Earth Foundation

Stewards of the Land, Sea and Native Cultures

The ‘aina

Some local people say the ‘aina is the feeling of the land. And, many other locals say the ‘aina (pronounced “EYE-nuh”) is the feeling of everything combined: the land, the air, the water, the animals and birds, the people – the ONE’ness of feeling that seems to unite everything together into ONE.

In Hawaii many people can feel the ‘aina’s presence. The ‘aina can profoundly change a person. In Hawaii the ‘aina can be felt in the open countryside or by the ocean in a remote location far away from the concrete, cars, and buildings of “civilization.” Concrete and housing developments kill the ‘aina by cutting up the land and the feeling of the land.

The ‘aina is a great gift of Hawaii. The ‘aina will increasingly disappear in proportion to the amount of land development that occurs in Hawaii. To lose the ‘aina would be of great damage to Hawaii and would be harmful to the Aloha. (“Aloha” means an opening and sharing of the heart).

In Hawaii local people commonly know and were brought up with the ‘aina and they understand, treasure, and feel it. People knowingly talk to each other about the need to “protect the ‘aina.”