What Does It Mean To Be Hawaiian Named? The islands in the SE Pacific Ocean off the US mainland, bore the bearers for the aboriginal Hawaiian names for the widest State of the United States of America. The ‘Hawaii’ Mystery The term ‘hawaii’ is a Hawaiian word derived from the Proto-Polynesian word Sawaiki which means “homeland”. The dithematic Hawaiian name element combination for Hawa “traditional homeland” + ii “small and raging”, is another theory behind the state’s name. Cognate words such as the state’s name are common to other Polynesian languages as well, like Samoan, Maori, and Rarotongan. Hawaii may have been named by the traditional discoverer, the Hawaii Loa, or other etymologists believe the state name was taken from Hawaii or Hawaiki which was the original home for the Polynesian people. Still others, like Elbert and Pukui, point out that the word ‘Hawaii’ is used to refer to the underworld or ancient home in other parts of Polynesia. However, in the state itself, the term has no specific meaning in the Hawaiian language. One thing, in Hawaii isn’t a point of debate. There’s no discrepancy or theories regarding the usage and designation for the term ‘Hawaiian’. One natives descendent from aboriginals in Hawaii are deemed ‘Hawaiian’. Hawaii is a state name, unlike other states in the US, which is also an ethnic identity. Nicknames Hawaii has been called many nicknames by supporters, such as ‘Crossroads of the Pacific’ (mainly refers to Honolulu), ‘Paradise of the Pacific’, and the ‘Pineapple State’ due to the state supplying 1/3rd of the world’s pineapples. In 1959, Hawaii officially received its legislative designation as the ‘Aloha State’ via Haw. Rev. Stat. 5-7. An old Polynesian greeting, ‘Aloha!’ became the popular state name its known as across the nation. Geographical & Cultural Impacts Upon Etymology (names) The State of Hawaii is located in the central Pacific ocean on an archipelago, SW of the North American continent, NE of Australia, and SE of Japan. Hawaii was admitted into the Union in 1959 becoming the 50th state of the USA. Honolulu is the state’s capital and is on the island O’ahu. Ethnologically and physio-graphically, the archipelago which Hawaii exists upon, is a sub-region of Polynesian descent of Oceania. The Hawaiian Island Chain is composed of several hundred islands along the volcanic ridge which is over 1500 miles long. The state of Hawaii from east to west is the widest of all the US. The 8 major or ‘main islands’ which stretch out at the SE archipelago end are from N to S: Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, and Molokai, followed by Lana’i, Kaho’lawe, Maui, and “Big Island”, Hawaii. Hawaii’s Big 5 Kalawao is one of 5 Counties on the Hawaiian islands. It’s political official count is far below the other four Counties due to its exclusivity as a leper colony. The Big 5 Hawaiian Counties are the second-in-charge below the state government. Legally constituted only below the state in legal governing bodies, Counties in Hawaii carry substantial status greater than those on the US mainland. The names for prominent Hawaiian officials are very trendy in Hawaii. Naming Custom Influence In 1778, Captain James Cook honored the Earl of Sandwich by naming his newly discovered islands in the Pacific, the Sandwich Islands. Less than 30 years later, King Kamehameha I crowned the islands, Kingdom of Hawaii, under his rule. Hawaiian legends about memehunes (depicted as hardworking elves) is associated with the small size of the aboriginal Hawaiians. The incessant Tahitian immigrant waves were absorbing the indigenous people. The myth probably came from the later, larger Hawaiians perception of the smaller aboriginals. Hawaiian Name (m/f)/phonetic spelling/ derivation/ origin/”meaning” variant names Hokule’a (m) /hoe koo lay uh/ Arcturus, the zenith star of Honolulu Liliuokalai (f) Hawaii’s last queen Lili, Liliu Aukea (f) fr hau & kea / “snow, white” Hokulani (f) “star of heaven” Kaimana (m/f) “power of the ocean” or ‘diamond’ in English to Hawaiian transcription Kaima Nalani (f) “the heavens” Alani Noelani (f) fr noe & lani“mist” + ” heaven, sky” = “heavenly mist” Noel Malie (f) “calm” Mele (f) “song” Mel Malia (f) Hawaiian form – Saint name Maria Malie, Mali Ikaika (m) “strong” Ikai Melika (f) Hawaiian form-Eng Melissa Melik (m) Pika (m) Hawaiian form – the Chrisitian name Peter Peni (m) Hawaiian form – the Chrisitian name Ben Makaio (m) Hawaiian form -Chrisitian name Matthew Maka Mikala (m) Hawaiian form- Chrisitian name Michael (saint name) Mikal Maleko (m) Hawaiian form- Chrisitian name Mark Malek Iakopa (m) Hawaiian form – Hebrew Jacob Iakop Ikaia (m) Hawaiin form – Hebrew name Isaiah Ikai Iolana (f) “to soar” Kai (m/ f) “sea” The Last 4 Centuries of Hawaiian Names Christian Missionaries The missionaries were allowed to preach the Gospel during Kamehameha III’s reign from 1825-1854. Kamehameha III relied heavily upon the missionaries’ advice and teachings. The missionaries developed the alphabet for Hawaiian using it for translating the Holy Bible into the Hawaiian language. Religious freedom in Hawaii was guaranteed in 1839 by Kamehameha III, followed by the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. An American prime minister, G. P. Judd, influenced numerous reforms strengthening commercial and political ties between the U.S. and Hawaii from 1842-1853. Biblical and saint names became popular with reborn Christians of Hawaiian descent. In 1843, the islands were granted their official independence from Great Britain. The kingdom of Hawaii remained sovereign until 1893, when a group of US businessmen overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy dethroning Hawaii’s last queen, Liliuokalai. Hawaii became a territory of the United States of America in 1900. War & The Americans On Dec. 7, 1941, The Japanese surprise aircraft attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, plunged Hawaiians and the US into WWII. American cultural and naming custom influence poured into the islands while the Hawaiian Islands remained under marital law under US occupied forces until 1943. New technologies and economic advances fostered the growth of Hawaii as a state. Unfortunately, new diseases and Polynesian vulnerability to these new infections dramatically reduced the indigenous population. The Hawaiian people are dwindling in population each year. Over a 7 percent drop in native Hawaiians was reported in Hawaii’s population census from 2004-2008. What began as an entrepreneurial business move in the sugar industry, led to the approval of Hawaii’s statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaiian names and their meaning in the Hawaiian language is a part of our American history and should be preserved.