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Education and Outreach

Cultural Feature: "Native Hawaiian Series: "Kapa Inoa" What is the importance of names?"

Mokumanamana. Photo Credit: James Watt

In Hawaiian culture, as in other cultures, names convey a wide range of information and express varying levels of meaning. Names can be given to remember historic events, ancestors, geographical features, and moʻolelo (stories/histories). Also, a particular person, place, or thing may have several different names to represent its different aspects. Throughout the next few weeks, we will look at the various ways of naming, the variety of names given, and how names are integral to our work at Papahānaumokuākea through this series: Kapa Inoa.