Monument Features

Cultural Feature: "Native Hawaiian Series: "Kapa Inoa" Inoa Kupuna: Ancestral Naming"

Protocol. Photo Credit: David Boynton

One's genealogy is extremely important and a critical aspect of one's identity. Since Hawaiian is a spoken language, genealogies were memorized at an early age and were passed down orally through the generations. The highest of aliʻi, or chiefs, could trace their lineage directly back to the beginning of the universe. Because of the high value placed on intergenerational connections and honoring of ancestors, inoa kupuna, or ancestral names, are commonplace throughout Hawaiʻi. Often, children will either be given an ancestor's name verbatim or the names of various ancestors will be incorporated into the child's name to honor many ancestors that are hoped to contribute in some way in the child's well-being.