iTaukei figures of speech – Part 9

This week, we continue our focus on understanding iTaukei figures of speech. The information below was sourced and translated from the Vosavosa Vaka Viti manual which was provided by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture.

Katoa i domo

Katoa is the term used to describe the abundance of catch during a fishing trip.

Domo is neck in the iTaukei language.

This term is used to by a person who was well looked after by hosts when visiting the place. It is also a way of expressing gratitude for the service provided by the hosts, more precisely the food that was prepared.

In most iTaukei functions, visitors always talk about faults like there was not enough food, or the woman with the grumpy look, the argument by two people or there was not enough yaqona and the list can go on. And that is why the hosts will make sure there are no loose ends.

When everyone leaves satisfied, the term katoa i domo is used.

Tagitagica na yaloka ni mata ni vonu

When directly translated means, “Crying for the turtle’s eyes”.

In the iTaukei culture, the turtle is a traditional chiefly food.

A successful hunt can sometimes take long as fishermen have had to wade out further to sea to search for turtles for a function.

This term is used to describe a request that is near impossible. It is used a lot for little kids who cry for expensive things or demand everything.

Sili vaka i sau

The i sau is a farming tool used when planting dalo. In some places, it is referred to as i doko.

Sili is the iTaukei word for bath.

Men returning from the farm usually throw their i sau/doko into the river so the soil can come off, while they have their bath. The i sau is usually not washed properly.

This term is used to describe a person who does not shower properly.

Today the term sili vaka maina (Bath like the mynah) is used.

Sikalutu ena qara e kelia

When directly translated means “to fall in the hole one dug”.

The term is used to describe a person who has fallen victim to their own trap.

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