanel is, the piko that connects you to the past; the bellybutton, the piko that connects you to the present; and the genitals, the piko that connects you to the future.
Primo – 'Hawai‘i's original beer', a lager that has been made in Hawai‘i since 1901.
Puapua moa – Ophioderma pendulum subsp. falcatum, an indigenous fern found in Hawai‘i and across the Pacific. The Hawaiian name means 'chicken tail feathers', referring to the droopy, strap-like blades. The Hawaiians used it as a cough remedy; I don't name it in my story, but this is the cough remedy that the little brindle mutt brings to Danny.
Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō – A cinder cone on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone that has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. The name means 'digging-stick hill', referring to the magic rod Pele uses to create volcanic pits.
Rubber slippers – Pronounced "rubbah slippahs". What people on the mainland would call a flip-flop. That sort of travesty just isn't allowed here.
Saddle Road – Hawai‘i Route 200, recently renamed the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, which crosses the center of the Big Island allowing direct travel between the town of Hilo and the North Kona/South Kohala area. So called because it passes over the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Shower tree – Ornamental tree species in the genus Cassia prized for their dense blooms of brightly-colored flowers and excellent shade; these trees are popular and common in urban areas in Hawai‘i.
Skanking – A form of dance. Skanking in Hawai‘i is a bit different from skanking done to ska or punk. It's done to Hawaiian reggae, which tends to have a very slow beat. It's... hard to describe better than I've done already in the story. All I can tell you is, growing up in Hawai‘i you will learn to do this in heels at prom. ...Have some videos?
OMG THIS KID IS MY MOST FAVORITE EVER.
Strawberry guava – Psidium cattleianum, a guava relative native to tropical South America. Both the red-fruited variety and the yellow-fruited variety (more commonly called waiawī) are common and popular in Hawai‘i. Delicious, but HORRIBLY INVASIVE.
Sword fern – Species of fern in the genus Nephrolepis; early colonizers of lava fields. Hawai‘i is home to a couple of native species and a more common, invasive one from China.
Ti – Cordyline fruticosa, a Polynesian canoe plant; in Hawaiian, called 'kī'. This plant has a gazillion-and-a-half uses, both practical and ceremonial. It is a symbol of food and of healing.
Tita – Pidgin; pronounced 'tittah'. The female equivalent of a moke. And I do mean equivalent, in height, bulk, aggression, and in the likelihood that she will fuck you up if you look at her funny.
Uluhe – Dicranopteris linearis or False Staghorn Fern, an indigenous fern found across the Pacific. This fern grows in thick, brambly thickets that can grow up to 20 feet tall. If you have to hike through it, it is, at best, a pain in the ass, and at worst, deadly dangerous, obscuring hazards like cliffs and earth cracks.
Waipi‘o Valley – A large, flat-bottomed valley in the district of Hāmakua on the island of Hawai‘i, nicknamed 'The Valley of the Kings'; many of the Big Island's royalty grew up in the valley, including King Kamehameha I. One of the few places on the island suited to wetland taro agriculture, it has been farmed for centuries and is still home to many functioning lo‘i (taro paddies).
Wao Akua – Hawaiian; literally 'the place of spirits'. A traditional Hawaiian land division referring to the high-elevation forests, largely uninhabited by humans.
Wao Kanaka – Hawaian; literally 'the place of man'. A traditional Hawaiian land division referring to the lowland areas where the majority of the Hawaiian people lived and farmed.
Zippy's – A beloved chain of 24-hour restaurants on O‘ahu (and one store on Maui). Their menu combines American, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Hawaiian cuisines. The signature item on the menu is Zippy's chili. Mmmmm~, good stuff, brah. NEXT. STOP. ZIPPY'S.