Part of Hawaiian culture, ohana means family in an extended sense of the term including blood-related, adoptive or intentional. It emphasizes that family and friends are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. The term is cognate with (and its usage is similar to) the New Zealand Māori term whānau.
In Hawaiian, the word is ohana with the leading inverted apostrophe indicating a glottal stop or ‘okina.
The root word ohā refers to the root or corm of the kalo, or taro plant (the staple "staff of life" in Hawaii), which Kanaka Maoli consider to be their cosmological ancestor.
In contemporary Hawaiian life, an "ohana unit" is a part of a house or a separate structure on the same lot that may contain a relative but which may not be rented to the general public.