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. This month is Hawaiian Language month and it is time to learn some useful words in Olelo Hawaii.
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Names are very important in Hawaii as they tell a moolelo, a story.
In the ahupuaa of Waimanalo, which lies in the moku of Koolaupoko on Oahu, stands a street that brings attention to the days of the week.
That street is Poalima Street.
As much as everyone relates “day” to the sun, Hawaiian language shows that Native Hawaiians distinguished their days by the moon. One can see how by going through the days of the week.
Monday is translated as Poakahi which literally means “first night”, Po meaning “night or moon” and ʻakahi meaning the number “one.”
One just needs to know how to count simple numbers to know the rest of the days.
Poalua is the second night, Tuesday.
Poakolu is the third night, Wednesday.
Poaha is the fourth night, Thursday.
Poalima is the fifth night, Friday.
Poaono is the sixth night, Saturday.
Because these words were create post-western contact, Sunday is referred to as Lapule, understood as Prayer Day, or a spiritual day.
Prior to western influence, a week in Hawaii consisted of ten days and each day was referred to by the name of its Hawaiian moon phase.
Did you know? Now you do!