Photo: Kumu
Tautoga o Rotuma. - Courtesy Photo

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Nota: Eia ka hope o ʻekolu moʻolelo e pili ana i ka poʻe o ka Pākīpika e hele ana i Hawaiʻi no ka Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPAC) ma Iune nei.

Noa ʻia e Mauri! ʻO kēia ka welina o ka poʻe no Rotuma i aʻo ʻia mai iaʻu e kekahi kupuna no Rotuma. ʻO kekahi mea kupanaha o ia luahine, he mau moʻopuna ʻōlelo Hawai ʻi nō kāna i hoʻonaʻauao ʻia ma ke kula kaiapuni—he mau haumāna hapa Rotuma a hapa Hawaiʻi no lākou.

Aia ʻo Rotuma ma luna o Fiji a ma lalo o Tonga. ʻO Tūvalu me Wallis lāua ʻo Futuna kona mau hoa Pākīpika. ʻO kona nui ma kahi o 16 mile2 ma kahi o ka hapa iki mai o Kahoʻolawe (45 mile2). ʻOiai aia ʻo Rotuma ma loko o ke aupuni o Fiji ma Melanekia, he mokupuni Polenekia nō ʻo Rotuma.

Ma ko lākou moʻolelo, ʻo Raho, kekahi aliʻi o Sāmoa, ka mea nāna i hoʻokikino i ka mokupuni ʻo Rotuma me ʻelua ʻeke i piha me ke one. Akā, ua hana ʻāpiki kekahi aliʻi no Tonga a lilo ka mokupuni iā ia. ʻO kēia kanaka ʻo Raho ua haʻalele ʻo ia a noho ma Hatana, kekahi moku hāpapa ma ka ʻākau komohana o Rotuma.

Ma muli o ka pilina me Sāmoa me Tonga ua nui nā hua ʻōlelo i hoʻaiʻē ʻia (ma kahi o 40 pākēneka) e ko Rotuma kūpuna akā ʻo ka ʻoiaʻiʻo he ʻōlelo kūʻokoʻa ka ʻōlelo Rotuma. ʻO ka ʻōlelo pili loa me Rotuma ʻo ia nō nā ʻōlelo no Fiji Komohana—kapa ʻia ʻo Wayan. ʻO kekahi mea hoihoi e pili ana i ka ʻōlelo Rotuma, hoʻohana ʻia ka panoko (metathesis). Ma kēia hana ponoko ʻana, lilo nā leokani ma ka hopena o ka hua ʻōlelo. E laʻa, ʻo nā hua ʻōlelo no “ʻelima” ʻo lima me liam. Eia kekahi hou, ʻo nā hua ʻōlelo no “moe” ʻo mose me mös. A laila, ua hoʻonui ʻia nā leokani mai ka ʻelima maʻa mau ma waena o nā ʻōlelo Polenekia ā i ka ʻumi.

ʻO kā Rotuma hula kaulana ka tautoga. Ua like ia ma ka nānā ʻana me ka fatele o Tūvalu me ka lakalaka o Tonga. Ua kapa ʻia ka pūʻulu tautoga ka hafa (hapa) no ka mea, ʻo kekahi hapa o nā lālani hula ka no nā kāne a kekahi hapa no nā wahine – like kēia hoʻonohonoho ʻana me ko Polenekia Komohana poʻe a pau. ʻO nā kuhi lima lahilahi o nā wāhine like me ko Sāmoa me ko Tonga. ʻO ka ʻai haʻa o nā kāne he haʻaneʻenʻe o ke kino mai kekahi wāwae a i kekahi wāwae. ʻOi aku ka ʻēleu o nā lima o ke kāne. Mai poina, inā hoihoi ʻoe e ʻ ike i ka tautoga o Rotuma ma FestPac, pono e huli i ka poʻe no Fiji! Laʻ ma alalum! A hui hou!