1. nvt. To twist, braid, spin; twisted, braided; threadlike; faint streak of light.

2. (Cap.) n. First night of the new moon. See Malo 35. (PCP filo.)

3. (Cap.) n. Name of a famous Polynesian navigator for whom the city and district may have been named. 

4. Same as mauʻu HiloHilo grass.

5. n. Gonorrhea; a running sore (Oihk. 15.3).

6. n. A variety of sweet potato.

And not to mention one of my favorite towns in Hawaiʻi paeʻāina, HILO!

Hilo was rocking last week with Merrie Monarch in full force. That must be why the word is on my mind.

Hilo, as a common noun, is most often used when referring to a style of lei making known as hilo, today most often done with lāʻī, or ti leaf.

Today’s moon is also Hilo. That first sliver of moon after a no moon night. That is Hilo. Look up. That sliver brings Hilo all the way to you. Sad you cannot be in Hilo town? There it is. In the sky. Hilo. Oh, and today’s Hilo moon also brings us into a new month, that of Ikiiki which means humid. Oh oh.


Ua hilo ʻia i ke aho a ke aloha – braided with the cords of love.

ʻEleʻele Hilo, panopano i ka ua – Dark is Hilo, clouded with the rain.

ʻAʻohe sananā, he mauʻu hilo – Nothing to shout about, it is only hilo grass (said of a trifling matter that is not worth fussing over).

Hala ka Puʻulena aia i Hilo, ua ʻimi akula iā Papalauahi – The Puʻulena breeze is gone to Hilo in search of Papalauahi (said of one who has gone away or of one who finds himself too late to do anything).

Copyright: 2017 – 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 without written consent. 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. Address 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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2 Responses to Hilo

  1. Thompson, Eloise says:

    Hi again: Love this one! I’m in and out of Hawai’i again…I got to go to quite a lot of the Merrie Monarch (my technique for the late night ‘Auana was to leave Hilo at the intermission, drive home and catch the last part on TV). How are you liking your new job? We’ll catch up with each other eventually…Eloise

    Eloise K. Thompson

    315 South 1st West

    Missoula, MT 59801

    406-549-3636 home

    406-531-5644 cell


  2. Liana says:

    Mahalo, Eloise! In and out! I am so glad you get to make it home every few months. Let us try to meet up next time, okay? In the meantime, I do make it a point to say aloha to your brother when I see him in my favorite store in Kona. Take care!!!

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