A Dictionary




(from PPN ‘a).

[personal pronoun and proper name marker]  a marker appearing optionally: 1) before sentence initial pronouns and personal names, and 2) after transitive verbs ([vt]); and must occur after the prepositions i and ki. A Sina ni tautali i a Puna, ‘Sina followed Puna’.



[preposition marking ‘a’ class alienable possession]  of, belonging to: te kapu a Sina, ‘the cup of Sina’; te tama a Puna, ‘the (biological) child of Puna’.

sa: o#2.


a laa

[nq preceding noun, plural]  other, some other.  I te puina, maatou ni nnoho i Muli Akau ia, a laa tama ni nnoho i Hale; ‘During the puina, we stayed at the outer islands, the other people stayed on the main island’.

sa: laa#5.



[interrogative pronoun]  *what?  aa replaces nouns and verbs in interrogative statements. Te aa ku tele?, ‘what is running?’ te vaka ku aa?, ‘what is the ship doing?’ or, ‘what is happening about the ship?’; ee aa?, ‘what is going on?’ or, ‘what are you up to?’; a koe ku aa?, ‘how are you feeling?’ or, ‘what are you doing at this specific moment?’; koe e noho ki aa?, ‘you are staying for what purpose?’.


aa ko

[exclamation, short for heaa ko]  what else?, how else?, what is your explanation?Appears most frequently after an explanation of a situationand the speaker wants the listener to admit the explanation is obvious or forward an alternative explanation.



[na]  the shell tool used for measuring the spaces between mesh in nets {seu manu, kupena}.

sa: atumata, kalemata, tia#1.



[n]  a cyclone, a tidal wave.



1.[vt]  to open-up, to push apart, as in pushing apart branches in order to look through.

2.[vt]  to open up a new settlement or start a new garden.

3.[vt]  to start, to begin a new project or way of life.  Tapa mai a koe ko hano i mua ki aaha te ala o te taina, ‘you called upon me to go first (to school) to open the way for my brother (MS)’.

For all senses:

ps: ahania.



[nf]  a fish species, sturgeon fish species.



[np]  the path in front of the clan houses {hale henua}.  Traditionally, no house building or living was allowed in these paths. (PCR).



[vi]  turn back, turn around, as when a group of fish turn away from a fishing net.



[cardinal number]  ten thousand; for puddings, fish, birds.



[na]  a fire, a light, an electric light.


ahi hakaula

(from hakaula ‘to light up’).

[na]  a hurricane (kerosene) lantern.


ahi hhiti(ahi ffiti)

(from hhiti ‘spark’).

[na]  a flint cigarette lighter.


ahi kkumi

(from kkumi ‘squeeze’).

[na]  a torch [BE] or flashlight [AE].

sa: sepu ika.


ahi pamu

(from pamu ‘pump’).

[na]  a pressure lamp.


ahi tili

(from tili ‘knock’).

[na]  a tool for starting fire by striking a piece of flint and letting the sparks ignite soft wood.

sa: sika#2.


ahi tusi

(from tusi ‘make lines’).

[na]  stick matches.



(from PPN ^afiafi).

[n]  the evening time, starting from just before sunset until after it is dark and the sun’s reflection can no longer be seen on the horizon; from about 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

wh: aho 1.



[vt] to wrap in leaves, as in wrapping fish or pudding.

ps: ahiilia,

ot: ahii.



[no]  armpit.

sa: henua#2.


aho #1 (aso)

[no]  time, day; te aho nei, ‘today’;te aho laa, ‘that day’; tona aho ki mate, ‘his time to die’. The day is divided into two general categories: ao, ‘daylight’;poo, ‘night’. The parts of the day are: tahaata, ‘early morning, before dawn’;ata, ‘dawn’;tapatai ao, ‘morning’;laalaa tea, ‘midday’; aotuu, ‘midday’; tahuli te laa, ‘afternoon’; ahiahi, ‘evening’; poo, ‘night’; tua poo, ‘late night, midnight’. The day series is: hinaanahi ake ‘day before yesterday’; hinaanahi, ‘yesterday’; te aho nei, ‘today’; tai ao, ‘tomorrow’; aho ake, ‘day after tommorrow’, aho mai ‘three days hence’. The days of the week are: aho matahi (‘one’), ‘Monday’; aho siaoa (‘two’), ‘Tuesday’; aho tolu (three), ‘Wednesday’; aho haa (four),’Thursday’; aho lima (five), ‘Friday’; aho ono (six), ‘Saturday’; aho tapu (sacred), ‘Sunday’.


aho #2

[na] string; fishing-line on a pole {laakau seu}.

cn: uka,

sa: sseu, ane#2.


aho nei

[n, time]  today.



