Kū`ula: The Hawaiian God of Fishermen

15 09 2011

Kona Sunday Fisherman


Fishing has always been an important part of Hawaiian culture as is a deep respect for the bounty of the natural world that surrounds them in the sea. Many make regular offerings to Kū`ula the God of Fisherman.

Kū lived with his wife Hina and their son `Ai`ai in Hāna on the island of Maui. On the edge of the sea he walled off an area and kept all kinds of fish in what was thought to be the first fish ponds. Nearby he made offerings to a small shrine and because of this reverence was always able to land the fish he needed. Fish were said to come to his hook, net, or basket as he prayed for success in his endeavors even when friends and neighbors had no luck. He was always generous to share his catch with those whose fishing skills were less hones.

Fishing is an important part of sustaining a community and Kū`ula knew that it was important to be generous to share but also to conserve his catch in his fish ponds. He was always careful to make an offering of the first fish caught to the ko`a, the fishing shrine.

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