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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 similar in meaning and usage to the New Zealand Māori term whānau, and its cognate in Māori is kōhanga, meaning "nest".

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]

ʻOhana is a key theme in Disney's 2002 film, Lilo & Stitch, and throughout its accompanying franchise.

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] Archived September 8, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [2] Archived February 16, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [3] Archived February 20, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Honolulu Magazine, September, 2001, pp. 42–45". Angelfire.com. 1999-12-18. Retrieved 2014-08-05.