Lolo

1. n. Brains, bone marrow. Kau ka lā i ka lolo, the sun rests on the brains [it is noon; usually now without other connotation, but formerly believed a time with great mana as a man’s aka (shadow, image) was no longer visible and was thought to have entered his sacred head—Nānā 123–4]. Lolo ʻeleu, active mind or intelligence. (PPN lolo, oily; PEP brains; cf. lololo 2.)

2. nvs. Religious ceremony at which the brain of the sacrificed animal was eaten (such ceremonies occurred at a canoe launching, start of journey, completion of instruction); to have completed the lolo ceremony, hence expert, skilled. He lolo ʻau moana, seafaring expert. Aʻo ihola ʻo Hale-mano i ka hula … pau ke aʻo ʻana, lolo ihola i ka puaʻa (FS 275), Hale-mano learned the hula … after learning, a pig was offered ceremonially.

3. n. Pithy, white sponge in a sprouting coconut. Also iho.

4. n. Long slender pole placed above the second ridgepole of a house, functioning as a batten for the attachment of additional layers of thatch. Also lolo ʻiole.

5. n. First brew made from ti root.

6. Short for hīnālea ʻakilolo, a fish. (PCP lolo.)

7. Same as holowaʻa, sheath covering coconut flowers.

8. interj. Serves you right! I told you so!

Now here are a couple of words that you might have heard growing up in Hawaiʻi. I remember my dad saying something to the effect of, “No be so lōlō.” And phrases similar to that. I am going to take this opportunity to clarify the differences between lolo (brain) and lōlō (crazy).

Most of the time, in hearing this word, it is “lōlō” or crazy. That is the correct word in pakalōlō, which literally means “crazy tobacco”, an appropriate translation for marijuana. Of course, the kahakō over the letter “o” mean that you have to stress the “OH” sound of the letters. Lōlō (LOH-LOH). When referring to someone a bit off of their rocker, so to speak, you probably want to use lōlō.

With lolo (no kahakō – loh-loh), it should be short and quick with the natural accent occuring on the first syllable. Lolo uila is the Hawaiian word for computer (literally meaning electric brain).

You may have heard of the ʻailolo (to eat brain) ceremony, a sacred ceremony in which the brain of a sacrificed animal is consumed, representing the attainment of a high level of skill and expertise. This ceremony is performed today when hula practitioners attain the status of kumu hula. The animal is a pig.

Kau ka lā i ka lolo literally means “the sun resting on the brain”. This is another term for noontime which is thought to be a sacred time of the day because one’s shadow is no longer visible. The shadow enters the sacred body.

Use it or lose it. Your lolo, that is!

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.

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