[n] wild yam species that is not eaten on Sikaiana.



[n]  sand bank, place inside the reef near the shore of the island where the water is shallow and there is white sand.



[vt]  to pile up earth, to build a mound with hands.

ps: ahumia,

ot: ahu,

do: ahua.



1.[interrogative pronoun, third person singular]  whom?  Occurs after prepositions, i and ki; a koe e noho i ai, ‘you are living with whom?’.

2.[particle, anaphoric]  it.  In relative clauses replaces previous noun phrase and follows the verb. Te hale te laa a nau e noho ai,’the house in which I live’; te hahine te laa a nau e hiihai ai, ‘the girl whom I love’; te kete a nau ni ssau ai, ‘the basket which I carried’.

3.[particle]  marking a verb initial sentence in extended discourse after verbs that end with a.

sa: ei.



[exclamation, suffix]  a cry of amusement, suffixed to personal names: Bili‑aaiii!, ‘Oh Billy!’.  (Malaita borrowing?).



[interrogative]  why?  See Introduction.



(from PPN ^aitu).

1.[n]  god, spirit or supernatural being.  Often refers to thefo unding heroes of Sikaiana, who were once living men, but then died to become the spirits of the island.  Spirits that were never living men are tupua. Idiom:koe e kokolu ki aitu, ‘you are tryingto do something in vain’.

cn: tupua.

2.[n] a devil, demon or evil spirit.  (CR).

3.[vi]  to behave in a socially disapproved manner.  (PCR, CR, demeaning), Koe e aitu haeko, ‘you are really acting like a devil’.

4.[no]  one of the three aspects of the human spirit.   This aspect usually refers to the human spirit after death when in traditional times it was believed that it sometimes return to its descendants to communicate with them through spirit possession {aitu mate}.(PCR)

sa: anaana#1, manu#2, aitu mate.


aitu mate

from mate ‘dead’).

[n]  the spirit of a deceased ancestor who returns to his descendants to spiritually possess them.  He was consulted about illnesses and advised his medium {vaka} about future events.  In this, he was assisted by a spirit {tupua}.   While aitu were concerned with the general welfare of the island, aitu mate were primarily concerned with diseases and the social relationships of individuals. (PCR)

sa: tao#2, alu maki, tuki#1, vaka, tuutuuhuna, hakahuna, Hitiana.


aitu o palesiosio

[nf]  plant=species.


aitu ouna

[nf] plant species.


Aitu Tapu

[psn]  the Holy Spirit, as used in Christian beliefs. (CR).


aka #1

[np]  small sprout of a tree.


aka #2

[vt]  to kick with the sole of the foot.

ps: akaasia.



[exclamation]  an exclamation of surprise.



(from PPN ^hakau).

1. [n, location]  the edge of the reef on the side facing the open sea, where the bottom of the sea can no longer be seen.

syn: vaea,

sa: mmana, lata

do: Muli Akau

2. [n, direction]  the direction towards the reef when outside the reef in the open sea; alo ki akau, ‘paddle to the reef’.

opp: tua#2.

3. [n]  a reef as seen from a distance.  (Archaic).



1.[directional particle follows verb]  outwards, away from, up: haiake, ‘to tell a group’; kake ake, ‘to climb up’; haele ake, ‘to walk away’; ssolo ake, ‘to wash out’.

sa: iho, mai, atu.

2.[comparative, follows verb]  more: laoi ake, ‘better’; loloa ake, ‘longer’; maa ake, ‘whiter’.



[nf]  a fish species.



1.[vt]  to instruct, teach.  A nau ni ako taku tama, ‘I taught my child’.

sa: ako mako,

syn: sikulu.

ps: aakona, akolia.

2.[vi]  to learn. Taku tama ni ako i a nau, ‘my child learned from me’.


ako mako

[v]  to sing or practice singing songs.



1.[vt]  to practice.

ca: hakaakoako <to teach>.

2.[vp, vq]  to make false excuses, try to justify one’s actions through false speech, to lie.



