As Summer comes to a close and the Fall Equinox is upon us, the weather cools, and the kolea make their return to Hawaiʻi for winter, Kanaka ʻŌiwi prepare to give thanks to Lono during Makahiki season. Sometimes known as the beginning of the Hawaiian New Year, Makahiki is traditionally identified by the change from harvest to agriculture season, as well as the rise of the constellation Pleiades. Running from October/November through February/March, Makahiki is a time when work stops and people focus on rest, play, and celebration.
There are three phases of Makahiki: cleansing and hoʻokupu, play and celebration, and waʻa ʻauhau (tax canoe) to Lono.
In the cleansing and hoʻokupu phase, both war and work stop, as the community gets ready to welcome the passing of the god Lono via his aliʻi, or representatives. Offerings to the god of fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music and peace include puaʻa (pig), kalo (taro), ʻuala (sweet potato), hulu (feathers), moena (mats) and kapa (cloth).
In the play and celebration phase, people play games such as konane (checkers), ʻulu maika (bowling), moa paheʻe (dart sliding), ʻōʻō ihe (spear throwing), kukini (foot racing), hukihuki (tug of war), haka moa (chicken fighting), pā uma (hand wrestling) and hei (string figure game). Some call these games the Hawaiian Olympics.
In the waʻa ʻauhau phase, an aliʻi impersonating Lono arrives on a canoe to participate in a battle on land to prove himself, deflecting spears thrown at him. After, a canoe is loaded with hoʻokupu to Lono, then set adrift at sea as an offering. At the end of this closing ceremony, Makahiki is considered pau.
Modern Native Hawaiians celebrate Makahiki in ways very similar to our ancestors of the past, even after centuries passed. In taking time to pause and play during the time of agriculture, Makahiki season is essential to the preservation of Hawaiʻi's limited natural resources. Hence, this season is considered the time of regeneration for Kanaka ʻŌiwi. Aligned with the turn of Western holidays, Makahiki reminds us of the need to connect with others, give thanks for what we have and mind the inevitable changes in the world around us.
-Pi'ikea Kalakau, Hui o Ko'olaupoko board member
To improve water quality in the Ko'olaupoko area watershed, Hui o Ko'olaupoko and O'ahu Resource Conservation & Development Council are hosting a series of community outreach sessions to engage stakeholders and community partners in preliminary research and fact-finding. This information will be used to update the Ko'olaupoko Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (KWRAS) to reflect the needs of Ko'olaupoko communities.
The KWRAS document was produced to provide guidance on education, monitoring, and implementation activities to improve water quality in the Ko’olaupoko area watersheds. Since the publication of the original KWRAS in 2007, there have been numerous changes in the Ko’olaupoko district that necessitate an update of the plan to most accurately reflect and address current needs of the Ko'olaupoko communities and watersheds.
The primary goal of the upcoming virtual outreach meetings will be to present the information and community needs that have been identified to date. These meetings will also explore ways in which key stakeholders can utilize an updated KWRAS and solicit ideas for how the update could be structured to best serve the needs of the communities.
Meetings will be hosted on Zoom (meetings can also be joined via phone) and will utilize a variety of facilitation tools and techniques to capture data and interactive feedback from participants. Please register for the regional meeting most appropriate to your area of residence or primary work.
For more information and to register, visit www.huihawaii.org/wrasupdate.html
As the summer winds down, so does our time with our two amazing KUPU members, Lane & Maya. They will be completing their 11 month term with Hui o Ko'olaupoko by mid-August and have both chosen to complete a second term as KUPU members!
We are happy to have Lane returning to complete her second term with HOK! She will continue to be the smiling face greeting volunteers at all of our events, and we look forward to helping her expand her conservation knowledge and networks.
Maya will be returning to her home island of Kaua'i to assist with native bird conservation, a field in which she hopes to focus her future master's degree studies. We bid her a fond a hui hou and hope to visit her on Kauai in the future!
Mahalo to these two hardworking and ever cheerful ladies for all of their efforts over the last 11 months!
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.