Friday, February 26, 2021

'AUMAKUA: Cruising on a Sea of Hawaiian Words #AlohaFriday

Common House Gecko

The gecko is my 'aumakua. The grayish, almost camouflaged gecko pictured above is one of the friendly fellows that visits my lanai during the day, and chirps away at night.

Known as Hemidactylus frenatus, this common house gecko arrived in Hawai'i from Asia around World War II. Aside from bringing good luck to my home, the gecko eats roaches and mosquitoes. While it takes both a male and a female common gecko to reproduce, the mourning gecko (of which only the female inhabits the islands of Hawaii) clones itself.

In Hawaiian mythology, an 'aumakua is a family god, often a deified ancestor, that takes the form of an animal. If ones chosen 'aumakua appears, it is regarded as a good omen. Many legends tell of an 'aumakua manifesting itself to save a descendant from harm.

Although more popular forms of 'aumakua among Hawaiians are the crow, turtle, shark, owl, and hawk, I've chosen the gecko as my 'aumakua for two reasons. First, because I am a kama'aina (a word describing Hawai'i residents regardless of their racial background, as opposed to kanaka which means a person of Native Hawaiian ancestry), I would not presume to choose a more traditional Hawaiian form. Second, the gecko is considered good luck to have in the home, almost a blessing which is a revered practice in Hawai'i. 

Actually, there is a third reason: Geckos are just so darned cute.



  1. That's cool about the mourning gecko. They are very cute :)

  2. Never seen a gecko before, not many lizards here. Strange creatures, but interesting.

  3. Interesting about the cloning gecko. Cheers for the info.
    Moody Writing

  4. Geckos are cute! We used to have little lizards like that in Albuquerque.

  5. We do have little lizards like this in Albuquerque. They're adorable.

  6. I've never seen a real cute!! Found you from the A-Z Challenge, so far it’s been a lot of fun, with maybe with a little bit of stress thrown in!! I’m now following you on GFC and I hope you have a chance to check out my blog!

  7. Some people don't find the gecko so cute because of all the little "gifts" it leaves, but I love 'em.
    I've visited the other blogs, now I'm on my way to visit:

  8. I use to live in Honolulu; I have fond memories of them sneaking in and out of my house! Fun to read and remember~ Nice to meet you!

  9. Hi Ella, I enjoyed your article about ghosts. Also came across another blogger who chose Ghosts for G day. No one else seems to believe except me.

  10. Hey, I learned something new here and I like it! Thanks for sharing all this information. I'm going to share some of these facts with my kids. They'll be intrigued too. Happy to meet you through the challenge.


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