n. Student, pupil, apprentice, recruit, disciple (Mat. 10.1).

Haumana. Student (a.k.a. learner). Despite the high incidence of “failure” for Hawaiian haumana in our public school system I want everyone to know that it is not because Hawaiians are not capable of “succeeding in a regular” school setting (get ready because I am jumping on my soap box). I mean, after all, Hawaiʻi does boast the first school west of the Rockies (Lahainaluna School in Maui).  In fact, Lahainaluna was one of the first high schools in the nation! And there were many Hawaiian scholars that were schooled at Lahainaluna. And we still utilize many of their papers today. And don’t even get me started on the incredibly high number of newspapers that appeared on all islands. All in Hawaiian, full of facts, stories, obituaries, ads. All in Hawaiian! Primary sources! Hawaiians did well in school. They were quite literate, in fact, far more literate than many caucasians living throughout the United States. Hawaiʻi was one of the most literate places, per capita, in the world during the early to mid 1800s.

In 1896 a law was passed that forbade the use of Hawaiian language in public schools. Yes. As if learning in a language other than your own is impossible. Let me rip your language, the root of your identity, from your life and see what kind of impact that has on your life and the life of your ʻohana and subsequent generations. Ah yes. Perhaps we shall delve further into this in a future momi post.

What was the word again? Oh yes. Haumana. Student. Hawaiians love learning. Hawaiians are not afraid to succeed. We are great haumana. Put us in a school that values our culture and history and LANGUAGE and we will thrive. Think Hawaiian immersion schools and Hawaiian focused charter schools. Yes. Those are working much better for us. We are great students. We love to learn. Just make it more about our own lives and not someone else some from some far away place (think squirrels, snow and four seasons).

Haumana aʻo ʻoihana – technological student, trainee, apprentice

Haumana komo hou – new student, freshman

Hoʻo.hau.māna – To act as a pupil, become a pupil

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] 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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