Where Is Moana From?
Moana is an eight-foot tall ocean goddess and the daughter of a sea god and a sea witch. She is half human, half turtle-like in appearance, and has brown hair that is long and messy-muddy. She has blue eyes and a mischievous personality. Her magic wand, which can change the form of any object or person, forms water to create visibility and creates the wind to blow away sand.
Moana lived among the Maori when they were carving the rocks on Easter Island more than four thousand years ago. These early Polynesian voyaging people must have had many questions about the ocean, since Polynesians are the first people to discover the ocean. Moana may have learned about the ocean through this early Polynesian contact. It is possible that Moana learned about the ocean while she was a child growing up on the Hawaiian Islands. That would make her a Polynesian by her parents, which would also explain why there is such a long pause between Moana’s birth and her voyaging to Polynesia.
Many modern-day Polynesians claim to know Moana’s true identity. However, there is no historical evidence that anyone of interest would come forward before Moana. The main clues are her words when she was a child. One legend says that Moana told her folks that she was born in Hawaii, but really that she was born on Kauai, because that is where her parents, the Moala family, came from. Another version of Moana’s story says that Moana was born on Polynesia, but that Kauai was where her real home was. These two stories almost certainly are not true.
So where is Moana from? Some Polynesian myths say that Moana was a chief among the Maori. She was the daughter of an angry god and the goddess of death, Tahu. The myth says that Tahu transformed Moana into a beautiful water maid so that she could warn against the impending danger. Another version of Moana’s story tells of Moana being born on an island called Oahu (the place where the national landmark Oahu stands today). Since Moana was a legendary sea goddess, one might suppose that she would have been born on an ocean.
All these stories about Moana are probably based on oral traditions that have become blended into our cultural subconscious over time. It is impossible to be certain about Moana’s original language or her original culture. However, there are a number of things that can be considered to be indicative of Polynesian cultures when it comes to Polynesian languages. For example, Samoan, Tahitian, Hawaiian, and Maori all have a word for “sea” in their vocabulary, as do many Polynesian languages. It seems likely that Polynesian mariners were once traveling along the east cost of Africa when they came across areas populated by Maori and Samoan fishermen who spoke Polynesian languages.
Interestingly, nowhere on Earth is Moana the original Polynesian language. This is because Polynesians are not really people (but merely a set of cultures) but instead are an ethnic group. This is evident in how Hawaii has been referred to as Mo’aleo instead of Mo’OA, which is what its original Hawaiian language would have sounded like. Another example of this is that, in American Sign Language, people who learn ASL do not refer to it as “Hawaiian” but “American Indian.” The reason for this is that ASL was invented by and used by American Indians.
Polynesians themselves do not have a common alphabet for their alphabets. Because of this, some Hawaiian words that Polynesians learned may appear differentially on Polynesian keyboards. An example of this is that, in Hawaiian, the word “malaka” can mean “great, large” or “pot.” The Polynesian version of this word would be “huli’i.” In addition, there are no clear-cut words between Polynesian and Hawaiian alphabets that indicate the exact meaning between the two languages.
So, although the question “where is Moana from?” may seem tricky, Hawaii does have a palindromic equivalent to Polynesian origin. It is the Hawaiian alphabet. Although not entirely developed and maintained by Hawaiian cultures, the palindromic origin of the Hawaiian alphabet makes it a good replacement for Moana. To the Polynesian voyager, Moana would probably have been” ali’i,” which simply means “the ocean’s waves.” It’s a good thing that Polynesian voyages did not last too long because they may have missed Hawaii’s beautiful moai statues!