[np]  the chorus or repeated section of a song; this part of the song introduces the theme of the song and is repeated throughout the song.

wh: mako hatu.



1.[vt]  to teach, especially about correct social behavior.

ps: akonakina.

2.[no]  teachings, instruction: hitiake nau too soi ki a nau, te akonaki ku moe i te manava, ‘I think back to your help to me, the teachings remain in my heart (MS)’.


aku #1 (aaku)

[possessive pronoun; 1st person singular for alienable plural objects]  my.  See Introduction.



[nf]  a fish species, garfish.


ala #1

(from PPN ^hala).

1.[n]  path, bush trail, road.

cn: ahana.

2.[no]  a way of living, or a way to some accomplishment; te ala o te misoni, ‘the way of the church’.


ala #2

(from PPN ^’ara).

[vi]  to be awake. I te poo nei, a nau ni ala maalama, ‘last night I stayed awake until dawn’.

ps: alahia <to keep oneself awake>,

tr: hakaala <to keep someone awake>,

cp: hakaalahia,

p:l aala.


ala #3

1.[vi]  to be skillful in the arts of defense, to be able to defend oneself physically.

2.[vi]  to be skillful at fighting with a knife or club.


ala hotu

[vs]  of women, to have knees that join when standing, but a gap between the thighs.  (Restricted, demeaning).


alaa manu

[n]  a man who is expert at catching birds {seu manu}.


alala hutu

[n]  a species of trevally.

sa: matapuku.


alala kai pao

[nf]  fish species, small trevally.

ge: malau seli.


alala maalo

[np]  a group of trevally {malau seli} when seen inside the reef.



[nf]  starfish species, crown of thorns.



(from? ala ‘path’ + pou ‘house post’).

[na]  the state of a woman during her first pregnancy, at which time it is believed that giving birth is very difficult. Traditionally, the woman was separated from her husband after about the third month of her pregnancy, until after the birth of her child.  Still practiced occasionally, although usually only until the birth of the child.

sa: ssiki, kaikai.



[nf]  a shark species, very large and man‑eating.



[vt]  to surround, to encircle.  Te popolani e aaleha na motu, ‘the reef encircles the islands’.

ps: aalehatia <to be encircled>.



1.[vi]  to consider, to be in doubt. A nau ni lono i te talatala laa, ka a nau e aalehaleha i toku manava, e maaoni, e sala,’I heard that discussion, but I am not sure if it is true or not’.

2.[vi]  to walk around in circles, to walk around without purpose.


alelo #1

[no]  tongue.  Idiom: too alelo ku i anna hakaoti, ‘you are making too much noise’.


alelo #2

[nf]  a fish species, sturgeon fish.


alli (alili)

[na]  a sea snail, several kinds of green snail.  Eaten.  Varieties include: alli naniu, alli likiliki, tuakau, kukua, pate hakatau mako.



1.[vt]  to scrape, wipe clean.

2.[vt]  to shave a face with a razor, shave the hair off a pig to prepare it for cooking.

ps: aalia.



(from PPN ^ali).

[nf]  a flat fish species, flounder species.



(from PPN ^’ariki).

1. [no]  the chief and ritual leader of the island, who succeeded from one of the three clans {hale akina} descended from the founder heroes of Sikaiana, Tehui Atahu and Tehui Luaniua.  These clans are: Saatui, Saalupe, Vaka Avusu.  The ritual roles involving work associated with the aliki include: taumunimuni, tautuku, tautua, sapai ulu, takala, pule, tama tootoo hekau.  (PCR).
See a picture of a man dressed as the aliki during a re-enactment.

sa: heto aliki, mataaliki, soka, ssau, sao#2, kape#3, atilo, luaoa, haitamana, sukisuki, takuna.

2.[vs]  to be the chief or ritual leader of the island.

3.[vs]  to have a special role in the ritual, teika lle.  A person, often a child, was made aliki for the duration of the ceremony.  (PCR).

4.[n]  the captain of a ship.

5.[n]  the king in a card game.

6.[n]  a lazy man, a man who does not do any work as if he were the chief.  (Demeaning, figurative).



1. [no]  the expance of time that one has not met another person Taaua aalina e mmao, ‘it is a long time since we have met’.  (Archaic).

