Maʻemaʻe Toolkit

Maʻemaʻe Toolkit

Hawai‘i is a special place, with a strong history and culture that today is host to a blend of cultures, activities, and experiences unique in the world. The Hawaiian Islands have captured imaginations around the world and drawn the attention of writers dating back to Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Along the way, some of those who have featured Hawai‘i have not always been intimately familiar with the islands. As a result, our home has often been misrepresented or inaccurately portrayed through the use of incorrect information, spelling errors, and inappropriate imagery. Authentically representing Hawai‘i is deeply important to the residents who call these islands home. Accordingly, it is important that the visitor industry do so with great care. 

Created in partnership with the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, the Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit is a concerted effort to address this concern as it relates to the way Hawai‘i is marketed as a global visitor destination. The toolkit will provide you with the essential information you need to accurately and authentically promote the Hawaiian Islands. From geographical and cultural information, to descriptions of Hawai‘i traditions and customs, this is your guide for basic knowledge about Hawai‘i.

The name of this toolkit is Maʻemaʻe, which translates to cleanliness and purity in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (the Hawaiian language). The word’s meaning is of particular significance to this project as it represents the idea that descriptions of and promotions relating to Hawai‘i should be “clean, attractive, and pure.” That is, they should be free from misrepresentations and inaccuracies.

HTA encourages everyone with an interest in the Hawaiian culture – be it learning more about the Hawaiian people, music, language, individual islands or history – to utilize the Maʻemaʻe Toolkit. It is free to download and bookmark, and available to everyone.

Download the Ma‘ema‘e Toolkit in English and Japanese.

Additional Hawaiian Language Tools

Language is not only a major vehicle for communicating thoughts and feelings, but also a fundamental expression of culture and identity. When representing any culture in copy, it is important to respect the language by adhering to appropriate rules of spelling, diacritics, and grammar. The Hawaiian language, in particular, is perhaps the most defining aspect of its culture. Considering this, it is especially important to represent Hawai'i and its culture both accurately and sensitively in any type of marketing material.