1. nvs. Heavy; weight, heaviness. Fig., sad, wretched, dismal, dreary, downcast, troubled, depressed; grief. Meakaumaha loa, tragic event, tragedy. hoʻo.kau.maha To burden, load down, laden. Fig., to oppress, cause sadness or grief; sorrowful, woeful, sorry, depressed, oppressive, burdensome. Mea hoʻokaumaha moku, ballast. Mai hoʻokaumaha, don’t worry. (PPN mamafa, PCP taumafa.)
2. nvt. Sacrifice, offering; to make a sacrifice or offering. See ex., nikiniki 2. Kaumaha aʻe ana iā Laka, to offer to Laka. (PPN taumafa.)
Sadness, I suppose, no matter what language, is synonymous with heaviness. A burden that one carries on the shoulders, in the body. Breaks you down to the point of illness sometimes. Kaumaha. That is sadness. Heavy. Weight. Oh my, just reading the words above increases the kaumaha. Wretched. Dismal. Dreary. Downcast. Troubled. Depressed. Grief. We all can quickly recall these moments in our lives. As if they were yesterday. Or for some, it is today.
Nui ke kaumaha – The sadness is great.
Ua kaumaha ka wahine i kēlā pule aku nei – The woman was sad last week.
In Hawaiian, mist and rain are images of kaumaha. And while I do love me some mist and rain, there is a certain sadness that often accompanies the wetness that envelopes me.
Luʻuluʻu Hanalei i ka ua nui; kaumaha i ka noe o Alakaʻi – Heavily weighted is Hanalei in the pouring rain; laden down by the mist of Alakaʻi.
Below are two ʻōlelo noʻeau using kaumaha as a burden:
Oi hoʻi he hana hāʻawe o kaumaha – It isnʻt work to carry this heavy burden on the back (It is no trouble at all).
Pau ka pali, hala ka luʻuluʻu kaumaha – The cliff is now passed and with it the burden of difficulty.
For those of you experiencing a mea kaumaha loa (tragic event), I wish upon you light and love. Surround yourself with family and friends. And let the rains come. There will be a rainbow.
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. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983