Aloha Authentic: Old Hawaiian home

Aloha Authentic

HONOLULU (KHON2) — We all make use of our island roadways, but when was the last time you paid attention to the given names?   Did you know you could learn more about Hawaiʻi 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 to our own homes. In the ahupuaʻa of Kamaʻole, which lies in the moku of Kula on the island of Maui, stands a roadway that is named after a Native Hawaiian homestead: Kauhale Street.

The word Kauhale translates as “plural house,” referring to how ancient Hawaiian families lived. Currently, generations of families live under one roof with multiple rooms serving different purposes. However, in old Hawai’i, families lived within a kauhale — or a group of thatched houses — with each serving a different function.

The separate dwellings included the Hale ʻAina — or the women’s eating house — where women would eat and take care of young boys. When the boys reached a certain age, they would move to the Hale Mua — or the men’s house — and never to return to the women.  

The Hale Mua was for men only; they would talk politics, strategy, religion, cultural practices and more.  

The Hale Noa, literally translated as “house without taboo,” was the common house where family members would rest, sleep and fellowship together.

Other dwellings could have included the Hale Kuke (cooking house), the Hale Waʻa (canoe house) or Hale Kua (kapa-making house where bark cloth was made).

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Did you know? Now you do!

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