Picture from unitedstreaming. The moon as seen from space.


Mahina is the Hawaiian word for moon. The moon was very important to the Ancient Hawaiians because it controlled the tides in the ocean. If the ocean was calm they could go fishing. People would know when to go fishing because of the different stages of the moon. On nights when the moon was in a certain phase, people would know when and what to go fishing for. The moon causes tidal changes in the ocean, the moon gives us two high tides a day one when the moon is directly overhead and one when the moon is directly opposite of us. Some times the moon also was a sign for when fish were coming in to spawn. The moon also helped farmers, when the moon was in a certain phase farmers would know when to harvest a certain plant or when to plant a certain plant. The moon was also a good source of light before they had the kukui nut candles.They also used the moon as a calendar to show when they needed to worship a god. Many believed that their villages would go into a time of loss if they didn't observe the moon. To make sure that didn't happen they always went and gave offerings to the gods. None of this could have happened without the moon. The moon is the second brightest object in the sky after the sun. It is Earths only natural satellite. The moon circles the Earth once every 29.5 days.


This is the story of how Hina came to live on the moon.
Hina's husband, Aikanaka was home again. He was not happy. Hina was happy living alone when her son Maui came to visit. Aikanakawas a fearless warrior and a bold hunter, but at home he was a teller of tall tales and hard to please. He would always command to Hina to make new malo for him and he always commanded her to get fresh food and water. One day Aikanaka commanded Hina to get him freshwater shrimp. While in the river a rainbow formed in front of her. She looked at it longing. She walked to the foot of the rainbow, took a step, and it held fast. She kept walking, but the sun beat down on her. She was a goddess, but it was useless up here. She fell back to earth. Night fell and Hina left carrying a water calabash and her favorite kapa board and beater. Aikanaka saw her and chased after her. A moonbow appeared before Hina and she set foot on it, but Aikanaka grabbed her ankle and twisted it. Still climbing in pain, Hina reached the moon.

She still lives there to this day. When thunder rumbles, it is Hina rolling away the stones that keep her kapa in place. On full moons you can still see her resting, with her twisted ankle.

 ‘ōlelo No‘eau:

Pali ke kua, mahina ke alo
back as straight as a cliff, face as bright as the moon
said of a good looking person

bible verse:
with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield;
Deuteronomy 33:14







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Pukui, Mary K. Olelo Noeau. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1983.

Thompson, Vivian L. Hawaiian Myths of Earth, Sea, and Sky. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1988.