Huapala

1. n. Orange trumpet or sweetheart vine (Pyrostegia venusta syn. Bignonia venusta, B. ignea), an ornamental climber from Brazil, bearing early in the year many deep-orange flowers, hence chestnut-colored or light brown. (Neal 764) Lit. ripe fruit. 2. nvs. Sweetheart, lover; pretty, handsome. 3. nvs. Chestnut brown.

Through teaching Hawaiian language for many years, I encounter many interesting Hawaiian names.  Back in the early days, I had a student whose Hawaiian name was Huapala.  I thought, how interesting that someone would name their child “ripe fruit.”  Literally, that’s what huapala means.  Ripe fruit (hua=fruit or seed; pala=ripe). Then I remembered that huapala also means sweetheart or pretty. And then it all made sense.

But I like the analogy of the ripe fruit.  Imagine, if you will, a fresh big mango, straight out of Waiʻanae (or Molokaʻi).  It is SO RIPE you can just bite into the skin and peel it down with your teeth.  Take one bite and the juices trickle down your chin, the flavors burst in your mouth. There’s nothing much more satisfying as far as fruit eating is concerned. The mess on your clothes and the strings in your teeth. So worth it.

Think of your sweetheart as a ripe fruit, a huapala, just waiting for you to…well, you decide!

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Ua ʻike au i ka  huapala o koʻu maka i kēia kakahiaka – I saw the sweetheart of my eyes this morning.

ʻO wai kāu huapala? – Who is your sweetheart?

ʻO ʻoe ka huapala o koʻu poli – You are the delight of my bosom.

E Kohala i ka huapala kau i ka nuku – Oh Kohala with the handsome folk to delight the eyes (to appear at the mouth).

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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