Honu is turtle in Hawaiian. Honuʻea is the endangered hawksbill turtle in Hawaiian. These designs were created by Malialuika on the Big Island.
There are some Hawaiian legends, which claim that honu (turtles) were the first to guide the Polynesians to the Hawaiian islands, making the green sea turtle a symbol of the navigator that is able to find its way home time and time again—just as in real life. Amazingly, the honu will swim hundreds of miles to its own birthing place to lay eggs.
The Honu is a symbol of both wisdom and good luck. As the only native reptile to Hawaii, they are considered to be an Aumakua, or guardian spirit.