From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Ohana (disambiguation).

Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. The term is cognate with (and its usage is similar to) the New Zealand Māori term whānau.

In current Hawaiian culture the term ʻohana is strictly used for blood relations.[citation needed] Non-familial groupings always instead use the word "hui".[citation needed]

In Hawaiian, the word ʻohana begins with an ʻokina, indicating a glottal stop.

The root word ʻohā refers to the root or corm of the kalo, or taro plant (the staple "staff of life" in Hawaii), which Kanaka Maoli consider to be their cosmological ancestor.

In contemporary Hawaiian economic and regulatory practice, an "ʻohana unit" is a part of a house or a separate structure on the same lot that may contain a relative but which may not be rented to the general public.[1][2][3]

Ohana is a key theme in Disney's 2002 film, Lilo & Stitch and the succeeding television series based on the film.

See also[edit]


  • Wight, K. 1997. Illustrated Hawaiian Dictionary, The Bess Press.
  • City & County of Honolulu 2003. Land Use Ordinance
  • Whitney, Scott 2001 Inventing 'Ohana[4]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ [2][dead link]
  3. ^ [3][dead link]
  4. ^ "Honolulu Magazine, September, 2001, pp. 42–45". Angelfire.com. 1999-12-18. Retrieved 2014-08-05.