As is typical in the Hawaiian culture, names are of great importance as they carry mana
Careful thought was given to the meaning of the name
Names can provide insight into one’s character and personality
The meanings are often symbolic
A child can be referred to as a lei, flower or bud regardless of its sex
Helps to develop a sense of place
Determined rank and status
Most myths and legends of Hawai`i start with some form of genealogy
Birth order is of great importance, with prestige going to the first-born
ʻOhana or kinship terms in Hawaiian differentiate between older and younger siblings
Much emphasis put on first-born children
Hiapo was often thought of as a “living history book” since there was no written language
Responsible for knowing family genealogy
Had to learn social and religious customs as well as specialized skills and knowledge
Traditionally, the hiapo (first born) is given a name belonging to the genealogy, typically the oldest name in the family on the father’s side.
Status of hiapo carries respect and authority
Navel or umbilical cord
Summit or top of a hill, mountain
Where a leaf connects to the stem
A piko closely connects an individual to his/her kinship and genealogy
Can figuratively refer to relationships between ancestors and descendants
Connects us to the past and to the future
Traditionally, proper disposal of the piko (stump that dropped off the infant’s body) was important
It was believed that if a rat found and ate the cord, the baby would become thief-like in nature just like the rat.
In every district on every island, there were places, usually stones reserved especially for the piko. In places such as these, the piko were pushed into the cracks then tiny pebbles were forced to hold them in place.
MELE A PĀKU`I
Mele A Pāku`i is a genealogical chant for the birthing of the Hawaiian islands.
According to Mele A Pākuʻi, Papa & Wākea are primarily responsible for the birthing of our islands.
Please note that there are other chants and moʻolelo that account for the creation of the Hawaiian islands that differ in order and other information.
Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō defines Papa as “the earth, the crust upon which floats the oceans, her ambiotic fluid; the crust that feeds the growth of coral, the placenta of ocean life. Whereas Wākea anchors us to the universe, Papahānaumoku anchors us to a geography, our sacred land base.”
Tangarō defines Wākea as “the male parent of premordial origins, this informs us that Hawaiʻi’s traditional consciousness is not only land-based, but celestial, not only anchored in living land, but in the sky as well.”
The Hawaiian Dictionary defines Wākea as the mythical ancestor of all Hawaiians.
MELE A PĀKUʻI
In this chant, Hawai`i is referred to as makahiapo (eldest)
Although it is not the oldest geologically, it is given the title of “eldest” because of the mana behind its name.
Being the eldest child, the hiapo is dedicated to spirituality that sets the tone. In other words, from a cultural standpoint, Hawai`i Island is seen as the best model for the rest of the archipelago.
Each of the island groups in Polynesia, have some form of the name “Hawai`i.” For example:
In Māori culture, Hawaiki is original home of the Māori, before they travelled across the sea to Aotearoa (New Zealand)
In Sāmoa, Savai`i is the name of their largest island
In French Polynesia, Havai`i is the old name for Raiatea
KĀʻIEWE: SENSE OF PLACE
Articulate personal connections and interactions with people, communities, and environments to establish one’s place, responsibilities, and purpose in the world.
The Hawaiian people have a close partnership with its natural environment
KĀʻIEWE: SENSE OF PLACE
The `āina and kai are the foundation of life and the source of the spiritual relationship
All forms of the natural environment – from the skies to the mountain peaks, to the watered valleys and plains, to the shore line and ocean depths are embodiments of Hawaiian gods and deities. Whether it is a rock, a pool of water, a forest grove, an ocean current a small creature from the ocean, land or air, all are valued as culturally significant
THE MYTH OF HĀLOA
The myth of Hāloa is located in the Kumulipo or creation chant and has been passed down generation to generation
In Hawaiian genealogical accounts, the same gods who gave birth to the islands are also the parents of the first man. It is from this ancestor that all Hawaiian people are descended.
MYTH OF HĀLOA
Papa and Wākea had a daughter named Hoʻohōkūkalani. Wākea and Hoʻohōkūkalani together conceived a child. Their union resulted in two births.
MYTH OF HĀLOA
The first birth was an unformed fetus (keiki ʻaluʻalu) who was born prematurely. He was named Hāloanakalaukapalili, meaning the quivering long stalk. Hāloanakalaukapalili was buried at the eastern corner of the house and from his burial grew the first kalo (taro) plant
MYTH OF HĀLOA
The second birth was a child named Hāloa in honor of his elder brother. Hāloa was born strong and healthy and is believed to be the first kanaka maoli, or Hawaiian man.
The word Hāloa itself means long breath and infers to the strength and endurance of the Hawaiian people. Without breath we have no life; without breath we have no voice.
Thus, Hāloanakalaukapalili, the kalo, is considered to be the older sibling and the kanaka Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian people) the younger sibling
It is said that if you take care of your older siblings and your mother, they will nurture and take care of you
This is the relationship that the Hawaiians have to kalo and the ʻāina
The kalo (taro) plant plays a vital part in the genealogy of the Hawaiian people as it is considered to be the most important crop and main sustenance. It is man’s responsibility to take care of the ʻāina so that the ʻāina will feed the people.