2. [no]  the distance between a person and Sikaiana.  Toku aalinae t uu mahana, ‘my distance from Sikaiana is very far’.  (Archaic).



[na]  an adze with a flat head.  Refers to both the traditional shell and modern steel adzes of this type.

sa: hakatolo, niapu.



(from PPN ^’alo).

[vt]  to paddle a canoe.

ps: alohia,

ca: hakaalo <to paddle someone in a canoe>.



[np]  the string tied along the length of a bonito fish hook {paa}.

sa: paa#1.



(from PPN ^’alo’ofa).

[vp]  to have compassion for, to pity, to have sorrow, to love. A Sina ma Puna ia ni aloha i a Telauponini, ka a Telauponana ni he alohatia, ‘Sina and Puna had compassion for Telauponini, but Telauponana was not pitied’.

ca: hakaaloha,

ps: alohatia.



[vp]  to beckon someone to come with the hand.

ps: alohakina.



1.[n]  the section of the island that faces the lagoon and is preferred for habitation.

2.[np]  in canoe making, the side of the tree which the builder decides will eventually become the top of the canoe.



[nf]  a fish species.



[nf]  a tree species, the bark can be used for making string.



[n]  a place where shallow water extends out from a promontory {utua} of the reef.



(from Eng ‘R.C.’).

[psn]   Resident Commissioner; the British administrators who visited Sikaiana during the time that the Solomon Islands was still a Protectorate.



1.[vp]  to attempt to accomplish something, especially within a time limit or spatial limit; in courtship, to try to win the affections of someone.

ps: alumia

rp: alualu

do: alumate <[vi, perhaps from ulumate]  to try very hard>.

2.[vi]  to attempt to arrive at a destination, usually in haste.


alu maki

(from maki ‘sick’).

[vi]  to try to cure a person using supernatural means; two supernatural beings, the spirits of deceased people {aitu mate} compete with each other, one trying to harm a living person and another trying to save him.  (PCR).

sa: aitu mate



(from ^aalu ‘attempt’).

1.[exclamation] hurry up! Quickly!

2.[vi]  to try repeatedly.

3.[vi]  to compete, as in a contest: alualu i te unu, ‘a drinking contest’,alualu i te kai, ‘an eating contest’, hakatau alualu ‘a competition’.

sa: alu maki.



(from aalu ‘attempt’).

1.[ps]  to be courted by someone.

2.[no]  a suitor or someone trying to initiate courtship.



[np, location]  above, over.Na manu e lele I aluna o te henua, ‘the birds fly above the island’;  Taatou Tamana i aluna, ‘Our Father in Heaven’.



(from PPN ^hama).

1.[no]  the float of an outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama}.

wh: vaka hai ama.

2.[n, direction]  towards the rightside (starboard) which is the side of the boom in a Sikaiana outrigger canoe; pale ki ama, ‘turn the canoe to the side of the float’.

opp: katea.



(from PPN ^ami).

[n]  the eggs of a certain species of crab {tupa}.

sa: sakaki.



[vt]  to carry on one’s shoulder.

ca: hakaamo <[vt]  to lift up to the shoulder; (usually imperative)>,

ps: aamoa, amolia.



[no]  the direction or source of the wind. Te tamaahine e noho tonu i te amona, ‘the young girl is sitting in the direction of the wind (so that the wind carries her fragrance)’.


syn: aauna.



1.[vt]  to rub a body part, to massage.  This method is frequently used as a medical treatment.

ca: hakaamosi <to teach how to massage>,

ps: amosia.

2.[vt]  to eat the liver of raw fish when fishing at sea (this is done by rubbing the fish to extract the desired portion).  (Figurative).



[np]  the fibre of plant or thread of cloth that may be found in a shredded form on its outside, the fraying edge of a material or plant.



[vs]  to be stringy, not ripe or ready to be eaten, of taro {kapulaka} and prickly yam {pana}.


ana (aana)

[possessive pronoun, 3rd person singular for alienable plural objects]  his, her.  See Introduction.



[n, location] on top. Te laumea e moe i anna o te kaiana, ‘the book is on top of the table’.



[vs]  to be seen: ku laoi oo kalemata ku anaia i uta, ‘it is good that your face has been seen on the shore (TS)’. (Rare).

syn: kitea <(passive of kite)>.



