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maiʻa Pukui-Elbert, Haw to Eng,

n., All kinds of bananas and plantains.

  • Examples:
    • Pala ka maiʻa, the bananas are ripe [a rude expression].
    • Hoʻohui ʻāina pala ka maiʻa, annexation is ripe bananas (no good for us).
  • References:
    • For banana cultivation, see Kam. 76:37–9.
    • Neal 245-51.
    • PEP m(a,e)ika.
  • Notes:
    • Originally the banana was introduced by the Hawaiians, and native varieties were developed, some of which are still used. When the white man came, about 70 different kinds were known; today, only about half that number. These are mainly varieties of Musa xparadisiaca, especially the varieties sapientum and normalis. Some kinds are eaten raw, others cooked.
    • Bananas were taboo to women except certain ones, as maiʻa iho lena and maiʻa pōpō ʻula, with yellow flesh.
    • Bananas are not mentioned in songs because of unfavorable connotations: see līlā, ʻolohaka.
    • It was considered bad luck to dream of bananas, to meet a man carrying bananas, or to take them in fishing canoes.

See entries tagged maiʻa.

Tags: flora foods maiʻa

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