Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mahina

hulaaloha
Hula Mahina (source)

Mahina is a Hawaiian name meaning "moon." In Hawaiian mythology Mahina was a moon deity. In some versions Mahina has a son, Hema, but in other accounts he and his brother Puna had a mother named Hina (which means "girl") who was upset by her children and fled to the moon. Hina was also the name of several goddesses in Polynesian mythology, but in Hawaii she was strongly connected to the moon. By fleeing to the moon she becomes its goddess. A different woman, Hina of Hilo, was known as the Hawaiian Helen and kidnapped by Prince Kaupeepee of Molokai. The goddess Mahina or Hina may also be the same as Hawaiian goddess Lona, who fell in love with the mortal man Aikanaka, and their story ends with both dying peacefully of old age. All three of these goddesses, regardless if they are one in the same, may have been based on the Roman goddess Luna, who is essentially the same as Greek goddess Selene, Greek goddess Artemis, Roman goddess Diana and Greek goddess Hecate, although each is just different enough to be their own deity.

Mahina is also a place in French Polynesia and a small town in Mali, which is also a  French colony, which is in Africa.

Models Mahina Alexander and Mahina Garcia, and pro surfer Mahina Maeda are examples of this name. There is a band called Mahina Movement.

In 2013 Mahina was used 24 times for girls in the U.S., which is the most popular it has been. On the U.S. top 1000 it popped up in 1974. In 2013 it ranked #63 for names used in Hawaii with 15 births - meaning 9 girls named Mahina were born elsewhere last year. Surprisingly, not too many traditional Hawaiian girls names were on that list. In company with Mahina were Leilani, Kiana, Kira, Kalea, Kiara, Kalia, Anela, Kalena, Kaia and Kaila.

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