What’s in a Name?

August 18, 2022

In 2010, when Timbers Kauaʻi at Hōkūala was still under construction, the Timbers ‘ohana asked their employees to help name the buildings that were being constructed. Hualani Duncan (now 13 years with the property,) offered her help. In Hawaiian culture, to give something a name holds great weight, Hualani explained, “there is life and death in a name,” so to give a name is to give meaning and purpose. When she was called upon to name the buildings that would sit on property, overlooking the ocean and Mt. Hāʻupu, Hualani asked the powers that be, Akua, na kūpuna, and the land itself for guidance. 

Hualani sat where each building would be, under the Hawaiian night sky, and asked the ancestors for guidance in accepting Timbers as new owners of the property. This practice is called mana pule, imi uhane a ke Akua, or spiritual seeking. She felt Timbers’ aim to share in the culture and respect those before them. She asked how to name these new buildings, and through ke Akua, the buildings were given a name, and in a sense, born.

THE BUILDINGS

KAIHOLO

The Hawaiian word “kaiholo” means the movement of the sea, or flowing sea. Hualani drew this name from the location of the building. Looking out to the ocean from Kaiholo, you can see the moving current, and feel the pull of Kaiholo welcoming you home. Hualani described it as a mesmerizing trance, and a welcoming pull with the warmth of aloha.

In designing Kaiholo, this meaning was taken into account. Each residence has a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living and lanais that extend to the ocean’s edge. The interior is sea-inspired with shades of blue and granular movement in the natural stone tiles and surface materials. 

MALIULĀ

The Hawaiian word “maliulā” means enveloping in aloha. Hualani explained that maliulā means to heed or look upon with favor. It embodies being treated with warmth and kindness, and encourages visitors to drop their ukana (luggage) and let the stress of the day melt away. We like to think of Maliulā as a happy place of relaxation, a feeling of genuine kindness, and a place to reflect on the day and return to self.

Maliula 2403

Maliulā’s homes reflect the feeling of greeting the day with a grateful heart. They are peaceful abodes surrounded by nature. The interior is relaxing with grayed woods and textured white oak flooring and millwork with elegant touches of silvered iridescent stone tile and glass.

LĀOLA

The Hawaiian word “lāola” means “dawn of a new day, (the breath of life)” – lā (day) ola (life.) Hualani explained that laola is the action of greeting the day, expressing new life, and a fresh breath of air. This practice of greeting the day and others with goodness, kindness, harmony and peace is a way to nurture what you put out to come back to you. 

LĀOLA NANI

“Lāola Nani” in Hawaiian means “beautiful life”. Awaken to aloha where the aesthetic is quintessentially Hawaiian, but with a fresh, contemporary feel. Featuring natural textures and an ecocentric focus, here the colors are subdued and simplicity of design creates a calming harmony throughout. Here too is discovery and awe, for beauty is found in the familiar and the new.

THE RESTAURANT

As you may have noticed, Hualani is not only a dedicated employee of Timbers, but she is also the namesake for our on-site farm-to-table restaurant! Hua(lani) meditated on the name for the restaurant as well, and heard “farm-to-table.” She submitted what she gained from her mana pule, imi uhane a ke Akua, and was soon told by the Timbers ‘ohana that they had chosen a name for the restaurant…hers.

Hualani’s was named to honor Hua’s dedication to the property and culture. The Timbers owners were so touched by Hua taking the time to seek ke Akua that they wanted to honor her by naming the restaurant after her. Hua lani also means “fruit of heaven,” the owners told her. Hualani explained that her name actually means “royalty,” and they all agreed that dining at Hualani’s and sharing that mana makes us all feel like royalty, so the name was perfect.

THE ‘ĀINA

Hōkūala, or “rising star” is perfectly named, as a call back to the stars that ancient Polynesian way finders used to discover our island more  than 1,500 years ago. The property offers a rare and delicate balance between adventure and serenity, discovery and accessibility, luxury and authenticity, and most importantly, a connection with the land. We like to think that Hōkūala unites us all in the discovery and celebration of the island, its culture, and its people.

Pictured L to R: Elise, Kellie and Hua

Curious about other elements around our property that hold a special meaning? Check out our Breadfruit blog and understand the importance of this Hawaiian pattern.