Aloha! If you’re looking to incorporate Hawaiian culture into your family or want to learn more about the meaning behind Hawaiian symbols, you’ve come to the right place. The island lifestyle is well-known for its emphasis on ohana, the Hawaiian word for extended family. Families in Hawaii have unique traditions that bind them together, often represented by ancient Hawaiian symbols that convey deep meaning. In this article, we’ll explore the traditional Hawaiian symbol for family and its origins and significance in Hawaiian culture.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The traditional Hawaiian symbol for family is three diamond shapes linked together known as the ‘ohana symbol. This represents the Three Generations of family members and the unbreakable bonds between them.

Origins and Meaning of the ‘Ohana Symbol

The ‘Ohana symbol is a traditional Hawaiian symbol that represents the concept of family. It is a meaningful and significant symbol that has been passed down through generations in Hawaiian culture. The word ‘Ohana itself means family in the Hawaiian language, and it encompasses not only immediate family members but also extended family and close friends who are considered part of the family.

Description of the Three Linked Diamonds

The ‘Ohana symbol is often depicted as three interconnected diamonds. Each diamond represents a member of the family, with the larger diamond in the center representing the parent or the head of the family. The two smaller diamonds on either side represent the children or other members of the family. The diamonds are linked together, symbolizing the strong bond and unity of the family.

This symbol is often seen in various forms of art and jewelry, such as pendants, bracelets, and tattoos. It serves as a reminder of the importance of family and the interconnectedness of its members.

Significance of Interconnectedness in Hawaiian Culture

In Hawaiian culture, the concept of interconnectedness is highly valued. The ‘Ohana symbol reflects this belief in the interconnectedness of family members and their close relationships. In Hawaiian society, family is considered the foundation of community and plays a central role in shaping an individual’s identity and values.

The ‘Ohana symbol also represents the idea of support and unity within the family. It serves as a reminder that family members are always there for one another, providing love, guidance, and a sense of belonging. It encourages the strengthening of family bonds and encourages individuals to prioritize their family relationships.

The Importance of Family in Hawaiian Traditions

In Hawaiian culture, family holds a sacred place and is considered the foundation of society. The concept of ‘ohana, meaning family, extends beyond immediate relatives and includes extended family, close friends, and even community members. Family ties are highly valued and play a significant role in shaping the lives of individuals.

How the ‘Ohana Symbol Represents Close Family Ties

The ‘Ohana symbol, commonly known as the Hawaiian symbol for family, represents the strong bonds and interconnectedness of loved ones. The symbol consists of four elements – two outer circles representing the parents, a larger central circle symbolizing the children, and a heart connecting them. This design signifies the unity, love, and support that family members provide to one another.

The ‘Ohana symbol serves as a reminder of the importance of family and the values that are cherished in Hawaiian culture. It encourages individuals to prioritize their family relationships and foster a sense of belonging and togetherness. Whether it is worn as jewelry, displayed in homes, or incorporated into tattoos, the ‘Ohana symbol serves as a visual representation of the deep-rooted family ties in Hawaiian traditions.

Traditions Reinforcing Family Bonds in Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture places great emphasis on nurturing close-knit family relationships. There are various traditions and practices that reinforce these bonds and promote a strong sense of family unity.

  • Ho’oponopono: This traditional Hawaiian practice focuses on resolving conflicts and restoring harmony within families. It involves open communication, forgiveness, and reconciliation, allowing family members to address and heal any issues that may arise.
  • Lei Giving: The act of giving leis, which are floral garlands, is an essential part of Hawaiian culture. Lei giving represents love, respect, and aloha (affection) towards family members. It is a gesture of welcoming, honoring, and acknowledging the importance of family bonds.
  • Family Gatherings and Celebrations: Hawaiians value spending quality time with their loved ones. Family gatherings and celebrations such as birthdays, graduations, and holidays are occasions for families to come together, share meals, stories, and create lasting memories.

Hawaiian traditions reinforce the idea that family is the cornerstone of one’s identity and wellbeing. By actively engaging in these practices, individuals can strengthen their family connections and foster a sense of belonging and support within their ‘ohana.

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How to Incorporate the ‘Ohana Symbol

The ‘Ohana symbol holds significant meaning in Hawaiian culture, representing the concept and importance of family. If you want to incorporate this beautiful symbol into your life, there are several creative ways to do so. Whether you want to display it in your home, wear it as jewelry or clothing, or even get a tattoo, here are some ideas to help you embrace the spirit of ‘Ohana.