[n, direction]  east; i anaake, ‘from the east’.


anaana #1

1.[no]  one of the three aspects of the human spirit.  The anaana is usually associated with a deceased person’s supernatural appearance, shortly before or after death, to another person.  It is believed that it is the {anaana} of the dying or dead man that is seen.

cn: aitu, manu#2,

sa: ausia, hakasaa.

2.[no]  the soul in Christian teaching.


anaana #2

1.[vp]  to be willing to help another, to work hard for another’s benefit, especially for sick people or children who cannot care for themselves, and especially in caring for their physical well‑being.

ca: hakaanaana,

ps: anaanaia.

2.[vt]  to clean fish.


ane #1

[nf]  a small insect similar to a caterpillar that eats crops.


ane #2

[vi]  to fish for bonito {atu} by casting a line along the surface of the water from a canoe.  (No longer practiced).

sa: tuukau.



(from PPN ^ani).

[vi] to blow gently, as the wind blows.

ca: hakaani,

tr: hakaaniani <to place something in the wind to dry>,

ps: aania <to be blown apart by the wind>,

do: aani <to blow hard, of the wind>, saania.



[psn]  the name of a former trader who stayed on Sikaiana before the birth of any living informants.  Perhaps Andrew Cheyne.  A variety of taro {haahaa} and banana {huti} are named after him.



(from PPN ^ango ‘turmeric’).

[na]  a tree species similar to turmeric {pasai} but without any fragrance; its roots were used for making paint {kaalena}.


anno (anono)

[na]  a fish species, a sturgeon fish with grey and white stripes.



[vi]  to dance.

ca: hakaanu <to make someone dance, as in making a small child dance>,

cp: hakaanumia,

pl: aanu,

ps: anumia <to be danced, of a song: te mako e iloa, e anumia, ‘the song is known,then it will be danced’.



[nao]  an organized or planned dance, as at a feast.



1.[n]  daylight, where daylight can be seen.

2.[n, time]  during the daytime, when there is daylight. I te ao, maatou e hekkau, ka i te poo, maatou e aanu, ‘during the daylight hours we work, but at night we dance’.

opp: poo,

do: aotuu.


ao #2

1.[n] a green coconut {niu} that does not have any water inside.

ge: niu.

2.[n]  a child that does not grow very well.  (Figurative).



1.[vt]  to pile up with hands, to scoop up; to measure out in such a manner.  Idiom:  ao talatala: ‘to collect or put together many different versions of a story’.

ps: aohia,

ot: ao.


aoao tona ahi

[v]  to throw away all the materials and mats that were used by a woman during childbirth.  Done one week after childbirth.  (PCR).



(from ^ao ‘daylight’).

[n, time]  midday, daylight; te tama laa ni kaiaa i te ttahi te aotuu, ‘that person stole in broad daylight’.

wh: aho #1.



[np]  the side walling of a house.

wh: hale.


api #1

(from PPN ^’api’api).

[vs]  to be crowded with people.

sa: apituu.


api #2

(from PPN ^hapi).

[nf]  a fish species, sturgeon fish.



[vs]  to be crowded with people (emphatic).

sa: api#1.



[vi]  to sink in a canoe when the water comes in from over the sides.  Haiatu tokalua laa ki a Mautikitiki, pesia, pesia, pesia tau ika, taatou ka apulu, ‘the two people said to Mautikitiki, throw away your fish, we are going to sink’.

cn: tele hakatukku.

ca: hakaapulu <to cause to sink in the above manner>,

cp: hakaapuluhia.


aasi #1

(from Mota ^as).

[n]  a hymn sung in church.(CR).


aasi #2

1.[vt]  to inspect a fish trap {tanaaika} to see if there are any fish.

2.[vt]  to visit very briefly, eat and then go away, not to be seen again for a long time.(Demeaning, figurative).

3.[vt]  to play a trump card in order to draw the trump cards {huli} in the card game kaihulihuli.

For all senses:

ps: aasia, aasilia.



(from PPN ^asu)

[vt]  to ladle water, to pour out water.

rp: asuasu,

ps: asumia.


ata #1

(from PPN ^ata).

[n]  dawn, the first light of day, sunrise.  The sunrise sequence from first light until sunrise: te ata mua, hakapouli te ata, te ata ku hakaata, mahaa te ata, te opata, sopo te laa.

wh: aho#1,

syn: maalama.


ata #2

(from PPN ^ata).

