He mau Manaʻo no ka ʻŌlelo Niʻihau

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I ka wā i kūʻai aku ka Mōʻī Kamehameha V i ka mokupuni ʻo Niʻihau i ka ʻohana Sinclair – nā kūpuna o ka ʻohana Lopikana – no $10,000 apana gula, me ka ʻōlelo hoʻopaʻa i ka ʻī ʻana, “e hiki mai ana paha ka lā e ʻemi ai ka lahui Hawaiʻi. Ke hōʻea mai ia lā, e ʻoluʻolu, e hana i ka mea e hiki ai iā ʻoukou ke hana e kōkua iā lākou.”

Mai ia manawa mai, he kīpuka ʻo Niʻihau no ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma ke ʻano he ʻōlelo makuahine a he ʻōlelo maʻamau no nā kānaka he 130 e noho mau ana ma ka mokupuni, a me kekahi mau ʻohana Niʻihau e noho ana ma nā mokupuni ʻē aʻe no ka hana a i ʻole ka hele kula ʻana. ʻO ka ʻōlelo Kanaka Niʻihau ka ʻōlelo kahiko e hoʻomau ʻia nei e ko Niʻihau wale nō, akā, i ka wā ma mua, ʻo ia ka ʻōlelo kahiko i ʻōlelo ʻia ma Kauaʻi a ma kekahi mau wahi ma Oʻahu.

ʻIke ʻia ka ʻōlelo Kanaka Niʻihau no kona kuapo ʻana i ka l/r a me ka t/k, a ʻike ʻia hoʻi no ke ʻano i okoʻa iki ai nā huaʻōlelo a me nā pilinaʻōlelo. I laʻana, ʻo ka huaʻōlelo ʻo “kukui” ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi kūmau, ʻo “tuitui” ia ma Niʻihau. ʻAʻole nui loa nā kānaka Niʻihau e hoʻohana ana i ka ʻōkina a me ke kahako, eia naʻe, hoʻohana ʻia nō ia e nā kānaka Niʻihau ma ke kulanui e maʻalahi ai ka ʻaʻapo ʻana o kā lākou mau haumāna.

He mau alakaʻi ikaika nō ʻo Kauka Kuʻuipolani Kanahele Wong lāua ʻo Kumu Kahea Faria o UH Mānoa e paio ana e hoʻomau i ke aʻo ʻiaʻana o ka ʻōlelo Kanaka.

ʻAʻole i hānau ʻia ʻo Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu ma Niʻihau, akā ʻōlelo ʻo ia, “ua alakaʻi ʻia, hōʻomoʻomo ʻia, a hānai ʻia hoʻi” ʻo ia e ke kaiāulu o Niʻihau. Ua haʻi ʻōlelo ʻo Wong-Kalu i ke kiʻiʻoniʻoni kākuna, ʻo Kapaemahu, ma ka ʻōlelo Niʻihau e lohe ai ke anaina hoʻolohe i ka nani o ka ʻōlelo; ʻo ka manawa mua loa nō ia i paʻi piha ʻia ai kekahi kiʻiʻoniʻoni ma ka ʻōlelo Kanaka.

Ma kahi o ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, poeko ʻo Wong-Kalu ma ka ʻōlelo Tonga, ka ʻōlelo Kāmoa, a me ka ʻōlelo Kahiki, a wahi āna, ʻoi aku ka like o ka ʻōlelo Niʻihau i nā ʻōlelo Polinekia ʻē aʻe ma ke kani, ma ke ʻano e pā ai ka naʻau, a ma ke kuanaʻike. “ʻAʻole maʻalahi ka wehewehe ʻana. Kohu mea lā, ʻoi aku ka pili ʻo ka ʻōlelo Niʻihau i ka ʻōlelo o ko kākou poʻe hoa hānau. He noʻonoʻo ia o ka naʻau, a he ʻano ia e pili ai a e launa ai kākou. Pono iā kākou ke hana i nā mea a pau e hiki ai e aʻo i nā kuanaʻike a me nā manaʻo o ka poʻe manaleo ke ʻae mai lākou.”

Kaʻana maila ʻo Wong Kalu, ʻo kona pilina me ke kaiāulu o Niʻihau ke kumu i aʻo ai ʻo ia i ka lawena kino, nā kuhikuhi lima, ke kiʻina leo a me nā mea kikoʻī ʻē aʻe o ka ʻōlelo haʻi waha i aʻo ʻole ʻia paha e nā haumāna kulanui. A kuhi akula ʻo ia, aia nō ke ʻano kūlana kiʻekiʻe o ka ʻōlelo, e like me ka ʻōlelo aliʻi o ka poʻe Kāmoa a me ka poʻe Tonga.

ʻO kekahi mea ʻokoʻa, ʻo ia nō ke kahe o ka ʻōlelo ma ke kamaʻilio ʻana. Ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi kūmau, he hea maʻamau ka pani ʻana i ke kamaʻilio ma ke kelepona me ka ʻōlelo ʻana “mālama pono” a i ʻole “a hui hou.” Akā, ma Niʻihau, kākaʻikahi ka hoʻopuka ʻana “a hui hou.” Ma kahi o kēlā, pani ʻia nā kamaʻilio me ka ʻōlelo ʻana “mahalo iā ʻoe, aloha” a i ʻole “aloha” wale nō.

Pūlama ʻia nō ka ʻōlelo Kanaka o Niʻihau no kona hoʻomanaʻo ʻana iā kākou, ʻo ka ʻōlelo ka mea e pili ai kākou, ʻaʻole i ka lāhui hawaiʻi wale nō, akā i ka pākīpika ākea nō hoʻi. ʻOkoʻa iki nō nā ʻōlelo Polinekia pākahi, akā ua like nō ke ʻano i maopopo ai ke ao iā kākou. He ʻohana kākou.