Names

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Names

  1. 1. INOA HAWAIʻI: HAWAIIAN NAMES HWST 104
  2. 2. REVIEW • As is typical in Hawaiian myths and legends, names have a lot of mana • They can provide insight into the characters’ attributes and personality • The meanings are often symbolic – ie: a child can be a flower or a bud, regardless of its sex
  3. 3. HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE • As we learned earlier in the semester, it is important to spell Hawaiian words correctly. • Proper use of the ʻokina and kahakō are very important • Failure to include and/or extraneous ʻokina and/or kahakō can change the meaning of the word from something pleasant to something unpleasant. • Names could also have kaona (hidden meanings), so it was important to know the meaning that was intended.
  4. 4. INOA (Names)  Names were of great importance to the Hawaiian people  Careful thought was given to the meaning of the name  Hawaiian names have specific meanings and were usually given at birth by a kupuna, or elder of the family
  5. 5. INOA KUPUNA • A name handed down, as of an ancestor • Traditionally, the hiapo (first born) is given a name belonging to the genealogy • Children could be named after relatives, but names were not copied from other families • It is still customary to give the names of ancestors for identification and commemoration purposes
  6. 6. INOA HOʻOMANAʻO • Children were sometimes named for an event that happened at or near birth to commemorate the event – The name Ka ʻahaʻainaakaHaku, meaning “The Lordʻs Supper” was given to a woman who was born on the day when the Lordʻs Supper was first administered in Kona, Hawaiʻi by the missionaries – The name “Kahakuhulualiʻi,” meaning “Worker of royal feathers” was given to a child whose mother made many of the kāhili (royal standards) for the Missionary Centennial Celebration in 1920. As taken from “The Polynesian Family System in Kaʻū” by Handy & P ūku ʻi
  7. 7. INOA PŌ • Dream name, as a name for an infant believed to have been received in a dream • It was believed that if such a name were not given, the child would be sickly or die • Many also believed that such a name belongs to the individual to whom it was given and could not be given to another
  8. 8. INOA • Names were also given based on a child’s traits or personality, due to some kind of natural phenomenon, or to honor a person • A person might be given a different name if their circumstances changed as they went through life – At birth, Kamehameha was given the name, Paiʻea (hard-shelled crab) because he would cling to his guardian. It was later prophesized that he would stand alone as a leader and he was given the name Kamehameha (The Lonely One).
  9. 9. MODERN DAY NAMES • Today, phonetic renderings of Western names are popular – Malia (Mary) – Keoni (John) – Keoki (George)
  10. 10. INOA • Sometimes a name was not befitting for a child and the child would fall ill. In those cases, the name would be changed and the child would get well. • If a mother experienced several stillbirths, it was believed that she was cursed. As such, the next baby was given a name such as “Kūkae” (excrement) or Pupuka (ugly) so that the evil spirits would find the baby repulsive and leave him/her alone. The dangerous period was from birth to about 7 years of age. After that a better name was given to the child.

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