Moon calendar and Kanepuaa, 1953.

Moon Calendar

Tomorrow, June 27, will be Mahealani, the 16th of the moon month Kaaona.

Mahealani is a good planting day. The Hawaiian farmer in ancient days who had a new field of potatoes would rise with the dawn to go into his garden and pray to Kanepuaa, the god of fertility. Continue reading

Advertisements

G. W. E. Kupele responds to Kanepuu’s question on the Kanepuaa plant, 1857.

Pertaining to the Kanepuaa Plant

O Hae Hawaii

Aloha oe:—I saw in the Hae Hawaii, Issue 19, the thought of J. H. Kanepuu. Asking the oldsters who know of the plant of Kanepuaa. The thing that will increase food and fish according to him, if the plant of Kanepuaa is gotten.

Here below is the response. The other day, I asked some oldsters with knowledge of the plant of Kanepuaa. They answered, it is not an actual plant like the plants of the medical kahuna [kahuna lapaau]. But it is a kind of worship by the name of Kanepuaa. Continue reading

On sacred stones, 1921.

THE STONE FISH GODDESS “MALEI” TO BE RETURNED TO MAKAPUU

Hawaiians have not forgotten the story about the stone goddess called “Malei,” a stone deity cared for and worshiped by the Hawaiian fishermen in the olden days; the great fish that the stone deity always brought to shore was the uhu, as is seen in the story of Hiiaka:

“Aia la o ka uku kai o Makapuu,
He i’a ia na Malei na ka wahine e noho ana i ka ulu a ka makani,
I Koolau ke ola i ka huaka’i malihini,
Kanaenae a Hiiaka i ka poli o Pele,
E Malei e, i halekipa ke aloha, e uwe mai!’

[There are the uhu of Makapuu which swim in procession,
Fish of Malei that dwells in the rising winds,
In Koolau lies the sustenance for the unfamiliar travellers,
Hiiakaikapoliopele prays,
O Malei, welcome us in love; let us weep!]

Continue reading

Robert Moffitt, collector of “curiosities”, 1863.

[Found under: “NA MEA HOU O HAWAII NEI.”]

Stone Image [Akua Kii] of the olden days.—We have recently seen a stone image of a stone god of Hawaii nei, from ancient times. It is said that it is one of the famous kupua of Manoa. It is three feet tall, and has a lei around its neck; it is finely carved, and its appearance is similar to that of Hawaiians. It was taken however to Kahuku by R. Moffitt, Esq. [R. Mofita Esq.], perhaps as a companion to the kii that is at his place, whose name is Kioi. For that gentleman has a liking for curiosities [mea kupanaha].

[Might anyone know what became of this collection?]

(Kuokoa, 5/2/1863, p. 2)

Kuokoa_5_2_1863_2.png

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke II, Helu 18, Aoao 2. Mei 2, 1863.

Pueo found in Kalihi, 1902.

SCARCE NATIVE OWLS ARE FOUND IN KALIHI VALLEY

THE HAWAIIAN OWL.  Photo by Williams.

A NEST of four baby owls was discovered about three months ago by Dr. George Huddy in the Kalihi valley behind his residence. The discovery of the quartette of owlets is important in that few of the species have been found in late years. Three of them died shortly after being taken into captivity, but the oldest of the lot lived and is growing into a fine bird, and is at present about the size of a small pullet. He is thoroughly domesticated and makes himself perfectly at home in the residence of Dr. Huddy, mingling with the people without fear.

The three dead ones were taken in charge by Mr. Bryan, Professor Brigham’s assistant at the Bishop Museum, and they are now stuffed and form a group with one brought to the museum about four years ago. It has been said at the museum that the owls are exceedingly rare and are valuable in the preserved state for the museum.

The pet eats mice as well as raw meat. Dr. Huddy was quite troubled as to the manner in which the owl digested the bones and was rewarded a short time ago when the owl retired to a corner and began retching. Soon a quantity of bones issued from his throat, and the youngster then resumed his eating of further food.

The owl is of the “horned” species. When approached by some one he does not know two groups of feathers on the back rise upward in a threatening manner and remain in that position until the stranger retires. If it is some one he knows the feathers fall back and he courts their attention.

The owner of the rare bird states that none of his family have known of the existence of such owls in the Kalihi valley for the past forty years. They were at one time plentiful. The native for the owl is pueo. When fully grown it is the size of a large hen or the alala, or crow. Its feathers are mottled, its eyes exceedingly large and the claws are sharp like those of a cat. In appearance the owl’s head is very much like that of a cat. It catches mice, small birds and young chickens, on which it lives. The feathers were formerly made into very handsome kahilis.

In ancient times the owl was thought to be a god and was worshipped by multitudes. Some families looked upon the appearance of an owl near their habitation as a warning of approaching death; others as the coming of good luck. On the hills back of Kalapu, in Manoa Valley, beyond the bluff on which the Castle residence is located, owls once inhabited the caves in great numbers.

One of the legends of Manoa Valley gives the owl great prominence as god. The legend of Kahalaopuna shows that the owl was looked upon as such, a certain owl being known as the guardian of the beautiful maiden.

[Does anyone know of kahili made with pueo feathers?]

(Hawaiian Gazette, 2/11/1902, p. 5)

SCARCE NATIVE OWLS ARE FOUND IN KALIHI VALLEY

Hawaiian Gazette, Volume XXXVII, Number 12, Page 5. February 11, 1902.

