In Hawaiian culture, Mauna a Wākea—the tallest mountain on Hawai‘i Island, more commonly referred to today as Maunakea—is revered as a sacred place. In mo‘olelo (stories), the mauna (mountain) is considered to be the child of Wākea, the sky father, and Papawalinu‘u, the earth mother. Upon the mountain summit, Wākea charged the creation god Kāne with custodianship over the mauna. Kāne gave birth to four fully-formed water goddess: Poli‘ahu, the goddess of the snow, Waiau the guardian of the lake, Kahoupōkāne, the guardian of both the summit of Mauna a Wākea and the summit of its sister, Maunaloa, and Lilinoe, the goddess of the mists.
MANAOLA honors the four sacred goddesses of the mountain through the Mauna print, which features four different mauna shapes. At the top is the shape representing Poli‘ahu. Waiau’s is placed at the bottom. Lilinoe’s is on the left and Kahoupōkāne’s on the right side of the pattern which, symbolically, is closest to Maunaloa and the older Mount Hualālai.