Today’s word is a nananana because I think it is one of the fun words to teach in a Hawaiian language class. Nananana is the Hawaiian word for spider. Anykine. Hawaiʻi has native nananana, the most popular being the happy face spider. This particular spider, called such because of the markings on his backside, lives under large leaves and catches his prey like flies and leafhoppers by kicking out a silk lasso. It is endemic to Hawaiʻi and resides on five islands. Interesting to note that another word for spider is lanalana. You will notice in many Hawaiian words, that frequently the letters l and n are interchangeable. Other examples are: noulu/loulu (a native palm), nuna/luna (up), ʻānunu/ʻālunu (greedy).

Nānā nā nananana i nā nananana – The spiders are watching the spiders.

Nāna i nānā i nā nananana – He is the one looking at the spiders.


Copyright: 2018 – 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] 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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