In the native Hawaiian culture, “Imua” means “to move forward” or “to move ahead” toward a goal. It is also said that Imua is used to signify loyalty to Kamehameha or to express a deep commitment towards a feeling, idea or cause. The term Imua was made famous by King Kamehemaha I, the ali’i (king) who unified the islands. Before battle, Kamehameha would rally and call out to his warriors. He would say, “Imua e nā poki‘i a inu i ka wai ‘awa‘awa, ‘a‘ohe hope e ho‘i mai ai.” Which translates to: Forward my young brothers and drink of the bitter waters, there is no turning back.
To this day, the idea of Imua still motivates and determines native Hawaiians, and reminds us that we are stronger as one. The meaning of Imua teaches us to be headstrong, and to go at it with all of our might! Kamehameha was a symbol of strength to the native Hawaiians, reminding us to hold onto our values, traditions culture. It represents a sense of pride that has been passed down from generation to generation. Every day at Hilo Hattie, we are motivated by Kamehameha – to continue to spread aloha and hold the Hawaiian culture dear to us…. Imua e nā poki‘i
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