After all, Hawaii is the best land. (O Hawaii no ka aina maikai)
~ Hawaiian Proverb
Hawaiian Words to Know:
Here’s a handy list of simple Hawaiian words you may encounter and should learn:
‘A ina – (eye-nah) – Land.
Ali’i – (ah-LEE-ee) – A Hawaiian chief; a member of the chiefly class.
Aloha – (ah-LOW-ha) – Hello, goodbye, or a feeling or the spirit of love, affection, or kindness.
Hale – (hah-leh) – House or building.
Hana – (ha-nah) – Work.
Hana hou – (ha-nah-HO) – To do again.
Haole – (how-leh) – foreigner; Caucasion.
He`iau – (hey-ee-ow) – Hawaiian temple.
Hula – (hoo-lah) – The story-telling dance of Hawai`i.
Imu – (ee-moo) – An underground oven.
Kahuna – (kah-HOO-na) – A priest or minister; someone who is an expert in a profession.
Kai – (kigh) – The sea.
Kalua – (KAH-loo-ah) – Cooking food underground.
Kama`aina – (kah-ma-EYE-nah) – Long-time Hawaiian resident.
Kane – (kah-neh) – Boy or man.
Kapu – (kah-poo) – Forbidden, taboo; keep out.
Keiki – (kay-key) – Child or children.
Kokua – (koh-koo-ah) – Help.
Kona – (koh-NAH) – Leeward side of the island; wind blowing from the south, southwest direction.
Lanai – (lah-NIGH) – Porch, veranda, patio.
Lei – (lay) – Necklace of flowers, shells, or feathers.
Limu – (lee-moo) – Edible seaweed
Lomi – (loh-mee) – To rub or massage; lomi salmon is raw salmon rubbed with salt.
Lu`au – (loo-ow) – Hawaiian feast; literally means taro leaves.
Mahalo – (mah-hah-low) – Thank you.
Makai – (mah-kigh) – Toward the sea.
Malihini – (mah-lee-hee-nee) – A newcomer, visitor, or guest.
Mauka – (mow-kah) – Toward the mountain.
‘Ohana – (oh-hah-na) – Family.
‘Ono – (oh-no) – Delicious, the best tasting.
Pali – (pah-lee) – A cliff.
Paniolo – (pah-nee-oh-low) – Hawaiian cowboy.
Pau – (pow) – Finish, end, etc., Pau hana means quitting time from work.
Poi – (poy) – Pounded kalo (taro) root that forms a starchy paste.
Pono – (poh-no) – Goodness, excellence, correct, proper.
Pua – (poo-ah) – Flower, blossom.
Pupu – (poo-poo) – Appetizer, snacks, or finger foods.
Wahine – (wah-hee-nay) – Woman.
Wai – (why) – Fresh water.
Wikiwiki – ( wee-kee-wee-kee) – To hurry up, very quick.
There are a couple of simple tricks to help you pronounce them properly:
- Hawaiian words may start with any letter, vowel or consonant.
- Hawaiian words will never end with a consonant.
- Syllables in Hawaiian words are only one or two letters, never longer.
- Syllables must end with a vowel, or can be a single vowel, but can never be a single consonant.
Missionaries taught quilting to the women of Hawaii who transformed it into a uniquely Hawaiian art form. The mild weather allowed far more time for details appliqué and quilting. Since one was not dependent on the quilt for warmth quilting was seen more as a leisurely activity that can be a good thing because it takes many months of hand stitching to complete.
Quilt motifs are drawn from forms of favorite plants. Hawaiian quilts typically have a central appliquéd motif and the stitch pattern often echo that design. The pattern of quilting is often likened to the imprint left by a patterned beater on Hawaiian kapa.
June 11th is King Kamehameha Day, and is celebrated the second weekend of June with parades and remembrances of this glorious king. It is King Kamehameha (ca. 1758 – May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810.
As king, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and he used the products he collected in taxes to promote trade with Europe and the United States. Kamehameha did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land; they would not be able to until the Great Mahele of 1848. This edict ensured the islands’ independence even while many of the other islands of the Pacific succumbed to the colonial powers.
Many visitors that come to Hawaii love the weather, to bask in their holiday time, but forget to explore the richly lived past of the Ancient Hawaiians.
For a more rich experience while visiting the magical Big Island take a walk on the King’s Trail, check out the petroglyphs, visit a heiau, and imagine yourself on the island before all the shoreline development and increased population pressures of modern life today.
Puukohola Heiau National Historical Site
Painting by Herb Kawainui Kane
The massive ruins of Puukohola Heiau are an impressive sight. The founding of the Hawaiian kingdom can be directly associated with one structure in the Hawaiian Islands: Pu’ukohola Heiau.
The temple was constructed to incur the favor of the war god Kuka’ilimoku. Built between 1790-91 by Kamehameha I (also known as Kamehameha the Great), together with chiefs, commoners, men, women and children. As British sailor John Young looked on, the temple was built and dedicated, a chief rival was sacrificed, and the war god Ku was pleased. Kamehameha I waged several subsequent battles using Western military strategy and weapons to extend his control over all Hawaiian Islands. The monarchy he established lasted 83 years, from 1810-1893.
Visit the Lapakahi State Historical Park up the Kohala Coast and walk among the ancient site.
Lapakahi State Historical Park is the archaeological site of what remains of a traditional 14th century Hawaiian fishing community. Lapakahi is one of the best-preserved fishing village in Hawaii. A self-guided tour takes visitors to house sites and a canoe halau (long house); runs through a game area where visitors can try spear throwing, ‘ulu maika (disc rolling) and konane (checkers); and leads to a fishing shrine and salt pans along the rocky shoreline.
Explore the early Hawaiian life of the common people through cultural demonstrations of daily activities, story telling, and self-guided one mile loop walk through the partially restored remains of this ancient Hawaiian coastal settlement. Wear decent shoes and go early if you want to beat the heat, it’s a dry part of the island. This 265-acre park is located along the shoreline of the Lapakahi Marine Life Conservation District. The nearby ocean waters comprise a marine preserve with various activities regulated but great snorkeling. Park gate is open from 7 a.m. to closes promptly at 4 p.m.
Take this the site to heart and you will be transported back to earlier times allowing you to reflect upon the Hawaiian first people.
Hawaii is lovely place, respect the past by treating the island with a reverence for it heritage is a part of being a responsible visitor to the islands. Get out and walk and explore. Pick up any trash you find and remember to live the Aloha Spirit.
Throughout Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, traditional underground ovens have been utilized to cook and steam food. The Hawaiians use an imu to steam whole pigs, breadfruit, bananas, sweet potatoes, taro, chicken, and fish. The imu is essentially an underground pressure cooker created by digging into the earth as compactly as possible with room for the rocks, leaves, fuel and food. Due to the amount of time and labor to prepare the imu this method of cooking is done primarily for large luaus.