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Kamaʻāina (pronounced ka-ma-EYE-na) is the Hawaiian language word for a long-term resident of the Hawaiian Islands. Literally "child of the land," it derives from the words "kama", meaning "child", and "ʻāina", meaning 'land'.[1] The word "kamaʻaina" describes Hawaiʻi residents regardless of their racial background, as opposed to "kanaka" which means a person of native Hawaiian ancestry.

A kamaʻaina in the traditional sense is someone born in Hawaiʻi or who has made their residence in the islands for many years. More recently, the definition of a kamaʻaina has been expanded to include anyone who currently lives in Hawaiʻi, or who once lived there but has moved away. The State of Hawaiʻi sponsors an official "Kamaʻaina Come Home" event each year, intended to increase the state’s labor pool by inducing Hawaiʻi college students and former residents who are now living in the continental United States to return to Hawaiʻi. The program has been successful in bringing qualified kama‘aina back to the Islands and in doing so, reuniting families.[2]

Many businesses in Hawaiʻi offer a "Kamaʻaina rate," an often sizable discount given to local residents. The usual requirement to obtain the discount is to show a Hawaiʻi driver's license, local military ID, or other local identification. These rates are offered primarily at restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.[3]


  1. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kamaaina
  2. ^ "About Us". Kama'aina Come Home. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Honolulu Magazine, June 2009