“The makaʻāinana were the planters and fishers who lived on (ma) the (ka) lands (‘āina;) the final na is a plural substantive.” Or, they may be viewed as maka (eye) ‘āina (land) – ‘the eyes of the land.’ Pukui notes the name literally translates to ‘people that attend the land.’ “They were the commoners who were a class distinct and apart from the aliʻi, or class of chiefs, the temple kahuna or priests, koa or warriors, and konohiki or overseers.”
The rulers were set apart from the general populace, the makaʻāinana, by an elaborate, strictly enforced series of kapu or restrictions. The makaʻāinana made up the largest segment of the population. In addition to their work as the planters and the fishermen they were the craftsmen and the soldiers. They were the major source of manpower.