A Flower Lei and a Kiss…

18 04 2015

Aloha Spirit

The tradition of giving a kiss when presenting a lei was said to have begun by a USO dancer in World War II. She was dared by her peers to kiss an attractive Navy man and when she did she gave him her flower necklace and told him it was a Hawaiian tradition and made it so from that point forward. Hard to know if this is the true beginnings of this tradition but it certainly makes a great story!





Ka Lae, The Point

17 03 2015

Ka Lae is accessible via South Point Road, a 12 mile paved narrow road leading from State Route 11 (Hawai’i Belt Road), the turn off being about 7 miles west of the village of ʻālehu and east of Ocean View, Hawaii This is said to be the first place the Ancients arrived in Hawai’i.

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If you look carefully along the shore you can see holes in some of the lava rocks that were used for mooring, carved holes from ancient times. Kai Lae, means “the point” and there is a fishing shrine there known Kalalea Heiau or Hale o Kalalea. Because there was so much comings and goings offerings were left in this area as thanks for the safe ocean journeys. Women were not allowed (kapu).

You can still see this small 43x 35 foot heiau according to the terrific book Ancient Sites of Hawaii by Van James: “On the main platforms in a pōhaku called Kūmaiea (female), but also attributed to Kāne and on the smaller platform just mauku is another upright store called Kanemakua (male), associated with the god Kanaloa. Standing twelve feet to the north of the heiau are two more stones, the northerly one called “Ai’ai, the son of Kū’ula. Within the heiau, beside the mauka wall, is a rock called Kū’ula, the god of fishermen. Hina, the wife of Kū’ula is said to live in the sea cave just offshore from the Kalalea Heaiau.”

Please buy this fine book from you local bookseller in its revised edition for additional information about visiting this magical place. Swimming in this area is not recommended because of the intense current it is called the “Halaea Current” named after the chief who was carried off to his death. Beware!





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.





Hawaiian Gods: Kanaloa

20 05 2011

Kanaloa is the Hawaiian God of the oceans and all that live in those oceans. He is symbolized by the squid or by the octopus, and is typically associated with Kāne and there exists a vast amount of popular and mythical lore in which the two gods are named together. Both are invoked by canoe men, Kane for the canoe building, Kanaloa for its sailing.

Kanaloa is also considered to be the god of the Underworld and a teacher of magic.

Local legends abound in which the gods Kane and Kanaloa are represented as traveling about the islands establishing springs of water, and seeing that they are kept clear, for drinking purposes.





Hawaiian Gods: Lono

20 04 2011

The Hawaiian God Lono is associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music, peace, keeper of the sacred fire. He is one of the most beloved Hawaiian Gods and who was said to have descended to earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. Householders often made offers to Lono as did farmers who dedicated their first harvests to him. In his honor, the great annual festival of the Makahiki was held.

In the days of Kamehameha the Lono order of priests set up heiaus to pray for rain, abundant crops, or to escape from sickness or trouble.





Hawaiian Gods: Ku

20 03 2011


or Kū-ka-ili-moku is one of the four great gods along with Kanaloa, Kāne, and Lono. Ku was referred to as a builder and was the god who presided over war. He was worshiped at the beginning of the moon month.Kū, Kāne, and Lono caused light to shine in upon the world





Hawaiian Gods: Kane

20 02 2011


Kāne-milo-hai is the brother of Kamohoaliʻi, Pele, Kapo, Nāmaka, and Hiʻiaka (among others) by Haumea. He is a minor figure in Hawaiian mythology, figuring most prominently in the story of Pele’s journey along the island chain to Hawaiʻi, and may be seen as a terrestrial counterpart to his brother, the shark-god Kamohoaliʻi.

Kāne-milo-ha created man with the help of Lono. At the beginning Kane dwelled in darkness, then light was created, and Ku, an ancestral deity, along with Lono, god of the heavens, helped Kane to fashion the earth and the things on the earth. He was said to be the maker of the three worlds—the upper heaven, the lower heaven, and the earth.

Later they created man and woman, but the misbehavior of this pair forced Kane to leave the earth and retire to heaven, after he had made mankind subject to death. He created the forests and was said to be responsible for the rains and considered to be a great healer and found living in the leaves of healing plants.