Kaikoeke & other unexamined pilina

Aloha kākou e nā hoa heluhelu!!!

I know its been quite some time since iʻve published anything on here; but not to worry! its only because iʻve been working so hard on researching and writing notes for the dissertation itself.

Iʻve recently finished re-combing through four of the major Hiʻiaka Publications form the 19th and 20th century (Kapihenui, Paʻaluhi & Bush, Hoʻoulumāhiehie, and Poepoe). Re-reading these mana of Hiʻiaka took a few months for a few reasons. For one, two of the texts are actually quite long, all are in ʻŌlelo, and most importantly all are in a style of ʻōlelo i am not incredibly comfortable in. I grew to love the natural rhythm of Poepoe’s writing (also found in the Hoʻoulumāhiehie mana).  I think part of this had to do with a more strict adherence to english writing conventions — ie: the use of punctuation! Kapihenuiʻs version is quite early in the Hawaiian mastery of written literacy and therefore the rules of punctuation seem quite different and less established in some senses. I have to say, i have quite a fondness for that style of writing (it reminds me of my own). Loooong drawn out sentences that fill an entire paragraph!! oh my! But i also see why my writing has frustrated my teaches to no end 😛

In any case, i learned a lot from reading these mana back to back ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. I formulated some ideas about what i imagine these authors thought were most significant to maintain from mana to mana — and what wasnt. I learn a ridiculous amount of place names — like crazy ridiculous. I am deeply excited to be able to make these tables iʻve created accessible to people so that we can start using these place names again. But most of all iʻve learned A LOT about pilina.

So far here are some the different pilina Iʻve found in these four mana of Hiʻiaka:

  • Kāne/Wahine
  • Aikāne
  • Kōkoʻolua
  • Hōʻao
  • Hoʻopalau
  • Kaikaina / Kaikuaʻana
  • Ipo
  • Hoahanau
  • Hoa Paio
  • Kupuna / Moʻopuna
  • Hoa
  • Hoahele
  • Kaikoeke
  • Hiapo/ Muliloa
  • Punahele
  • Haku / Kahu
  • Makuakāne/Makuahine
  • Pōkiʻi
  • Moepuʻu
  • Makamaka
  • Hoaiku kāne/ Hoaiku wahine
  • Hoaalohaloha
  • Puulu Pili
  • Hoa o ka hoopaapaa ana
  • Luaui Makuahine / Luaui Makuakāne

And while each of the above pilina has a relationship mediate by ʻāina.. here are a few other pilina that are shared directly between Kanaka and ʻāina.

  • Kiaʻi
  • Kamaʻāina
  • Malihini
  • Kupaʻāina
  • Aloha ʻĀina
  • Aliʻi
  • Makaʻāinana
  • Hakuʻāina

One Pilina that stuck out to me early on what “Kaikoeke.” Pukui defines Kaikoeke as:

n. Brother-in-law or male cousin-in-law of a male; sister-in-law or female cousin-in-law of a female. Cf. koʻeke. Kona kaikoʻeke, his kaikoʻeke. (PPN taʻokete.)

^^ you gotta love how it seems like every single damn translation of these pilina terms in our dictionaries are somehow related to marriage. The fun part of this work is doing the archival digging to find examples of these pilina so we can begin to understand them beyond the institution of marriage (that didnt even exist in Hawaiʻi in the time this moʻolelo was set).

In any case, in reading the moʻolelo this is what iʻve learned so far about Kaikoeke:

  1. Kaikoeke is the term used in all four of these mana to describe the pilina between HIʻiaka and Kahuanui (Lohiau’s Sister).
  2. In Kapihenui, Poepoe, and Hoʻoulumāhiehie these authors immediately identify Kahuanui and Hiʻiaka as Kaikoeke.
  3. In Paʻaluhi & Bush at first only Nakoaola (Kahuanui’s Kāne) and Lohiau are defined as Kaikoeke. It isnt until Hiʻiaka has left Kauaʻi that Kahuanui is referenced as HIʻiaka’s Kaikoeke.

Why do i find this interesting? Its common in moʻolelo to transitively share pilina. IE: Kelā kāne a Kāua / Kākou or Kēlā Kaikuahine a kāua..By this rule Kahuanui could easily be the kaikuahine a lāua (Hiʻiaka and Lohiau) by virtue of Hiʻiakas pilina to Lohiau. But instead in these versions of the moʻolelo a different nae (knot) of their pilina is emphasized. Based on my reading, Kaikoeke is an important term used to emphasize the pilina between the two wahine (Kahuanui & Hiʻiaka) rather than the pilina between the kāne and wahine (Lohiau & Hiʻiaka). Here the partnership of the kaikoeke trumps that of the partnership of the kāne/wahine. To me this demonstrates the Kanaka Maoli pilina that upena of intimacy do so in a way that is active and not for nostalgic purposes. Hiʻiakas pilina with Kahuanui is both related but can kūʻokoʻa from her pilina with lohiau. Lohiau is not needed as the intermediary between the two wahine. Their pilina has agency and kuleana all its own. IM working with how this particular relationship also helps pilina like aikāne, hoao and other to challenged heteropatriarchy and other norms of Western relationality. Stay tuned for more soon.






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