Hawaiian mythology

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  • Traditionally stories were passed down orally and these stories were memorized in such great detail.
  • Stories were memorized so well that when printing was introduced to Hawaiʻi, these stories were included. The first newspaper, Ka Lama Hawaiʻi was printed at Lahainaluna School on Maui as a student newspaper. This same year saw the birth of the first regular published newspaper, Ke Kumu Hawaiʻi. 27 years later J.K. Kaunamano published the first newspaper by a Hawaiian, Ka Hoku o Ka Pakipika. Among its editors was King David Kalākaua. These newspapers served well as a medium for both the missionaries to teach Christian principles and Hawaiians to preserve their stories.
  • For example, in the case of Pele, she and her sister Namakaokaha`I fights, and she flees for her life. In the case of Disney’s Mulan, her father cannot go to war, so she does. The hero usually starts off in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown Some people refuse the call to adventure and thus, are destined to mediocre lives of survival and convention Those who accept the call to adventure may do so alone or with assistance Often receives supernatural aid in the form of a protective figure that provide special tools and advice for the adventure ahead
  • This begins the separation of what was and what will become. It is the death of one understanding and the birth of another. Note that this ha`alele doesnʻt always have to be a physical one.
  • The huakaʻI is the longest part of the story. Here is where the story unfolds. It is here where strengths are honed to ward off the deepest and cruelest fears that whisper against oneʻs efforts and reasons to continue the journey
  • The final battle is waged and there is death. The death of old perspectives of life and living are killed to make room for sacred realities to alight. The birth of new reality is established on the death of an old perspective. This mythic death is sometimes communicated in the symbol of the death or resurrection motif - of swimming to the bottom of the ocean and returning up to the surface or working oneʻs way out of the darkness of a cave and into the light. This is the huakaʻi
  • The return is the struggle of reintegrating back into society and all of its human limitations after experiencing the journey that liberated the journeyer into profound potential. At this point, the decision to come back and integrate or turn away into the setting sun and escape from societal internment is waged 0- the final battle one might say The person returning to society is a hero. This person has ventured into the depths of haunted forests, beyond the traditional horizons of society, and has returned home profoundly changed because of it. This hero becomes the living image of every personʻs secret call to rise and reclaim his/her dormant potential for living in oneness with the greater world. This is the ho`I, or return. Myth is cylical. In myth, the ho`I is the return back to the hua. This return shows the growth and progress that the myth has taken by readdressing the hua.
  • Donʻt simply read the myth, read into it!
  • Hawaiian mythology

