Place Names of Hanauma

An aerial map of area surrounding Hanauma Bay with place names documented



Hanauma was a preferred fishing spot of ancient Hawaiians and Hawaiian royalty.  Kamehameha the Great’s favorite wife, Kaʻahumanu, stayed at Hanauma for a month, holding hula competitions and uma (hand wrestling) contests. 

Hanauma Bay was also a canoe launching area for royalty traveling to Molokaʻi.  It is unlikely that Hawaiians had large settlements this area because of low rainfall, nutrient-poor soil, and lack of fresh water. 

Hanauma literally means “curved bay” or “hand wrestling bay.”

Pukuʻi, Mary Kawena, Samuel H. Elbert, and Esther T. Mookini. Place names of Hawaii.  Honolulu:  University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1976.
Sterling, Elspeth P. and Catherine C. Summers.  Sites of Oʻahu.  Honolulu:  Bishop Museum Press, 1978.