Ama

n. Outrigger float; port hull of a double canoe, so called because it replaces the float. Also iama. (PPN hama.)

Canoe paddlers know that the ama, attached by the ʻiako, is the outrigger float of the canoe. On a double hull canoe (like the Hōkūleʻa) the port hull (left side) is also known as the ama because it is considered the hull that keeps the waʻa kaulua (double hull canoe) afloat. Check out the parts of a double hull here.

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In this photo, you can clearly see the ama. As the steersman sits in the last seat on this waʻa (canoe) the ama is on her left side. Without the ama, attached to the canoe by the two ʻiako (the booms), the canoe would not be able to stay upright. Valuable right? Of course, every part of the canoe is valuable but without a good ama made of just the right material, the paddlers and steersman would not be able to go anywhere. Too heavy and moving would be difficult. Too light and the canoe easily flips over.

My inspiration for this post really comes from a valued employee whose “nickname” is Ama, short for Amanda. Like the ama of a canoe, Ama keeps our school afloat, helping balance the daily operations, always striving to do what is best for the keiki. That is what it is always about, right? And like the ama of a canoe, Ama is a vital part of our ʻohana. She keeps our waʻa moving forward.

 

He mea nui ke ama o ka waʻa – The ama of the canoe is important.

E makaʻala i ke ama – Be watchful of the ama (in a six man canoe it is important for those sitting in seats 2 and 4 to keep an eye out for the ama. If it starts to lift up high out of the ocean, they have to lean towards it, even grabbing onto the ʻiako to prevent the waʻa from a huli (flipping over).

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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