1.[nao, a for possessor of picture; o for person in picture]  an image, likeness, resemblance, shadow, picture, photograph.

sa: puke ata, ata ola.

2.[vs]  to be pretty, to be beautiful, to be attractive: na tamaahine o Sikaiana e aata haeko, ‘the young women of Sikaiana are very pretty’.

ca: hakaata, hakaataata,

pl: aata.


ata ku hakaata

[n, time]  part of the dawn sequence; after a temporary darkness {hakapouli te ata}, this stage occurs.

wh: ata #1.


ata mua

[n, time]  dawn’s very first light, when the first sun rays are seen.

wh: ata #1.


ata ola

(from ^ola ‘alive’).

[n]  movie, moving pictures.

sa: huli.



1.[vs]  intelligent, skillful, clever, knowledgeable. Hano pe a koe e atamai, aliki ei koe, ‘if you are intelligent/skillful, you will become chief’.

ca hakaatamai, <to instruct, to make intelligent>,

cp hakaatamailia.

2.[n, location; nq] the rightside, as opposed to the left: te lima atamai, ‘the right hand’; te vahi atamai,’the right side’.

opp: vvale.



(from PPN ^’ate).

[no]  the liver.  Idiom:  kai ate, lit:’to eat liver’; ‘to gossip or criticize’.



1.[vs]  to be clean, to have nothing cluttering the area. Maatou ni vvele te kiona, ka te nei, ku aatea haeko, ‘we gardened the area and now it is very clear’.

tr: hakaatea <to make clean, to clear>.

2.[nq]  of an area in the ocean where there is no land in sight; or of an area of land that has no structures or large trees: te moana aatea, ‘the open ocean’; te kiona aatea, ‘a clearing’.



[no]  the physical heart of an animate being.



[vt]  to spread from place to place, to carry from one area to another: ati ahi, ‘to take fire from one place to another in order to light an oven’; ati lono, ‘spread the news’; te lono ku atia mai, ‘the news is brought’.

ps: atia.



[no]  a headdress worn by the chief {aliki} on certain ritual occasions. This ornament was made from a coconut frond {lito} that was tied around the chief’s neck.  (PCR).


atiti (atti)

[nf]  a nut that does not grow on Sikaiana but drifts there.  It is used for making *putty to caulk the leaks of canoes and to make *scent for coconut oil perfume {lolo}.



(from PPN ^’ato).

[np]  the strings used for binding together house thatching.


atu #1

(from PPN ^atu).

[directional particle, follows verb]  towards; from speaker to someone who is present, between two people in a narrative.  Kauatu te laumea, ‘pass the book to someone who is present’, haiatu, ‘to tell to someone who is present’, or, ‘to tell from one person to another in a narrative’.

cn: mai, iho, ake.

do: hakaatuatu, hakaatu.


\e atu #2

(from PPN ^’atu).

[nf]  bonito.

sa: ane#2, paa#1, maakona#2.


atu #3

[na]  the warp beam of the back strap loom {mea tau} used to hold the strands of material on the end away from the weaver.

wh: mea tau.


atu ai

[exclamation]  just asking, nothing in particular.  Spoken when the speaker tries to assert that a previous question has no particular significance.


atu henua

[n]  all the Polynesian islands as a group.



(from PPN ^’atua ‘deity’).

1.[no]  a sensation or forewarning of disaster.  Te atua ku tau, the goosebumps or chills that forewarn a person or animal of a forthcoming disaster or death.

2.[no]  a spirit; sometimes an evil spirit that possesses people causing insanity: te vaka nei kua toolalo, te atua atua ko Manaia kaavea te vaka ki matani,’the boat is low in the water with a heavy load, the spirit whose name is Manaia takes the ship to the wind (TS)’.  (Archaic).


Atua Hakkinokino

(from hakkinokino ‘evil’).

[n]  Satan, the devil in Christian teachings.  (CR).


Atua Tapu

(from ^tapu ‘sacred’).

[n]  God in Christian teachings.  (CR).



[nf]  a fish species.



