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- Subject: Another look at the Hawaiian meaning of Lua
- From: KHMan <keinhong@<a href="/cgi-bin/echo.cgi?gmail.com">...</a>>
- Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2009 01:11:30 +0800
I was reading this Pacific Mythology book and bumped into
something that may help further clarify (or confuse) the issue of
the meaning of Lua in Hawaiian.
Search Google for "hawaiian dictionary lua", and click on the link
that has the Hawaiian-English Google Book. It shows more clearly
the meanings of Lua.
'Toilet' seems to be modern usage, and hole/cave thing seems to be
the original meaning. Hawaiian being tonal really complicates
things, but for convenience we'll take the first dictionary
definition. We can confirm this via Hawaiian's relation to other
Malayo-Polynesian languages; in Malay/Indonesian, a cave is 'gua'.
The Hawaiian Lua could also be instead related to 'liang' ('hole')
as in Liang Bua Cave (literally, "Hole Cave Cave" or "Cave Cave
Cave"?) where the H. floresiensis was found in Flores. But 'gua'
is a better match, because lava caves and tubes in Hawaii seem to
be all 'lua'. The word 'lua' has no match in Malay/Indonesian.
There is a Wiktionary page with a bit more information here:
(They try to match 'lua' with 'lubang', which I don't agree with.
The latter is two syllables and in some dialects, it sounds more
I looked up the mailing list archives and it seems the Hawaiian
word lua is getting a somewhat unpleasant rep due to its modern
usage. Unfortunately, due to modernization, a lot of search
results will undoubtedly return the modern use of the word.
Anyway, at least the above might help make a search on the Lua
mailing list a bit more informative.
Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia