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Thread: A Language Question

  1. #1

    Default A Language Question

    Honi = both kiss and sniff. Lately I have wondered if it might be because the traditional Hawaiian kiss might have been Eskimo style rubbing noses rather than lip locks. Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Language Question

    A friend explained that a Hawaiian kiss means foreheads together and noses rubbing side by side. She is not thrilled with the lip lock style of kissing. So honi could mean 'use the nose' both for the nose kissing and for sniffing, "E honi ke-ia loke." Interesting. Not every culture lip locks as a sign of affection.

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: A Language Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalalau View Post
    Honi = both kiss and sniff. Lately I have wondered if it might be because the traditional Hawaiian kiss might have been Eskimo style rubbing noses rather than lip locks. Any ideas?
    As your presiding cultural anthropologist who does not pretend to know everything I present my perception:

    Hawaiians with certain degrees of familiarity greeted one another by putting their cheeks together (L to L, R to R) and gently inhaling through the nose. This was their version of kissing. and usually included both sides: one side, than the other, a 'double sniff' in ha`ole terms.

    The purpose of this was the share and exchange the mana that was contained in each breath, and the trust embodied in sharing YOUR mana with another.

    It is equivalent to exposing all your secrets with another; showing your trust for them and accepting their trust of you.

    This is so much more intimate than sharing saliva, and a beautiful ritual.

    I daily see Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians sharing Honi, and I use it, exclusively (aside from my spouse) in Hawai`i, anyway.

    Even Barry and I, in London, shared this greeting. Barry was akamai.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

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