1. nvs. Wind, breeze; gas in the stomach, flatulent wind; windy; to blow. Fig., anger, gossip; to show anger. Cf. ani. Makani nui, strong wind, gale. Makani ʻoluʻolu, fair wind. Mai walaʻau aʻe hoʻi o makani auaneʻi (saying), don’t talk too much or the wind will blow [gossip]. Hāmau o makani auaneʻi, be still or there will be anger. Kali i ka makani ʻōahi, wait for the firebrand wind. (PPN matangi.)
2. n. Ghost, spirit. See kahuna makani.
3. interj. Call of sentinel, similar to “all’s well”.
It is brrrr right now at my hale (house). I can hear it blowing through the trees in the pasture, howling. Makani is the general term for wind. When I say general, I mean general because depending on where you are in the islands, each district pretty much has a name unique to that particular area. Below are just three examples but the list goes on and on. You will find specific wind names in a story/book called “The Wind Gourd of Laʻamaomao”, in the dictionary, and in numerous mele/songs, and many other sources.
Kaiāulu – a wind in Waiʻanae
Kūehulepo – a wind in Kaʻū (to stir up dirt)
Wehelauniu – a wind in Laupāhoehoe (opening the leaves of the coconut tree)
Whenever you come across a language that has specific names for winds, rains, currents, and the like, you know that you have come across a people who are in tune with the land and sea, who rely on a keen sense of place and nature’s forces interacting with the land. In Kaʻū, if you are there long enough, you will feel how the wind stirs up the lepo, different from the gentle trade winds you may experience in Waiʻanae, cooling you on those hot days.
In addition to translating as wind or windy, makani can also refer to gas of the flatulence variety. We don’t want to be around that kind of makani. Figuratively, makani can also refer to anger or gossip. Can you picture it?
A kahuna makani refers to a priest who induced spirits to possess a patient so that he might then drive the spirits out, thus curing the patient.
Ka makani kāʻili aloha – The wind that snatches love
Ikaika ka makani i kēia lā – The wind is strong today.
Copyright: 2016 – 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]. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.