Hala & ʻŌlelo Noʻeau
Ōlelo Noʻeau—Hawaiian sayings—offer wisdom, stories, lessons, poetry, and humor. These sayings can also reveal deeper meanings and can carry double entendres. ʻŌlelo noeʻau does not just apply to Hawaiian culture, but to understanding humanity.
Treasured Hawaiian historian, Mary Kawena Pukui, collected, translated, and annotated the nearly 3,000 proverbs between 1910 to 1960.
The collection of sayings below, speak to the connection of hala to East Hawaiʻi—specifically the moku (districts) of Hilo, Puna, and also of Kaʻū.
Na niu ulu aoʻa o Mokuola.
The tall, slim coconut trees of Mokuola.
Mokuola (now called Coconut Island) in Hilo, is a place where pandanus and coconut trees were numerous.
-Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #2281
Hilo, nahele paoa i ke ʻala.
Hilo, where the forest is imbued with fragrance.
Hilo’s forest is fragrant with hala and lehua blossoms.
-Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #1005