Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The mullet (both at the ʻamaʻama and the ʻanae stage) was and is the most important of the fresh or brackish water fish for Hawaiians. It is delicious both raw and cooked and is considered somewhat a delicacy.
Because fish is such an important food source in Hawaiʻi there are names not only for the different stages of a fishes life but for the mullet there are different names for the different seasonal migration period it is in. For instance, when they are migrating they are called ʻanae-holo (travelling mullet). When they remain off shore or returned from the journey, they re called ʻanae-pali (cliff mullet). But when are they known as an ʻanae as opposed to ʻamaʻama? ʻAmaʻama is about eight inches long and ʻanae is anything about 12 inches or more.
Here are a couple of place names given to honor the ʻanae:
Waiʻanae - Mullet water. (located on O'ahu) Now, because I have spent MANY years growing up in Waiʻanae I am particularly sensitive to its pronunciation. People tend to say "Waenae" (why-nye) when referring to this district on Oʻahu's leeward shore. Please be more attentive to its correct pronunciation: Wai = water. ʻAnae = mullet.
ʻAnaehoʻomalu - restricted or protected mullet. (located on Hawaiʻi island)
Keʻanae - the mullet. (located on Maui)
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