Ahu’ena Heiau

5 03 2016


Ahu’ena Heiau was site of the Capital of Hawai’i from 1812 -1819.

King Kamehameha built Ahu’ena Heiau as his personal temple to Lono, the god of peace and prosperity. It was much larger in scale to what has been rebuilt and is on display today.

From the book Ancient Sites of Hawai’i by Van James:

“The name Aheu’ena means “hill of fire” or “red hot heap” and its is the fite of a fifteenth century heiau luakini.”

“The restored heiau has a hard hale mana (place of psiritual powers), a wicker lele (alter), an ‘anu’u tower and several wooden ki’i (carved figures). The carved images with the plover bird on its head is the god of war. A sacred drum called Apahou, decorated with human teeth, was house here at Ahu”ene. Pigs, bananas, coconuts, and men were offered as sacrifices at luankini heiau. ”

From the book Exploring Lost Hawaii by Ellie and William Crowe:

“Kamehameha the Great appreciated the ocean view. He made his fanial home at this pretty cove in 1812 and maintained a permanent residence here until his death seven years later. …On May 8, 1819 Kamehameha the Great died. The kingdom was stunned and grief striken. Some chiefs requested that they be hurried with him. many people knowcked out their fonts teeth in grief, and some tattooed the date on their bodies. The king’s bones were stripped of flesh on the mortuary platform and prepared for burial. Hoapili, a kahuna, the one of the kings most trusted ali’i , were entrusted to hide the bones. They are said to be hidden in a cave and have never been found.”

“After Kamehameha’s death, it was this heiau that his son Liholiho, reluctantly sat down with the strong willed Queen Ka’ahumanu and his gentle mother, Queen Keopuolani and ate a meal on the formal occasion. The Hawaiian people were shocked at this public act of defiance–the ancient kapu of men eating with women had been broken. But no gods retaliated, and as a result the whole kapu system was overthown.”

==================================================

Ahu’ena was carefully restored in 1975, at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. It is a National Historic Landmark that can be easily approached from the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona and there are daily guided tours offered, call 808-329-2911 or you can wander the grounds on your own.





Hawaiian State Flag

28 12 2015

commissioned by King Kamehameha I in 1816

The canton of the flag of Hawaii contains the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, prominent over the top quarter closest to the flag mast. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes symbolizing the eight major islands (Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi and Niʻihau). A ninth stripe was once included representing the island of Nihoa. The color of the stripes, from the top down, follows the sequence: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red. The colors were standardized in 1843, although other combinations have been seen and are occasionally still used.

Source: Wikipedia





Ancient Hawaiian Villages

20 12 2015

A traditional village of ancient Hawaiʻi included several structures. Listed in order of importance:

Heiau, temple to the gods, built on high-rising stone terraces. Sometimes adorned with wood and stone carved idols. A source of great mana or divine power, the heiau was restricted to aliʻi, the king and kahuna.

Kealakekua Bay Heiau

Hale aliʻi, the house of the chief. It was used as a residence for the high chief and meeting house of the lesser chiefs. It was always built on a raised stone foundation to represent high social standing. Kahili, or feather standards, were placed outside to signify royalty. Women and children were banned from entering.

Hale pahu, the house of the sacred hula instruments. It held the pahu drums. It was treated as a religious space as hula was a religious activity in honor of the goddess Laka.

Hale papaʻa, the house of royal storage. It was built to store royal implements including fabrics, prized nets and lines, clubs, spears and other weapons.

Hale ulana, the house of the weaver. It was the house where craftswomen would gather each day to manufacture the village baskets, fans, mats and other implements from dried pandanus leaves called lauhala.

Hale mua, the men’s eating house. It was considered a sacred place because it was used to carve stone idols of ʻaumakua or ancestral gods. Men and women could not eat with each other for fear that men were vulnerable while eating to have their mana, or divine spirit, stolen by women. Women ate at their own separate eating house called the hale ʻaina.

Hale waʻa, the house of the canoe. It was built along the beaches as a shelter for their fishing vessels. Hawaiians also stored koa or mahogany logs used to craft the canoes.

Hale lawaiʻa, the house of fishing. It was built along the beaches as a shelter for their fishing nets and lines. Nets and lines were made by a tough rope fashioned from woven coconut husks. Fish hooks were made of human, pig or dog bone. Implements found in the hale lawaiʻa were some of the most prized possessions of the entire village.

