Manawai, Holoikauaua (Pearl and Hermes Atoll)

Manawai, which means “warped, depressed or bent in,” provides the imagery of the spiritual process of bending inward to reveal the unchanging nature of one’s true undying spirit. It can also be defined as “branching water.” Wai can also refer to “wailua” or “spirit.” This interpretation focuses on the transitional nature of water as a natural element.




The name Holoikauaua celebrates the Hawaiian monk seals that haul out and rest here. Holoikauaua directly relates to the word ‘īlioholoikauaua, which literally translates to “the quadruped running in the rough seas.”

A monk seal turns in the water next to Holoikauaua attoll

Pearl and Hermes atoll - aerial view

Holoikauaua is a true atoll that is primarily underwater and has numerous islets, seven of which are above sea level. While total land area is only around 0.22 square miles, the reef area is huge, over 450 square miles.


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Microscope; Illustration: Noun Project

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Map Marker; Illustration: Noun Project

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Waves; Illustration: Noun Project

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