‘Ohana is the Polynesian idea of intentional family.  Polynesian ‘ohana were the original unit of society (NOT the married couple) and were bisexual and polyamorous. Like a small unit of a tribe. The ‘ohana system still exists on remote islands, and is a powerful influence in “local” Hawaiian culture.

Christianity, modernism, epidemics and immigration have swamped and suppressed this.

 

‘Ohana can currently be the people you live with in a large household, or refer to the people you ecnomically share with (such as loaning cars, tools, money), or both. Hawaiians trade children and “hanai out” relatives they cannot manage. Polynesian ‘ohana were the original unit of society (NOT the married couple) and were bisexual and polyamorous. Like a small unit of a tribe.

Ohana From Wikipedia: Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family in an extended sense of the term including blood-related, adoptive or intentional. It emphasizes that family and friends 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 Hawaiian, the word is ʻohana with the leading inverted apostrophe (ʻ) indicating a glottal stop or ‘okina.

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 life, 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.

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  1. […] not monogamous… at all. This is a new TED Lecture. The Old Polynesian unit of society was the Ohana, rather like the […]

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