To prepare, make ready. 

It is a BUSY week for me. School is gearing up. My ʻohana from Denmark will be arriving on Saturday. I have a lot of work to do. I must hoʻomākaukau. PREPARE! Make ready.

If you live here in Hawaiʻi, for some reason, when you hear this being said out loud (because hula class is starting, for instance): “Hoʻomākaukau“, you will typically hear a response of ” ʻAe!”.


Hoʻomākaukau is being confused, many times, with mākaukau – Ready!

I swear, if I am with students, I can say this every single time…hoʻomākaukau (get ready) and inevitably a student (and sometimes an adult) will say: ʻAe (yes). Grrrr. Each time I will tell them, “No. Hoʻomākaukau means to get ready. When you hear me ask ‘Mākaukau?’then you will respond with an ʻae if you are, indeed, ready.”

Simple error. Breathe, Kumu.

Mākaukau means ready. Prepared. Bring it on. I am all set you bet.

Hoʻomākaukau means GET ready. Get in a state of preparedness. If hula is starting make sure you have your pā’ū on and you are in line and your hands are where they are supposed to be. Or if you are in class, your paper and pencil are ready or you are in a state of mind ready to learn. You are mākaukau as in you are all in a state of readiness.

Hoʻomākaukau is what your kumu (teacher) will say to get you in gear. When Kumu says “hoʻomākaukau” what she’s really saying is GET YOUR STUFFS IN GEAR BECAUSE IT IS TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL! And time is awasting. Get it together because we are about to start. Do what you need to do to get in a state of mākaukau-ness. Preparedness.

Do it.

E hoʻomākaukau i ke kaulaʻili – Get the lassos ready.

Ua hoʻomākaukau ʻia ka meaʻai e Māmā – Mom prepared the food.

ʻAʻole i hoʻomākaukau ʻia ka haʻawina o kēia lā – Today’s lesson wasn’t prepared.

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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