ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi. #203
All knowledge is not taught in the same school.
[One can learn from many sources.]
E hoʻōki i ka hoʻina wale, o hōʻino ʻia mai ke kumu. #291
One should never go home without [some knowledge] lest his teacher be criticized.
E kuhikuhi pono i nā au iki a me nā au nui. #325
Instruct well in the little and the large currents of knowledge.
[In teaching, do it well; the small details are as important as the large ones.]
E lawe i ke aʻo a mālama, a e ʻoi mau ka naʻauao. #328
He who takes his teachings and applies them increases his knowledge.
ʻEliʻeli kūlana o ʻĀinaʻike. #339
Profound is the nature of ʻĀinaʻike.
[Refers to a person respected for the depth of his knowledge.]
He ipu kāʻeo. #643
A full calabash.
[A knowledgeable person. Also expressed ʻūmeke kāʻeo.]
He kāʻeʻaʻeʻa pulu ʻole no ka heʻenalu. #649
An expert on the surfboard who does not get wet.
[Praise of an outstanding surfer, or expert in their field.]
He kawa ia naʻu i lele a ʻopu. #679
[That is] a diving place in which I dived without making a splash.
[Said of something that is easy to do because one is accustomed to doing it.]
He lawaiʻa no ke kai pāpaʻu, he pōkole nō ke aho. He lawaiʻa no ke kai hohonu, he loa ke aho. #725
A fisherman of the shallow sea uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep has a long line.
[A person whose knowledge is shallow does not have much. But he whose knowledge is great, has much.]
He noio ʻaʻe ʻale no ke kai loa. # 844
A noio that treads over the billows of the distant sea.
[An expression of admiration for a person outstanding in wisdom and skill. The noio is a small tern.]
Hoʻonaʻauao (general teachings)
ʻAʻa i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale. #2
When one wants to dance the hula, let bashfulness be left at home
Aia i ka ʻōpua ke ola: he ola nui, he ola laulā, he ola hohonu, he ola kiʻekiʻe. #42
Life is in the clouds: great life, broad life, deep life, elevated life.
[The reader of omens knows by their shape and color whether clouds promise rain and prosperity, or warn of disaster.]
Aia ke ola i ka waha; aia ka make i ka waha. #60
Life is in the mouth; death is in the mouth.
[Spoken words can enliven, spoken words can destroy.]
Ako ʻē ka hale a paʻa, a i ke komo ʻana mai o ka hoʻoilo, ʻaʻole e kulu i ka ua o Hilinaʻehu. #100
Thatch the house beforehand so when winter comes it will not leak in the shower of Hilinaʻehu.
[Do not procrastinate; make preparations for the future now.]
Aloha mai nō, aloha aku: ʻo ka huhū ka mea e ola ʻole ai. #113
When love is given, love should be returned; anger is the thing that gives no life.
ʻAʻohe hana i nele i ka uku. #141
No deed lacks a reward.
[Every deed, good or bad, receives its just reward.]
ʻAʻohe loko maikaʻi i nele i ka pānaʻi. #177
No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.
ʻAʻohe mea koe ma kūʻono. #187
Nothing remains in the corners.
[Said of one who is extremely generous, giving freely without reservation.]
ʻAʻohe mea make i ka hewa; make nō i ka mihi ʻole. #188
[No one has ever died for mistakes made, only because they did not repent.]
ʻAohe pilo uku. #205
No reward is a trifle.
[Even a small gift is appreciated.]
ʻAʻohe uʻi hele wale o Kohala. #211
No youth of Kohala goes empty-handed.
[Said in praise of people who do not go anywhere without a gift or a helping hand.]
E ʻai i ka mea i loaʻa. #251
What you have, eat.
[Be satisfied with what you have.]
E nihi ka helena i ka uka o Puna; mai pūlale i ka ʻike a ka maka. #360
Go quietly in the upland of Puna; do not let anything you see excite you.
[Watch your step and do not let the things you see lead you into trouble. There is an abundance of flowers and berries in the uplands of Puna and it is thought that picking any on the trip up to the volcano will result in being caught in heavy rains; the picking is left until the return trip. Also said to loved ones to imply, “Go carefully and be mindful.”]
He iʻa no ka moana, he aho loa kū i ke koʻa. #612
A fish of the deep sea requires a long line that reaches the sea floor.
[In order to obtain good position, one must prepare.]
He ʻike ʻana ia i ka pono. #620
It is a recognizing of the right thing.
[One has seen the right thing to do and has done it.]
He lohe ke ola, he kuli ka make. #766
To hear is life, to turn a deaf ear is death.
[It pays to heed sound advice.]
He manu hānai ke kanaka na ka moe. #802
Man is like a pet bird belonging to the realm of sleep.
[Dreams are very important. By them, one is guided to good fortune and warned of misfortune. Like a pet bird, man is taken care of.]
Source: Pukui, M. K. (1983). ‘Ōlelo No‘eau Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.
ʻŌlelo Noeau compiled by Johanna Kapōmaikaʻi Stone and Danielle Espiritu