1.  Dark, or dense as growth.  2.  Sudden sickness or stroke, the sign of which is a rooster crowing at untimely hours; such crowing was also believed to indicate the arrival of visitors or a ship.  3.  A fish said to resemble the päpiopio.

The first translation, above, is related to the ulu we learned a couple days ago.  Ulu means to grow and  refers to darkness or night.  In other words, when you combine the two (ulu+pō) the growth is so dense that it is dark, minimal light penetrating the greenery.  That paints a nice image of a lush forest.  A word fit for a song.  Ulupō.

Now the second translation, the sudden sickness or stroke, the sign of which is a rooster crowing is interesting.  I remember my father telling me a story about a pig squealing which caused his grandmother (on Molokai) to fly off into a rage, swearing incessantly at the pig in an effort to thwart the bad connotation.  But I never heard of a rooster crowing story.  How about any of you out there?

Ulupō ka wao nahele – The forest is dark.

Ua nani i ka ulupō o uka – It was beautiful in the dense growth of the uplands.

Kona, mauna uliuli; Kona mauna ulupō – Kona, of the green mountains; Kona of the dense forest (said in reference to North and South Kona, Hawaiʻi)

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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1 Response to Ulupō

  1. Eloise Thompson says:

    Mention of your father’s grandmother on Moloka’i reminded me to ask you if you are related to Abraham Iaea, of Moloka’i. He was another of my classmates, KS ’60, a lovely person, and we just heard that he passed away recently. He lived in Virginia.

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