HONOLULU (KHON2) – We all make use of our island roadways, but when was the last time you paid attention to their given names? Did you know that you could learn more about Hawaiʻi and our culture if you did?
KHON2’s weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the islands so we can dig into those names, and in turn, learn something new.
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This week, we brought our attention back to the moon.
In the ahupuaʻa of Kēōkea, which lies in the moku of Kula on the island of Maui, stands a residential street the brings our attention to an element in space that affects life on Earth: Malama Street.
In the Hawaiian language, the word malama has several translations depending on how it is pronounced. Mālama — with a kahakō and emphasis over the first “a” — can mean “to take care of” or “care for.”
However, malama — with no diacritical markers and emphasis — can mean “light, month or moon.” Ancient Hawaiians based their days on the obersavtion of the moon, and as a result the moon creates the Hawaiian calendar.
Native Hawaiians recognize 30 moon phases within a lunar month and each phase has its benefits. Interestingly, one of the moon’s main functions is to move liquids. People may generally think of ocean tides, but their influence surpasses that.
From the sap in plants and trees, to the fishes within the sea, to even the magma that flows within the earth, they all have a correlation with the moon. This is why some days are better to fish or to plant than on other days — due to the push-and-pull that the moon has on the planet.
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Did you know? Now you do!