From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hānai is a term used in the Hawaiian culture that refers to the informal adoption of one person by another. [1] It can be used as an adjective, such as "hānai child", or as a verb to hānai someone into the family.

In the Hawaiian culture, hānai has historically been a practice of one family hānai-ing their child into another family. It has made tracing genealogical roots somewhat more complicated. [2]

When Winona Beamer spoke about the issue of hānai and its relevance to admission at Kamehameha Schools, she had first-hand knowledge of the practice in her immediate family. Kaliko Beamer-Trapp was born in England, but emigrated to the United States with his biological mother. When Beamer decided to hānai Kaliko into her family, it was with a special hānai ceremony. [3]

Other Polynesian cultures, such as the Tahitians and Māori (in which culture the phenomenon is known as whāngai), have similar practices of adoptions.

See also


  1. ^ Staton, Ron (August 24, 2003). "Native blood and custom clash". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  2. ^ "Hawaiian Dictionaries". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Life of the People". Ke Ola Magazine. November 1, 2011.

External links