'au.makua. nvt. Family or personal gods, deified ancestors who might assume the shape of sharks (all island except Kaua'i), owls (as in Manoa, O'ahu, Ka'u and Puna, Hawai'i), hawks (Hawai'i), 'elepaio (species of bird), 'iwi (species of bird), mudhens, octopuses, eels, mice, rats, dogs, caterpillars, rocks, cowries, clouds, or plants. A symbiotic relationship existed; mortals did not harm or eat 'aumakua (they fed sharks), and 'aumakua warned and reprimanded mortals in dreams, visions, and calls. (Beckwith, 1970)



haole. nvs. White person, American, Englishmen, Caucasian; formerly, any foreigner.

he'e nalu. nv. To ride a surfboard; surfing; surfrider. Lit., wave sliding. n. House of worship.

hune. nvs. Poor, destitute; a poor person.


‘ili. 1. n. Skin, complexion, hide, pelt, scalp, bark, rind, peel. 2. Leather.
3. Surface, area. 4. Binding, cover. 5. Land section, next in importance to ahupua‘a and usually a subdivision of an ahupua‘a.


Kahiki. 1. n. Tahiti. 2. (Not cap.) nvs. Any foreign country, abroad, foreign.

Kai.mana-Hila. n. Diamond Head. Lit. Diamond Hill. (Also called Le’ahi, and Lae-ahi.)

kalo. n. Taro (Colocasia esculenta), a kind of aroid cultivated since ancient times for food, spreading widely from the tropics of the Old World. In Hawai‘i, taro has been the staple from earliest times to the present, and here its culture developed greatly, including more than 300 forms. All parts of the plant are eaten, its starchy root principally as poi, and its leaves as lu¯‘au. It is a perennial herb consisting of a cluster of long-stemmed, heart-shaped leaves rising 30 cm. or more from underground tubers or corms.

kama'aina. nvi, Native-born, one born in a place, host.

kanaka maoli. n. Hawaiian person. Some other ways that Hawaiian persons have been identified are ka lahui Hawai'i, na kanaka Hawai'i, na kanaka oiwi Hawai'i maoli.

kumu.lipo. n. Origin, genesis, source of life, mystery; name of the Hawaiian creation chant.


lo'i. n. Irrigated terrace, especially for taro, but also for rice; paddy.

loko. 1. n. In, inside, within; interior, mainland, inside; internal organs, as tripe, entrails. 2. n. Pond, lake, pool.

lu,’au, 1. Young kalo (taro) tops, especially as baked with coconut cream and chicken or octopus. 2. Hawaiian feast, named for the kalo tops always served as one; this is not an ancient name, but goes back at least to 1856, when so used by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser; formerly a feast was pa’ina or ‘aha’aina.


maka.'ai,nana. n. Commoner, populace, people in general; citizen, subject.

mali.hini. nvs. Stranger, foreigner, newcomer, tourist, guest, company; one unfamiliar with a place or custom; new, unfamiliar, unusual, rare, introduced, of foreign origin; for the first time.

mana. nvs. Supernatural or divine power, mana, miraculous power; a powerful nation, authority; to give mana to, to make powerful; to have mana, power, authority; authorization, privilege; miraculous, divinely powerful, spiritual; possessed of mana, power.

moi. n. Threadfish. This fish was highly esteemed for food. A large school was an omen of disaster for chiefs.

moku. 1. vs. To be cut, severed, amputated, broken in two, as a rope; broken loose, as a stream after heavy rains, or as a bound person; to punctuate. 2. n. District, island, islet, section, forest, grove, clump, severed portion, fragment, cut, laceration, scene in a play. 3. n. Ship, schooner, vessel, boat, said to be so called because the first European ships suggested islands. 4. n. A stage of pounded poi

mo‘o. 1. n. Lizard, reptile of any kind, dragon, serpent; water spirit. 2. n. Succession, series, especially a genealogical line, lineage. 3. n.Story, tradition, legend. 4. n. Narrow strip of land, smaller than an ‘ili.


no‘ vs. Clever, skillful, dexterous, wise, artistic, talented, expert, technical.


‘o¯.lelo. nvt. Language, speech, word, quotation, statement, utterance, term, tidings; to speak, say, state, talk, mention, quote, converse, tell; oral, verbatim, verbal, motion.


papio. n.Young stages of certain species of crevalle, jack, or pompano, an important game fist and food item.

poi. n. The Hawaiian staff of life, made from cooked taro corms, or rarely breadfruit, pounded and thinned with water.



Wai-ki-ki. n. Place name used as a direction marker in Honolulu. Lit. Spouting water.

(Definitions are modified excerpts from "Hawaiian Dictionary" Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H Elbert. 1986



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