Hawaiian Language and Values

Did you know that the Hawaiian language consists of only five vowels and eight consonants A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W, and ‘ (okina).  The last one listed is an ʻokina which is a backwards apostrophe. An ʻokina indicates a pause in the spoken language and is considered a consonant because it has the potential to change the meaning of a word.  You may hear Kauai pronounces Kaua‘i if spoken.  Both of these pronunciation are acceptable.   In the Hawaiian language all words end in a vowel and two consonants are never next to each other.  The  kahakō, is another grammatical symbol in the Hawaiian language that indicates a long vowel sound. The Hawaiian language is filled with words having many meanings or even hidden meanings.  Explore the Hawaiian Values below for examples of grammatical symbols in the Hawaiian language.

Hawaii’s diverse culture is deeply rooted in traditions of music and dance, legends, customs, and in values.  Hawaiian values call for a deep understanding and aim to guide choices and shape everyday actions.


Learn Hawaiian Values

  1. LŌKAHI –

    The value of teamwork: Collaboration and cooperation. Harmony and unity. People who work together can achieve more

  2. HO‘OMAU –

    The value of perseverance. To persist, to continue, to perpetuate. Never give up. Corresponding word: Resilient – has the capacity and will power to persevere when things get difficult; handles constructive criticism as a tool for learning.

  3. MANA’O –

    The value of Knowledge. To know well. To seek knowledge and wisdom. Corresponding word: Reflective – thinks about his/her activities and actions in ways that promote self-growth and the wellbeing of the larger community

  4. KŌKUA –  

    The value of honesty and reliability. Corresponding word: Reliable – keeps his/her word; shows up on time; has materials needed; uses breaks and transition times responsibly; finishes and submits work on time; is prepared.

  5. HO‘OKIPA –

    The value of hospitality, a hospitality of complete giving. Welcome guests and strangers with your spirit of Aloha. Corresponding word: Respectful – treats others as they would like to be treated; uses appropriate tone; knows and practices good manners; listens to others.

  6. Kuleana –

     One’s personal sense of responsibility. It drives self-motivation and self-reliance, for the desire to act comes from accepting our responsibility with deliverance and with diligence. Responsibility seeks opportunity.

  7. HA‘AHA‘A –

    The value of humility. Be humble, be modest, and open your mind and thoughts.

  8. ‘OHANA –

    Those who are family, and those you choose to call your family. As a value, ‘Ohana is a human circle of complete Aloha.

  9. MAHALO –  

    “Thank you”, as a way of living.Live in thankfulness for the richness that makes life so precious.

  10. MĀLAMA –

    The value of stewardship. To take care of. To serve and to honor, to protect and care for.

Recordings by: Alexander John Ali’i Achuara, age 4

Click below for a PDF file of this page.

Hawaiian Values

logo for KWK

Ask the L.O.C.A.L.’s

Click the Fish

Leave a Reply

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: