Patience, steadfastness, fortitude; to have patience, fortitude; patient, steadfast, courageous and persevering; to try one’s patience.

Now this is a word that I am sure you heard when you were growing up in Hawaiʻi. Hoʻomanawanui. Be patient. Literally, hoʻo- is a causative (causes the action to happen). Manawa = time. Nui = big/lots. To cause great time. Patience. And isn’t it interesting that patience is synonymous here with steadfastness and fortitude. For one to have patience you must have fortitude and be steadfast. Patience is not easy. Sometimes we want things to happen right away. Get it over with. But we need to hoʻomanawanui. Take the time to pause. Do not be afraid to give what needs time, time. Hoʻomanawanui to give the universe time to put things in order. In the words of a dear haumana of mine who is now my kumu, stop micromanaging the flow.

At times our patience is tested beyond what we may consider reasonable. These are the times when we must hoʻomanawanui even more! Create rest time, be patient. Though we can make choices to influence the outcome of certain events, we don’t always have control over the outcome. E hoʻomanawanui. Be patient.

When kupuna native speakers say this word it comes out sounding like homananui. I love it.

He kanaka hoʻomanawanui i ka lā a me ka ua – A man who patiently endures the sun and the rain.

He nohona hoʻomanawanui – A way of life that tries one’s patience.

E moni i ke koko o ka inaina, ʻumi ka hanu o ka hoʻomanawanui – Swallow the blood of wrath and hold the breath of patience.


Copyright:  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 Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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