Tuesday, September 8, 2009


1.  Many, numerous, four thousand; thick.  
2.  To throw, as a stone; to aim at and hit.  
3.  Short for Mano-ka-lani-pö.

This is not the word for shark.  That word is manō (pronounced mah-NOH).  Big difference.  Mano, more frequently than not, refers to a large number.  See, Hawaiians didn't have precise big numbers like we do today.  I mean, in our lives today it's important to know whether we have $4,839.00 versus $4,622.79.  Well, at least to most people.  But in traditional Hawaiʻi, if it was around 4,000 it was mano.  Also manomano (there's one of those reduplicated words, a common occurence in Hawaiian).  There are other words that refer to great numbers, such as kini, lehu, lau.

Mano is also short for Manokalanipō, famous ruler in ancient times of Kauaʻi.  In fact, Kauaʻi is known to many as Kauaʻi o Mano (Kauaʻi of Mano) or Kauaʻi o Manokalanipō.

He lau ka puʻu, he mano ka ihona - many hills, numerous descents (said of trouble)

Ua nui a manomano ka ʻikena a ka Hawaiʻi - Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiian.

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