n. Airplane, flying ship. Ma ka mokulele, by air.
Let’s take this word apart – moku – ship, district or island. lele – to fly. Flying ship. Or flying island. That kind of says it right? Gives a good visual. And a good insight into how “new” Hawaiian words are developed. In this case, a description of the word is translated into Hawaiian.
Last week I flew from Hilo to PDX (Portland) on the Hawaiian Airlines. You might be able to find a hui mokulele (airline or literally airplane group) with better flight benefits or more room or cheaper fares, but for many reason I love Hawaiian Airlines. Heck, I loved Aloha Airlines, too. There is definitely something about being on a plane with kuene mokulele (flight attendants) who look familiar to me, like I could have gone to school with them (or taught them). They’ve got flowers in their ears, black pearls around their neck, they probably know members of my family or some really good friends of mine. They are part of my home. My moku (island/district).
Yeah they have a monopoly on interisland flights but we all wanted to see the last competitor go (GO! – pun intended). I like to think the best, even in for profit companies. And so while I may not appreciate the prices of flights from one island to another, I do appreciate the fact that so many of my ʻohana members make their living working for this mokulele. And happily so. I see their posts from faraway places, with their fellow kuene mokulele or pailaka (pilots), happy as can be to have a good job that pays their mortgage WHILE benefitting their spouses and circles of friends.
E lele ana au ma ka hui mokulele Hawaiian – I am going to fly on Hawaiian Airlines.
Nui ka mokulele – The airplane is big.