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Kamaaina (Hawaiian: kamaʻāina, literally "child or person of the land" [1] ) is a word describing Hawaii residents regardless of their racial background, as opposed to "kanaka" which means a person of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

A kamaaina may be considered to be someone who lives in Hawaii, or might be expanded to include people who once lived there but have moved away. The State of Hawaii sponsors an official "Kamaaina Come Home" event each year, intended to increase the state’s labor pool by inducing Hawaii college students and former residents who are now living in the continental United States to return to Hawaii. The program has been successful in bringing qualified kama‘aina back to the Islands and in doing so, reuniting families.[2]

Many businesses in Hawaii offer a "Kamaaina rate," an often sizable discount given to local residents. These rates are offered primarily at restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.[3]

This original meaning has broadened over time to include long-term residents. First those whose ancestors came before certain dates in the 1800s until today it is commonly applied to anyone who has been in the islands for a decade or more. Many merchants today offer these "kamaaina discounts" to anyone with a local ID.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pukui & Elbert, New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary (University of Hawaii Press, 1975, 1992)
  2. ^ "About Us". Kama'aina Come Home. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Web Exclusive: Kamaaina Summer Discounts". Retrieved 26 December 2015.