The Mahara project chose "Mahara" as name for its web application. In Te Reo Māori, "mahara" means "to think, thinking, thought" and that fits the purpose of Mahara very well. Having been started in New Zealand, it was fitting to choose a Māori word to signify the concept of the ePortfolio system.
Mahara also has meanings in at least one other language. If it also exists in other languages, please let us know.
In Arabic, "Mahara" stands for "exceptional skill (above and beyond the average)".
In Shona, "Mahara" means "free" / "for free".