 

Why are some religions “real” while others are “superstitions,” “myths,” and “legends”? 1905 / today.

WAKEA THE POLYNESIAN

(By Rev. W. D. Westervelt in Paradise of the Pacific.)

The fountain source of the Mississippi has been discovered and re-discovered. The origin of the Polynesian race has been a subject for discovery and re-discovery. The older theory of Malay origin as set forth in the earlier encyclopædias is now recognized as untenable. The Malays followed the Polynesians rather than preceded them. The comparative study of Polynesian legends leads almost irresistibly to the conclusion that Polynesians were Aryans, coming at least from India to Malaysia and possibly coming from Arabia, as Fornander of Hawaii so earnestly argues. It is now accepted that the Polynesians did not originate from Malay parentage, and that they did occupy for an indefinite period the region around the Sunda Straits from Java to the Molucca Islands, and also that the greater portion of the Polynesians was driven out from this region and scattered over the Pacific in the early part of the Christian Era. The legends that cluster around Wakea have greatly aided in making plain some things concerning the disposition of the Polynesians. By sifting the legends of Hawaii-loa, we learn how the great voyager becomes one of the first Vikings of the Pacific. His home at last is found to be Gilolo of the Molucca Islands. From the legends we become acquainted with Wakea (possibly meaning “noonday” or “the white time” and his wife Papa (“earth”), the most widely remembered of all the ancestors of the Polynesian race. Their names are found in the legends of the most prominent island groups, and the highest places are granted them among the chief dieties. Their deeds belong to the most ancient times—the creation or discovery of the various islands of the Pacific world. Those who worshipped Wakea and Papa are found in such widely separated localities that it must be considered impossible for even a demi-god to have had so many homes. Atea or Wakea was one of the highest gods of the Marquesas islands. Here his name means “light.” The Marquesans evidently look back of all their present history and locate Atea in the ancient home land. Va-tea, in the Society Islands, Wakea in Hawaii and New Zealand, Makea-Vakea and Akea are phonetic variations of the one name when written down by the students who made a written form for words repeated from generation to generation by word of mouth alone. Even under the name Wakea this ancient chief is known by most widely separated islands. The only reasonable explanation for this widespread reference to Wakea is that he was an ancestor belonging in common to all the scattered Polynesians. It seems as if there must have been a period when Wakea was king of chief of a united people. He must have been of great ability and probably was the great king of the United Polynesians. If this were the fact it would naturally result that his memory would be carried wherever the dispersed race might go.

In the myths and legends of the Hervey Islands, Vatea is located near the beginning of their national existence.” Then there came upon the ancient world Te Vaerua, “the breath” or “the life.” Then came the god time—Te Manawa roa, “the long ago.” Then their creation legends locate Vari, a woman whose name means “the beginning,” a name curiously similar to the Hebrew word bara, to create, as in Gen. 1:1. Her children were torn out of her breasts and given homes in the ancient mist land, with which without any preparation or introduction, Hawa-iki is confused in a part of the legend. One of the children of Vari dwelt in a “sacred tabu island” and became the god of the fish. Another sought a home “where the red parrots’ feathers were gathered”—the royal feathers for the high chief’s garments. Another became the echo-god and lived in the “hollow grey rocks.” Another as the gods of the winds went far out “on the deep ocean.” Another, a girl, found a home, “the silent land,” with her mother. Wakea, or Vatea, the eldest of this family remained in Avaiki (Hawaii) the ancestral home—”the bright land of Vatea.” Here he married Papa. This Ava-iki was to the Herveyites of later generations the fiery volcanic under-world. When the long sea voyages ceased after some centuries, the islanders realized that Ava-iki was very closely connected with their history. They had but a misty idea of far off lands, and they did know of earthquakes and lava caves and volcanic fires—so they located Ava-iki as the secret world under their islands. This underworld with legendary inconsistency was located on the ocean’s surface, when it became necessary to have their islands discovered by the descendants of Vatea. According to the Hervey legends, Vatea is the father of Lono and Kanaloa, two of the great gods of the Polynesians. They are twins. Lono has three sons, whom he sends away. They sail out through many heavens and from Ava-iki “pull up” out of the deep ocean two of the Hervey islands. The natives of the Hervey group supposed that the horizon around their group inclosed the world. Beyond this world were heaves after heavens. A daring voyager by sailing through the sky line would break out from this world into an unknown world or a heaven bounded by new horizons. Strangers thus “broke through” from heaven to heaven, sometimes making use of the path of the sun. Thus about twenty-five generations ago Raa (possibly Laa, the Hawaiian), broke down the horizon’s bars and established a line of kings in Raiatea. So also when Captain Cook came to the Hervey Islands the natives said: “Whence comes this strange thing? It has climbed up (come up forcibly) from the thin land the home of Wakea.” He had pierced the western heavens from which their ancestors had come. Continue reading

The importance of things past, 1864.

Ancient matters of Hawaii nei.

Those who have knowledge of what the people of Hawaii were like in the old days are disappearing, and if these things are not written down and saved, the knowledge will be gone for good. Therefore I encourage those who know to write it down at once and make it known, so that those of the future generations will know what their kupuna were like. Here below are some ancient things to search out and to publish. Continue reading