“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1)
The naming of our daughter didn't come all at once, but it was a very enjoyable and interesting experience for our first born :)
First Name: Māhie
Throughout my pregnancy, I always felt that our soon-to-be baby seemed very, very happy kicking inside of me. Even at my ultrasound visits there was always a warm feeling of joy that filled the room. She was already charming her way into our hearts before she was even born. I wanted a name to describe all of these emotions we felt and saw in this little spirit. And as we all know, every OTHER language is far more beautiful and meaningful than English. Plus since we do have an English last name, I told James once our dating turned serious that I wanted our children, at least one to have a Polynesian first name. (Because how you get one samoan with a white last name, ya blurted that out when I first met him) We came across "māhie" in the Hawaiian language through poetry, and its meaning was exactly the description of carrying our daughter for nine months and then observing her personality in person.
In Hawaiian, "Māhie" means: delightful, charming, pleasant
Growing up in Hawaiian culture, it was already a given that our daughter would have a Hawaiian middle name. It would just be weird not having one, haha. I didn't know how Samoans work, lol, since not all of James' siblings have a Samoan middle name, but we both agreed on having middle names in honor of our cultures. She doesn't have a middle Navajo name, since that isn't apart of Navajo culture really. Umm, drive out to the Rez and everyone has English names....hello! Oh, and they don't live in 'teepee's' either fyi. Some people (cause I can read it all over their faces) may seem that we're neglecting her Navajo side without a name, nope not at all. For her, like my siblings and I, through our mother and from our grandparents we each are born to clans within our tribe. There are tons & tons of different clans, which in a way describes who you are, your relatives, even who you can/can't marry, etc within the Navajo people...like myself, Mahie is of the Naakai dine'e (The Mexican People clan) through my Grandma Yazzie, and the Honaghaahnii (One-Walks-Around clan) through my Grandpa. There are more we inherit from Great-Grandparents and on, however these are our nearest in genealogy. These I have always considered my Navajo names. So that was to all those confused people wondering why we didn't name her Pocahontas.
Māhie is named after my little & only sister Hillary "Ka'uipuaonālani". Literally in Hawaiian it means like the beautiful flower of the heavens, or beautiful heavenly flower. Metaphorically, it can have a deeper meaning which is how Hawaiian traditionally is understood. However, it meant so much to me to name her after one of my best of friends growing up, my sister. I was named after my Grandma so I know how it feels to want to live a life and make choices to honor your namesake, and so will Māhie. I knew once I found out I was having a girl, that I wanted to name her after Hills. Plus now I know Hill can't complain when I ask her to babysit, haha, jk.
James along with the help of his mother Failuga, chose her Samoan name. My Mother-in-law suggested naming her after HER Mother's taupou name. Words straight from Mahie's Nana, "Fonofili means the meeting place where the chiefs meet when the church first arrived in Samoa...". Fonofili is a shortened version of the actual full name, which is: Fonomafilifilimataniuofeagaimaleata. It's a very popular name within the Stevenson family and in the area they live in Samoa.
So there you have it
Māhie Kau'ipuaonālani Fonofili Aspinall