Scroll Down

Kamole, Kauō (Laysan Island) 

Kamole means “ancestral root, foundation, source or cause,” such as a root that runs through the earth and traces one’s ancestry back to the source. Kamole also describes the location of Laysan Island, the first major landfall following French Frigate Shoals moving toward the northwest. Kauō, meaning “egg,” describes both the island’s shape and the abundance of seabirds that nest here. Kauō can be either the yolk or the egg white, its meaning specified with the modifier melemele ʻyellowʻ or keʻokeʻo  ʻwhiteʻ.




  • Kamole is surrounded by a 1,016 acre shallow-water coral reef ecosystem. The island and its surrounding coral reefs were formed approximately 17 million years ago, when the underlying shield volcano and a portion of the associated coral reef bank were lifted above sea level.

  • Denoting the contents of an egg the name Kauō also signifies the thousands of birds that inhabit the island.