Comments for the name Mahala

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Comments for MAHALA:

I found someone on my family tree with this name and wondered what it meant. Never heard it before.
-- tilly  8/17/2005
This is a family name. It is my daughters name who was named after her paternal great-grandmother, who was American Indian (Eastern Shawnee). In researching this name I found it to be Hebrew/Bibical (Old Testament) and was a common name used among American Indians when Christianity was here. I have come across several elderly Indian ladies with this name and they were surprised I would use that name, but I told them that I thought it was beatiful. ...Connie
-- cayco  9/12/2005
Someone in my family line had this name. Her husband, Jasper is my great x 9 grandfather (I think). He was Irish, and married Mahala, who was French. They are as far back as we can go! I think the name is beautiful!
-- quigonjecca  5/2/2007
Pronounced "mə-HAY-lə".
-- SeaHorse15  11/26/2008
I love the name Mahala. My mother almost named my sister Mahala, but she decided it sounds "too Hawaiian". I think it's pretty and special and rare; its lack of use is surprising considering the popularity of "Michaela" or "Makayla", which is so similar-sounding. It's an exotic, strong, beautiful name with a rich history, and I would definitely name my daughter Mahala, but my sister has already claimed it!
-- Anonymous User  8/3/2009
Mahala was the birth name of Mahalia Jackson, the "Queen of Gospel Music". Her childhood nickname was "Halie" (pronounced Hayley).

Also, "Mahal" in Bahasa Indonesian means "expensive". In India, the Taj Mahal's name means "Crown Palace" -- taj = crown + mahal = palace.
-- Anonymous User  8/7/2009
I like it. :) Cute. :)
-- --allison--  10/9/2009
Nice enough name, but I like the variant 'Mahalia' better.
-- Anonymous User  6/28/2010
(From http://www.native-languages.org/wrongnames.htm)
MAHALA: This name is usually said to mean "woman" in an unspecified Native American language, or sometimes a more fanciful meaning like "eyes of the sky" or "tender fawn." Those translations come from 19th-century romance novels and are fictional; however, Mahala does have at least two distinct Native American sources. One is that "Mahala" (pronounced mah-hah-lah) was a slang word for an Indian woman in 1800's California. It came from a Mission Indian mispronunciation of the Spanish word "mujer" (which means woman.) As far as we know no Indian women have this name, but it is used in some place names in California, and "Mahala mat" is another name for the plant also known as "squaw carpet." This is probably where the idea that Mahala means "woman" came from. It is less derogatory than the word "squaw," but is not really a native word. The second source of this name is the woman's name Mahala (pronounced mah-hey-lah) or Mahaley, which was fairly common among the southeastern Indian tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, etc.) during the 1800's. Unfortunately the origin of this name isn't clear; the word "Mahala" does not have any meaning in any Indian language of the southeast. It may have been one of many Indian variants on the name Mary, or possibly a variant of Michaela. Or it could have been a corrupted or shortened form of a longer Indian woman's name or names. In the Tutelo and Saponi languages (two closely related southeastern Indian languages that are extinct today), the word for "woman" was "mahei," so it's possible that a name or set of names including the word "mahei" got corrupted into Mahala at some point in time. Or it's also possible that the name might have had African origins (many of the southeastern Indian tribes, especially the Saponi, were known for taking in African-Americans.)
-- Anonymous User  1/1/2012

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