nvi. Feast, dinner party, banquet; to feast, Lit., meal gathering. Many types of ʻahaʻaina are listed below. hō.ʻaha.ʻaina To feast, give a feast.

Literally, ʻahaʻaina means “meal gathering (ʻaha-gathering; ʻaina-meal). Hawaiian had many types of ʻahaʻaina. And we continue to honor this feast gathering. ʻAhaʻaina were held for enjoyment, celebration or to commune with and seek the help of the gods. Contrary to many beliefs that fasting is the way to bring one closer to one’s god, Hawaiians believed that feasting was the way to commune with gods. Maybe that’s why Hawaiians still enjoy a good party!Food, Hawaiians know, is important to the gods. That is why they frequently offer the first or best catch or fish to the altar of the fish god as well as their best produce from the crops that are grown. What we call a lūʻau today would have been called an ʻahaʻaina in older times. Lūʻau refers to the young taro leaves used to make lūʻau heʻe.

E hele kākou i ka ʻahaʻaina – Let’s go to the feast.

Ua ʻono ka ʻai ma ka ʻahaʻaina – The food at the feast was delicious.

Here are a couple of ʻōlelo noʻeau that doesn’t use our momi of the day but it does show the reverence Hawaiians have for food.

ʻO ke aka kā ʻoukou ʻo ka ʻiʻo kā mākou – Yours the shadow; ours the flesh. (A phrase used in prayers dedicating a feast to the gods. The essence of the food was the gods, and the meat was eaten by those present.)

Mai hoʻomāuna i ka ʻai o huli ʻauaneʻi ʻo Hāloa e nānā – Do not be wasteful of food lest Hāloa turn around and stare. (Do not be wasteful, especially of poi, because it would anger Hāloa, the taro god, who would someday let the waster go hungry.)


2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proberbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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