kapa kulture

This blog is dedicated to Hawaiian kapa and matters related to Hawai'i nei…kuku kapa e!

‘Ōlelo Hawai’i

Linguistic origin of the Hawaiian language can be traced through genealogy chants, indicating family ties to the South Pacific islands of Polynesia and beyond. Words have similarities in sound and meaning. For example, one general rule is that in South Pacific Polynesia, the /r/ and /t/ sounds substitute for /l/ and /k/, as in the words kapa, kalo, and moku of Hawai’i and tapa, taro, and motu of Tahiti. An exception to this rule is found in Ni’ihau, where a soft /t/ sound is predominantly used in place of the /k/. The /k/ used in song, prayer and other specific occasions.


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