    1. 1. WEEK 2 LECTUREWEEK 2 LECTURE HAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGYHAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGY HWST 104HWST 104
    2. 2. TERMINOLOGYTERMINOLOGY  KAKAʻʻAOAO  Fanciful story or tale; usually fictionFanciful story or tale; usually fiction  An embellished moAn embellished moʻʻoleloolelo  MOMOʻʻOLELOOLELO  LegendLegend  Historical in natureHistorical in nature  DocumentationDocumentation  MOʻOKAʻAOMOʻOKAʻAO  FolktaleFolktale  MELEMELE  Chant/song form of kaChant/song form of kaʻʻao or meleao or mele  More poetic in natureMore poetic in nature
    3. 3. NĀ NŪPEPA HAWAI`INĀ NŪPEPA HAWAI`I Hawaiian NewspapersHawaiian Newspapers  Ka Lama Hawai`i (studentKa Lama Hawai`i (student newspaper) printed onnewspaper) printed on February 14, 1834February 14, 1834  Ke Kumu Hawai`i (1Ke Kumu Hawai`i (1stst regularly published )later thatregularly published )later that yearyear  Ka Hōkū o ka Pākīpika: 1Ka Hōkū o ka Pākīpika: 1stst newspaper established by anewspaper established by a Native HawaiianNative Hawaiian
    4. 4. HAWAIIAN MYTHS &HAWAIIAN MYTHS & LEGENDSLEGENDS  Distinction between kaDistinction between kaʻʻao as fiction andao as fiction and momoʻʻolelo as fact would lie in the intention ofolelo as fact would lie in the intention of the story. Kathe story. Kaʻʻao are composed to tickle theao are composed to tickle the fancy versus mofancy versus moʻʻolelo, which are composed toolelo, which are composed to inform the mind as to supposed events.inform the mind as to supposed events.  Hawaiian legends and myths occupy anHawaiian legends and myths occupy an important place in both the history of theimportant place in both the history of the islands and in the understanding of Hawaiianislands and in the understanding of Hawaiian culture today.culture today.
    5. 5. 4 H’s of Myth  Hua (The Catalyst)  Ha aleleʻ (The Separation)  Huaka iʻ (The Journey)  Ho iʻ (The Return)
    6. 6. HUA: The Catalyst  Hua: egg, seed or result, effect  The call to adventure. The person, thing or event that launches the entire myth. It is the thing that causes the journey to happen.
    7. 7. HA ALELE:ʻ The Separation  Ha alele: to leave, abandon, or evacuateʻ  The point at which the main character separates from the community and embarks on the journey  It means leaving the familiar landscape or the environment in which one is comfortable into an unknown realm where the rules and limits are unknown
    8. 8. HUAKA I:ʻ The Journey  Huaka`i: a journey, a mission, to travel  The main character often undergoes a series of tests, tasks, ordeals or challenges that he/she is required to accomplish as part of the adventure  Experiences and lessons are learned that leads us to our ancient selves
    9. 9. HUAKA IʻHUAKA Iʻ  Typified by a trail or path  If the path is steep, it often alludes to difficulties  The main character may meet up with a mentor  Mentor: people you meet along the way who assist you such as an old lady/man, talking animals, fairy godmother, relatives, etc.  Everything and everyone in a journey are necessary for growth
    10. 10. HUAKA IʻHUAKA Iʻ  The journey is often times violent andThe journey is often times violent and graphic in image.graphic in image.  It is here in the huaka`i that the mo`oIt is here in the huaka`i that the mo`o (water spirits) are killed while(water spirits) are killed while journeying through the forest or thejourneying through the forest or the manō (sharks) are slaughtered beforemanō (sharks) are slaughtered before treading through the ocean, from onetreading through the ocean, from one shore to the next.shore to the next.  It is here that the main character isIt is here that the main character is introduced to their internal demonsintroduced to their internal demons and monsters that are transposed onand monsters that are transposed on the landscape of his/her journey.the landscape of his/her journey.
    11. 11. THE CROSSROADTHE CROSSROAD  It is at this point thatIt is at this point that the main characterthe main character confronts the final legconfronts the final leg of the ritual…..of the ritual….. Do I return to society?Do I return to society? Do I leave society?Do I leave society? This leads us to……..This leads us to……..
    12. 12. HO I:ʻ The Return Ho i: a return, to go back, to come back, toʻ leave with the intention of returning back to where you first came  After answering the call to adventure and meeting its trials, the main character must return and integrate back into the community  The main character returns to the ordinary world with an item or awareness that will benefit the society left earlier  The main character returns to tell his/her story and to serve as inspiration for others who have not yet answered their call
    13. 13. DIFFERENT FACETS TODIFFERENT FACETS TO CONSIDER IN HAWAIIANCONSIDER IN HAWAIIAN MYTHS & LEGENDSMYTHS & LEGENDS  Historical ElementsHistorical Elements  Documentation of Place NamesDocumentation of Place Names  Names have a lot of mana (spiritual power/force). They areNames have a lot of mana (spiritual power/force). They are incorporated into myths/legends/mele for a reason.incorporated into myths/legends/mele for a reason.  11stst hula, important events, etc.hula, important events, etc.  Biographical ElementsBiographical Elements  Gods, goddesses, deities, etc.Gods, goddesses, deities, etc.  Characters of the storyCharacters of the story  The meaning of people’s names often have a lot of manaThe meaning of people’s names often have a lot of mana and can add insight into the characterand can add insight into the character
    14. 14. DIFFERENT FACETS TODIFFERENT FACETS TO CONSIDER IN HAWAIIANCONSIDER IN HAWAIIAN MYTHS & LEGENDSMYTHS & LEGENDS  Cultural ElementsCultural Elements  Culture of familyCulture of family  Social protocolSocial protocol  Oli (chants)Oli (chants)  Social orderSocial order  MedicineMedicine  Arts and craftsArts and crafts
    15. 15. COMMON MOTIFS INCOMMON MOTIFS IN HAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGYHAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGY  HōHōʻʻailonaailona  Omens or predictions within a storyOmens or predictions within a story  A prophecy of what is to comeA prophecy of what is to come  Names of characters or place names often provideNames of characters or place names often provide insight into the characters’ attributes, personalityinsight into the characters’ attributes, personality and/or the plot of the story.and/or the plot of the story.  ie: Wailuku is the name of a river in Hilo. Wailukuie: Wailuku is the name of a river in Hilo. Wailuku literally means “destructive water,” so it gives you an idealiterally means “destructive water,” so it gives you an idea of the kind of river it isof the kind of river it is
    16. 16. COMMON MOTIFS INCOMMON MOTIFS IN HAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGYHAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGY  Sole SurvivorSole Survivor  The remaining survivor who is left behind to tell the storyThe remaining survivor who is left behind to tell the story or report what happened to othersor report what happened to others  Recognition TokenRecognition Token  Magical things of power belonging to certain peopleMagical things of power belonging to certain people  Special items given by a chief to a mistressSpecial items given by a chief to a mistress  The items are often given with the instructions that any child bornThe items are often given with the instructions that any child born of the affair is to present them to the chief to gain recognition thatof the affair is to present them to the chief to gain recognition that he is his childhe is his child  Typical items include things that are worn, such as malo, lei, capes,Typical items include things that are worn, such as malo, lei, capes, etc.etc.
    17. 17. COMMON MOTIFS INCOMMON MOTIFS IN HAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGYHAWAIIAN MYTHOLOGY  Birth/Death/Rebirth  Mo`okū`auhau, or genealogy, is very important to the Hawaiian people. Most myths & legends begin with some form of genealogy  In mythology, births may be supernatural  Rebirth - To experience another existence such as the changing from one life form to another  Reincarnation (animal, live being)  Transformation (stones, cliff heads)
    18. 18. DON’T FORGET………DON’T FORGET………  The images of myth speak directly to a personThe images of myth speak directly to a person with a unique message.with a unique message.  What the myth and its symbols mean to oneWhat the myth and its symbols mean to one person, may be different from another person.person, may be different from another person. It may even mean something different to theIt may even mean something different to the same person at a different time in their life.same person at a different time in their life.  Myths can always be revisited and somethingMyths can always be revisited and something new can always be learned from them!new can always be learned from them!

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