[no]  the spacing of holes in the mesh of a net. Na atumata o te kupena nei e matamata, ‘the mesh of this net is very large’.

sa: puto.


au #1

[vi]  to come, of both people and events (singular subjects only): a Vaeoma ni au i Tona, ‘Vaeoma came from Tonga’; A Vaeoma ni au ki Sikaiana, ‘Vaeoma came to Sikaiana’; Te tulana ku au ki poloaki, ‘the time has come to say good‑bye’; a koe ni au i he?, ‘where did you come from?’.

sa: olo, hano.

pl: ommai.


au #2

(from PPN ^’ahu).

[na]  the smoke from a fire, smoke that is close‑by.

cn: kohu.


au #3

[no]  the gall‑bladder of an animal or man, the bile.


au#4 (aau)

[possessive pronoun, 2nd person singular for plural alienable objects]  your.  See Introduction.



(from? PPN ^aua).

[exclamation]  a command not to do something being done, a call mostly to children when their parents want them to stop some activity or prevent an activity.



[no]  the pus in an infection;  kalemata aukau, ‘conjunctivitis’.


aulua (aaulua)

[possessive pronoun, 2nd person dual for plural alienable objects]  your (of two people).  See Introduction.



1.[no]  gestures, action, movement, in speech or action.

2.[nao, a for person, o for dance]  the action or movement of a dance. Hano pe koe e luu e koe na aauna o te mako, koe e iloa i tona pese, ‘if you know the movements of the song, then you know how to sing it’.

3.[no]  the source or direction of the wind. Te aauna o te matani i te anaake, ‘the wind is coming from the east’.

syn: amona.

ca: hakaauna, hakaaunauna.



[exclamation]  a cry of surprise or disbelief.



1.[na]  a forewarning about some event to come, most often an impending death.  People may have dreams about death, or they may take notice of unusual events, such as catching an unusual fish, and take them as a sign that someone will die soon.  Most often, there is no indication of the specific identity of the person who will die.

sa: anaana#1, hakasaa.

2.[n]  miracle, unexpected good fortune.  (Although this sense is sometimes used to describe miraculous events in the Bible, the first sense is the most common and traditional usage for this term).



[n]  magical spells, spoken magic for love and catching fish brought to Sikaiana by the Gilbertese in late 19th century: autani hahine, ‘love magic’; autani palaa, ‘magic for catching marlin’.(PCR).


autou (aautou)

[possessive pronoun, 2nd person plural for singular and plural alienable objects]  your.  See Introduction.



(from PPN ^awa).

[n]  a passage for canoes to cross the reef from the ocean to the lagoon.  The major passages at Sikaiana are: Te Ava Naniu, Te Ava Likiliki, Te Ohana i Sokupu, Te Ohana i Sokelau.

cn: saohana, avaava.



1.[nq, vq, q]  later, after, of time; beyond, of direction. A laaua ka aavana i siaoa i te malama aavale, ‘they will marry after two months’; mua aavale, ‘long before’; muli aavale, ‘long after’.

2.[interrogative after pronouns and proper names]  who else?: koai aavale?, ‘who else?’; laatou aavale?, ‘they and who else?’.

3.[comparative, emphatic qualifier following ake]  more than; koe e iloa ake aavale ma nau,’you know better than I’.



(from PPN ^’awana).

1.[vs]  to marry, to be married. A Sina ma Puna ku aavana, ‘Sina and Puna are married’.

cn: aavana too, aavana hulo, aavana puluna,

sa: penupenu.

ca: hakaavana, <to arrange or force a marriage>,

cp: hakaavanatia,

ps: aavanatia, <to be forced into a marriage, to be raped>,

pl: aavanavana.

2.[no]  spouse, husband, wife.


aavana hulo

(from aavana ‘marry’ + hulo ‘run away’).

[nv]  to elope, to marry without parental approval or to marry without being blessed {hakatapu} by a priest.


aavana puluna

[nv]  an arranged marriage, usually done by the parents or guardians {tupuna} of the bride and groom when they were very young.  Before the arrival of Christianity, this was the predominant form of marriage. (PCR).

sa: vulisana, pou#2, hakatalatala.


aavana too

(from too ‘take’).

[no]  a chosen marriage partner.  At present, virtually every marriage on Sikaiana is of this type.



1.[n]  passages inside the reef that are used by fish as they move from one area to another.  These passages are not large enough for a canoe.

sa: tuu avaava.

2.[vs]  to be divided or spread apart as walling slats that do not fit together tightly; to have gaps.

cn: mokoaa#2,

opp: nniti, kapi#2.


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