Ho‘okua‘āina Core Lessons
Nani ke kalo *
Beautiful the taro/The taro is beautiful.
Aloha Kekahi i Kekahi *
Love one another
Ua ola loko i ke aloha. #2836
Love gives life within.
[Love is imperative to one’s mental and physical welfare.]
Huli ka lima i lalo, ola *
Turn the hands down, life.
He aliʻi ka ʻāina; he kauwā ke kanaka. #531
The land is a chief; man is its servant.
[The land has no need for man, but man needs the land and works it for a livelihood.]
Uwē ka lani, ola ka honua. #2888
When the sky weeps, the earth lives.
[When it rains the earth revives.]
He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa. *
A canoe is an island, an island is a canoe.
ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia. #142
No task is too big when done together by all.
Ma ka hana ka ʻike. #2088
In working one learns.
ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi. #203
All knowledge is not learned in one school.
[One can learn from many sources.]
E lawe i ke aʻo a mālama, a e ʻoi mau ka naʻauao. #328
Take what you have learned and apply it and your wisdom will increase.
ʻĀina Momona. *
Fat, fertile, rich land.
Hele nō ka ʻalā, hele nō ka lima. #752
The rock goes, the hand goes.
[To make good poi, the freehand must work in unison with the poi pounder. Keep both hands working to do good work.]
Na ke kanaka mahiʻai ka imu ō nui. #2239
The well-filled imu belongs to the man who tills the soil.
[Motto of Liliʻuokalani]
Unity, balance, connection to a spiritual force, oneself, others, and the land
Kūlia i ka nuʻu. #1913
Strive to reach the highest.
[Motto of Queen Kapiʻolani.]
ʻAʻohe lolena i ka wai ʻōpae. #178
There must be no slackness when one gathers shrimp in time of a freshet.
[Let there be no slackers when there is work to be done. Lazy people don’t get anywhere.]
Maiau Kahana, Maiau Ka Loaʻa *
Neat work, neat results
Source: Pukui, M. K. (1983). ‘Ōlelo No‘eau Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.
*Indicates those not found in the puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau
ʻŌlelo Noeau compiled by Johanna Kapōmaikaʻi Stone and Danielle Espiritu