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Hawaiian CUltural Studies


Aloha is a gift from the people of Hawaii to the world. It is the spiritual essence of life. The Aloha Spirit elevates, empowers and ennobles us and keeps Hawaii the uniquely special place that it is.


  • ALOHA is more than a word of greeting, farewell or a salutation.

  • ALOHA means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.

  • ALOHA is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.

  • ALOHA means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.


The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings us to our Self. Each person must think and extend good feelings to others.

Pilahi Pakî - A Maui Legend

The sacred ‘Aloha Spirit Law’ was written by Auntie Pilahi Pakî. It is an actual law recorded in 1986 in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 5-7.5. It acknowledges that the Aloha Spirit was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians. All citizens and government officials of Hawaii are obligated by law to conduct themselves in accordance with this law, while performing their duties and obligations, as well as in their day-to-day living. Likewise, those visiting our fair islands are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with this Hawaiian law. These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people:

In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to The Aloha Spirit. [L 1986, c 202, §1]

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    Kindness, to be expressed with tenderness


    Unity, to be expressed with harmony


    Agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness


    Humility, to be expressed with modesty


    Patience, to be expressed with perseverance

“To the Hawaii of Old, The Spirit of Aloha was a concept REAL and vital to the existence of her people. Aloha was the spiritual essence of life. Aloha was a philosophy, a way of living, a code in life. The Aloha Chant defines and expresses the characteristics and traits of that Spirit. These words were not composed by, but conveyed, to Pilahi Pakî, a makua (parent/elder) with a purpose and responsibility …a kuleana. That kuleana was to carry and pass on the message of Aloha…”“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that, some have entertained angels unaware.” – Hebrews 13-2. O ke aloha ke kuleana o kâhi malihini. “Love is the host of strange places.”

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