Huva China’i

© Roberta Gibson, 2010

Huva china’i is the Hiaki way to say “stink bug”. Huuva is the word meaning “stink”, and china’i refers to something’s rear end being up in the air. These bugs are described this way because they will raise their anteriors and put their heads toward the ground when preparing to spray you. Normally, huva china’im will leave you alone so long as you do not disturb them. However, if you touch them, step on them, or even accidentally bother them, they’ll let you know. The scent from their spray isn’t quite as bad as a skunk’s, and it’s easier to remove, but it’s still very unpleasant and smells like overly strong, burnt coffee. Skunks are said to enjoy eating huva china’im, which might explain why skunks smell so awful.

In the Hiaki story Uu Wo’i intok uu Huva China’i, wo’i (coyote) finds huva china’i with his rear end up in the air and exclaims that he’s going to eat huva china’i. However, huva china’i says he’s listening to what’s being said underground about how wo’i will be killed for leaving his droppings all over the road, and so he tricks wo’i into leaving him alone.


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