Displaying the Symbol in Your Home

One of the most popular ways to incorporate the ‘Ohana symbol into your home is through artwork or wall decor. You can find beautiful prints or paintings featuring the symbol in various designs and colors. Hang it in a prominent place in your living room or hallway to serve as a reminder of the importance of family.

You can also consider adding the ‘Ohana symbol to decorative items such as throw pillows, blankets, or even tableware. This way, you can infuse your living space with the essence of ‘Ohana and create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your family and guests.

Adding the Symbol to Jewelry or Clothing

Another way to incorporate the ‘Ohana symbol into your life is by wearing it as jewelry or incorporating it into your clothing. There are various options available, from necklaces and bracelets to earrings and rings.

Consider choosing a piece of jewelry that features the ‘Ohana symbol as a centerpiece or engraving it on a pendant. This way, you can carry the symbol with you wherever you go, reminding yourself of the importance of family bonds.

If you prefer to incorporate the symbol into your clothing, you can look for t-shirts, hoodies, or hats that feature the ‘Ohana symbol. These items not only allow you to showcase your love for family but also serve as conversation starters, allowing you to share the significance of the symbol with others.

Tattoo Designs Featuring the ‘Ohana Symbol

If you are looking for a more permanent way to incorporate the ‘Ohana symbol into your life, consider getting a tattoo. Tattoo designs featuring the ‘Ohana symbol can be personalized to reflect your own style and preferences.

When choosing a tattoo design, think about the placement on your body and the size of the tattoo. Some popular choices include placing the symbol on the wrist, forearm, or shoulder. You can also add other elements such as flowers or waves to enhance the design and make it more unique to you.

Remember, getting a tattoo is a personal decision, so take your time to find a reputable tattoo artist who specializes in Hawaiian symbolism to ensure a beautiful and meaningful design.

Incorporating the ‘Ohana symbol into your life is a wonderful way to celebrate the importance of family. Whether you choose to display it in your home, wear it as jewelry or clothing, or even get a tattoo, the ‘Ohana symbol will serve as a constant reminder of the love and connection within your family.

The Enduring Significance of Family in Hawaii

Hawaii has a deep-rooted cultural value for family and community, and this is beautifully represented by the traditional Hawaiian symbol for family, known as “Ohana.” The word “Ohana” means family in the Hawaiian language, and it embodies the concept of extended family, including blood relatives, close friends, and even neighbors. The Ohana symbol holds great significance in Hawaiian culture, representing the importance of unity, support, and love within the family unit.

How the ‘Ohana Symbol Remains Relevant Today

Despite the ever-changing dynamics of modern society, the significance of family remains steadfast in Hawaii. The ‘Ohana symbol continues to be cherished and embraced by the Hawaiian people as a reminder of the importance of family ties and connections. It serves as a symbol of unity, reminding individuals to prioritize their loved ones and foster strong bonds within their families.

The ‘Ohana symbol also serves as a reminder to prioritize quality time and togetherness. In today’s fast-paced world, where technology often isolates us, the symbol encourages families to come together, spend time with one another, and create lasting memories. Whether it’s through engaging in cultural practices, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply sharing a meal, the ‘Ohana symbol reminds us to cherish these moments and strengthen our family bonds.

Passing Down Traditions to Younger Generations

The ‘Ohana symbol plays a vital role in passing down Hawaiian traditions and values to younger generations. Through storytelling, cultural events, and the use of the ‘Ohana symbol, elders educate the youth about the importance of family and community. This ensures that the significance of family remains a core value in Hawaiian culture for generations to come.

By incorporating the ‘Ohana symbol into various aspects of daily life, such as clothing, jewelry, and home decor, families can keep their cultural traditions alive and instill a sense of pride in their heritage. This serves as a visual reminder for younger generations to honor and embrace their family connections, preserving the cultural identity of Hawaii.


The traditional Hawaiian ‘ohana symbol remains an iconic representation of family heritage and identity in Hawaii today. With its simple yet profound message of intergenerational connection, this distinctive emblem succinctly captures the spirit of family that is so integral to Hawaiian culture. Next time you’re in Hawaii or wanting to celebrate your own family bonds, keep the ‘ohana symbol and its uplifting meaning in mind.

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