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Education: Online Activities

Hawaiian Star Compass

Select a category of knowledge recorded on the compass. First see the Hawaiian labels on the compass, and then for each category click “view English” to add blue English labels. Read more about the meanings of their Hawaiian names below the illustration.


The compass’ circular horizon is divided into four quadrants whose names are associated with winds that blow from those quadrants:

  • Ko‘olau: Windward, wind-facing, sides of the islands; the direction from which the north-east winds blow most constantly in Hawaii.
  • Malanai: A gentle breeze associated with Kailua, O‘ahu, Kōloa, Kaua‘i, and Hāna, Maui; on a wind map of Pukapuka, two “Malangai” winds blow from the Southeast.
  • Kona: Leeward, downwind, sides of the islands, away from the north-east trade winds; winds blowing from the south or southwest.
  • Ho‘olua: Name of a strong north wind, generated by storm systems passing north of the islands.

Credits: Hawaiian Star Compass, Copyright by C. Nainoa Thompson