The Emperor’s New

I’ve discovered something odd about clothes; it’s perfectly normal to talk about them without ever mentioning the word ‘kākahu’ or a particular article of clothing. All you have to do is say ‘yours’ or ‘mine’ and everyone is supposed to know that you’re talking clothing and not houses or cars or anything else you might own.

I tangohia ōku.
I took my [clothes] off.

Humea ōu / Koroheiheitia ōu, kei mākū
Tuck up your [skirts/pant legs] so they don’t get wet.

Kua taretare ōna.
His clothes are all tattered.

The only thing you have to remember is to use the ‘O’ category for the possessive pronouns, the neutral forms just don’t cut it.

It seems a little weird at first – after all somebody might think you did a strip-tease when you only pulled off your jacket – but on the up-side if you forget the word for a particular item of clothing you can just omit it and pretend that it’s intentional.


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