Maha

nvs. Rest, repose, vacation; freedom from pain; at ease, comfort. See mahamaha 2. ho’o.maha Vacation; to take a rest or vacation; to retire, stop work; to obtain relief; to pause; rest in music.

There’s something about the summer. While it is probably one of the busiest times of the year (second maybe to Christmas), it is also a time to hoʻomaha – rest. Maha – rest. I know that’s what all my teacher friends have planned!

Thus, today’s He Momi is maha. Rest, repose, at ease. Vacation is hoʻomaha. E hoʻomaha kākou – Let’s take a rest. Ua hoʻomaha ʻo ia – He rested (retired). The word maha connotates feelings of utter freedom. Relief. Ua maha koʻu naʻau – My naʻau is at ease. In other words, I feel good about it (whatever it may be).

Hoʻomaha ʻole ke kai a Mokupaoa – The sea of Mokupaoa never rests (Said of anything or anyone who goes on and on without resting. Mokupaoa is a place name.)

Kuʻu ka luhi, ua maha -He has let down his weariness and is at rest (He is dead. He has left all his labors, all that wearied his mind and body, and now he is at peace).

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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2 Responses to Maha

  1. Kalei Kanuha says:

    Aloha e Liana, I love this resource! Mahalo for sharing your wisdom and knowledge.

    How might maha be used with regard to someone deciding to “rest” from treatment? For example, for someone who is very ill or has been on chemo, when they decide to stop tx but it is really to give their bodies a “rest” from the trauma of certain kinds of tx (like chemo that kills both bad and healthy cells), does maha refer to that kind of “relief?” Tx is supposed to relieve ailments and illness, but often brings its own kind of pain in side effects. Would we use maha for that purpose? What about someone who decides to stop tx because they know it is not working, and perhaps such a decision may hasten their death. It is a kind of relief, but still has more serious consequences. There are aspects of this maha that seems to fit here, but I’m not so clear. Mahalo again! With deepest gratitude, Kalei

  2. Liana says:

    Aloha e Kalei, mahalo nui for your kind words. Maha can most certainly be used in the instances you are referencing. “Hoʻomaha ʻia mai au i kuʻu hāʻawe, I am relieved of my burden.” Ho’omaha – to cause the rest. So when you choose to stop treatment for whatever reason that is really what you are doing. Obtaining relief. Putting it on pause, however permanent that pause might be. You can even say something like “maha ka na’au”, the insides are free/relieved, that feeling you get when a burden has been lifted off of your shoulders. Ua maha paha ka na’au o kou hoa ma muli o kona koho. Perhaps the “spirit” of your friend has been freed because of her choice. Ua ho’omaha ‘o ia i ka hana ʻana i ka lāʻau maʻi ʻaʻai – She “rested” from cancer treatment. One could use hoʻopau (put an end to; finish) for the same thing – Ua hoʻopau ʻo ia i ka hana ʻana i ka lāʻau maʻi ʻaʻai – She quit cancer treatment. Hope that helps.

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