It took a battle for Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele’s to have the full 36 letters of her last name printed on her Hawaiian driver’s license.
It took KHON reporter Kanoe Gibson to correctly pronounce all 36 characters in a story the Honolulu FOX affiliate did about the State’s decision to include Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele’s full name on her license.
Gibson told TVSpy she grew up immersed in the culture. “Although I do not speak Hawaiian fluently, it is still considered the official language of the state (along with English), and many of us [have] grown up singing and speaking the language through the cultural practices (i.e. hula).”
While the length of Loke’s name, as Gibson referred to her after saying her full last name, may seem daunting to non-islanders, Gibson told TVSpy it’s not out of the ordinary, “In the Hawaiian culture, names are sacred and generally given by a family member such as a grandparent. The meaning of the name is believed to carry prophetic power. Shortening or splicing up a Hawaiian name would completely change the meaning of the name, which is why Loke says she refuses to do so.”
Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said she kept her husband’s name to honor him and his heritage after he died.