Is it spelled Mauna Kea or Maunakea?

For many years, we have referred to the highest peak on the island of Hawaii as Mauna Kea, meaning “White Mountain.” However, this changed in early 2014 in favor of the Hawaiian phrase, “Maunakea,” with no space. Maunakea is short for “Mauna a Wākea,” meaning the mountain of Wākea.

Wākea is the god of the sky in Hawaiian tradition, part of the chiefly ruling class of ali’i. The name Wākea itself means expansive space, zenith, or heaven.


Mauna Kea or Maunakea?

Wākea – Wikipedia

Photo by: Alan L – originally posted to Flickr as open wide. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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