vs. Smooth, thin, as poi; fine, mashed, soft, powdery, supple, limber, as a dancer’s body. Cf. nāwāliwali, niu 1,ʻōnāwali, ʻōnāwaliwali. hoʻo.wali To make soft, smooth, as soil, to mix, as poi or dough; to digest. ʻAila hoʻowali pena, paint thinner. ʻUala hoʻowali ʻia, mashed sweet potatoes. Nā lio kaʻinapu hoʻowali lua (chant), graceful, doubly supple horses. Nā mea hoʻowali a loko, digestive organs. ʻŪlei hoʻowali ʻuala, digging stick of ʻūlei wood that softens [the earth for] sweet potatoes [sexual reference]. (PCP wali.)

This is one of those “it’s all good” words. All positive connotations. Can’t you just picture a favorite hula dancer, maybe from last night’s Merrie Monarch Miss Aloha Hula competition? The dancers just flow when dancing, a body so supple and limber that they are the envy of all hula dancers? That is wali.

Wali reminds me of growing up and mixing poi at my tūtū wahine’s hale. Heaven forbid if there should be lumps in the poi. OUCH! Never hear the end of it. You want to hoʻowali, mix it smooth, young child! All my memories of poi are good ones, including poi wali, smooth poi. Remember the poi bags hanging on the line or drying on the louvers in the kitchen or on the clothesline? Tūtū said those are the good bags because they were nice and thick, good to reuse.

Eh, make sure you kahi that poi bowl good, don’t want dirty sides of the bowl! And everything went with poi, even eggs and bacon. And no matter what, as long as the poi was wali you eat it till it is gone, even if it takes a week. Starts out fresh and ends up with bubbles, white film and a special odor! Just mix em all up. All good. Everyone has their favorite stage of poi.

Hoʻowali i ka poi a wali – Mix the poi until it is smooth.

Hele nō ka wai, hele nō ka ʻalā, wali ka ʻulu o Halepuaʻa – The water flows, the smooth stone [pounder] works, and the breadfruit of Halepuaʻa is well mixed [into poi]. (Everything goes smoothly when one is prosperous. A play on wai and ʻalā (smooth stone). ʻAlā commonly refers to cash. In later times, Hele nō ka wai, hele nō ka ʻalā came to refer to a generous donation. Halepuaʻa is a place in Puna.

Lomia a wali i ka wali lima ʻole a ke aloha – Squeezed and crushed by love, who does it without hands. (Said of a heartrending grief)

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proberbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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