Hale noho, the living house. It was built as sleeping and living quarters for the Hawaiian family unit.

Imu, the communal earth oven. Dug in the ground, it was used to cook the entire village’s food including puaʻa or pork. Only men cooked using the imu.





Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe – Law of the Splintered Paddle

22 08 2015

E hele ka `elemakule, ka luahine,
a me na kamali`i a moe i ke ala
`a`ohe mea nana e ho`opilikia.

Let the old men, the old women, and the children go
and sleep on the wayside; let them not be molested.

The Law of the Splintered Paddle,
King Kamehameha I.

The law of the splintered paddle declared that old men and women and children may lie on the roadside and they shall not be molested. A royal edict of Kamehameha the Great, thus began the era of freedom from violent assault.

In ancient Hawai‘i, there were no laws as we know them today. The sacred kapu, traditions, respect for one another and love for the land kept order and harmony among men and women long before the haole (foreigners) arrived, bringing their varieties of civilization. It was only with the changing times and contact with Europeans that laws came to be written down. As a tribute to his people, the very first law proclaimed by Kamehameha the Great was a law that protected them all, from the elderly to the very young.

Mamala means “splintered”; hoe means “paddle.” Kanawai refers to water and the responsibility the Hawaiians had of controlling and conserving their streams. It was the closest word they had to “law.”

There are many stories of how this law came about. One tells of a commoner who taught Kamehameha that human life — any human life — was precious and deserved respect, and that it was wrong for the powerful to mistreat those who may be weaker.

The teacher was a fisherman. The student was Kamehameha as a warrior before he united the islands. The lesson was not written in a book or on a chalkboard. It was delivered with the whack of a wooden canoe paddle. It was a harsh lesson, but Kamehameha never forgot it, because he later turned that lesson into Hawai‘i’s first official written law.

Used with permission from “The Law of the Splintered Paddle,” Copyright 1994 Hawaii Legal Auxiliary





June 11th: King Kamehameha Day

11 06 2015

statue of King Kemehameha

June 11th is King Kamehameha Day, and is celebrated the second weekend of June with parades and remembrances of this glorious king. It is King Kamehameha (ca. 1758 – May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810.

North Kohala King Kamehameha Day

As king, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and he used the products he collected in taxes to promote trade with Europe and the United States. Kamehameha did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land; they would not be able to until the Great Mahele of 1848. This edict ensured the islands’ independence even while many of the other islands of the Pacific succumbed to the colonial powers.





May First: May Day is Lei Day

1 05 2015

In 1928 poet Don Blanding, sometimes referred to as the poet laureate of Hawaii, wrote an article in the Honolulu newspaper suggesting that a day be set aside to create leis, to keep this important tradition alive in the hearts of all Hawaiians. It was made an official territory holiday just a year later. It remains today an important day of celebration with parades and people wearing their hand crafted leis.

When Don Blanding died. in 1957, his ashes were scattered from lei adorned canoes off the beach in Waikiki a fitting farewell to a man who carried Hawaii in his heart.






Queen Lydia Liliuokalani

28 01 2015

`Onipa`a.

Stand firm.

Motto of Queen Lili`uokalani.

(September 2, 1838 – November 11, 1917)

Queen Liliuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.

She was born in Honolulu to high chief Kapaakea and the chiefess Keohokalole, the third of ten children. Liliuokalani was adopted at birth by Abner Paki and his wife Konia. At age 4, her adoptive parents enrolled her in the Royal School. There she became fluent in English and was influenced by Congregational missionaries. She also became part of the royal circle attending Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma.

Liliuokalani married a ha’ole, John Owen Dominis on September 16, 1862. Dominis served the monarchy as the Governor of O’ahu and Maui.

Upon the death of her brother, King Kalakauam Liliuokalani ascended the throne of Hawaii in January 1891.

One of her first acts was to recommend a new Hawaii constitution, as the “Bayonet Constitution” of 1887 limited the power of the monarch and political power of native Hawaiians. In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani sought to empower herself and Hawaiians through a new constitution. A group led by Sanford B. Dole sought to overthrow the institution of the monarchy. The American minister in Hawaii, John L. Stevens, called for troops to take control of Iolani Palace and various other governmental buildings. In 1894, the Queen, was deposed, the monarchy abrogated, and a provisional government was established which later became the Republic of Hawaii.