Aloha Authentic: Colors in Hawaiian language

Aloha Authentic

HONOLULU (KHON2) — KHON2’s weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the islands so the meaning of their names can be uncovered, and in turn, information is gathered about Hawaii and its native culture. There is a special theme of the month kicking off this week: Hawaiian Language.

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In the ahupuaa of Kailua, which lies in the moku of Koolaupoko here on Oahu, stands a residential street that brings our attention to the different colors in the Hawaiian language.  

That street is Omao Street.

Omao is short for Omaomao, which is the color green.

The people of Hawaii are not only surrounded by greenery while living on an island, but aqua as well.  

Polu is a general word for blue, the color of the ocean.  

The island itself was formed by lava from a volcano.  

The warmer the lava, the more Melemele, or yellow in color it is.

As it begins to cool, its hue changes along with it.  

First to Alani, which is orange

As it continues to lose heat it darkens to Ulaula, which is red

As the lava solidifes into rock it turns Eleele, or the color black

Ele could be used in short.  

Vegetation begins from here.  

The color of dirt or soil in which plants grow is Makue, or brown.

Many bright colors are produced from its fruits and flowers, such as Akala, (pink), Keokeo (white) and Poni (purple).

All is made possible by the rain that falls, thanks to the gray clouds above, or Ahinahina ma ka Olelo Hawaii.

Did you know? Now you do!

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