2020 was a challenging year for so many around the world, but as we move forward in to a new year, and each new day for that matter, we are given the opportunity to reset and readjust. In 2021, we at Hui o Ko'olaupoko are striving to connect in more deliberate ways, to share information and experiences that will enrich lives and support resilience not only in the human communities we interact with, but in the natural communities as well.
So, as we keep our volunteer groups small and refine our virtual outreach skills, your support through digital interaction, hands in the mud, or monetary donations, helps to fuel our passion for environmental work and to share it with all we encounter. Mahalo for your unending support.
Before, January 2020
After: December 2020
For the last 2 months Hui o Ko'olaupoko's field team (Kristen, Sanna, Maya and Lane) were lucky to be joined by 5 additional crew members through The Kupu ʻĀina Corps program. From the top right to left: Michael, Mason, Chey, Jones, and Rachael have all been a tremendous help and we will miss their extra help when their term ends in the middle of December. Mahalo to our partners at Kupu for their efforts to create and implement this amazing opportunity for local workers displaced by the pandemic.
The field team also had some extra help from Institute for Global Studies interns Zoe, Trinity, and Julia, all from different states on the Continent. These recent high school graduates chose to take a gap year and spent part of their time in Hawaii, helping us in the field while learning about ecosystem restoration and storm water management in Hawaii.
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us but with the help from a few volunteers and 8 temporary additions to the field crew we were able to accomplish a lot. Mahalo to all 8 of these hard working and energetic spirits for pushing us through some incredibly hard field work!
According David Malo, “The Makahiki was a time when men, women and chiefs rested and abstained from all work, either on the farm or elsewhere. It was a time of entire freedom from labor, and the people did not engage in the usual religious observances during this time, nor did the chiefs; their worship consisted in making offerings of food. The king himself abstained from work on the Makahiki days.” During the season of Kau (approximately March through September), the people worshipped, but then rested during the months of Makahiki, from October through February. In the Makahiki season of Hoʻoilo, rituals were dedicated to the akua Lono and were much milder and comfortable than those conducted at the time of Kū. Lono was the benefactor of agriculture, atmospheric and weather phenomena. Thus, dark coulds, heavy rain, thunder and lightening, earthquakes, wind and whirlwinds, funnel clouds, waterspouts, and most cumulonimbus clouds, known as ao puaʻa, were evidence that indeed, the time of Hoʻoilo and Makahiki was here. Lono was also the akua connected to the medicinal arts of healing or laʻau lapaʻau.
The Makahiki festival, in honor of Lonomakua (the Makahiki god), commenced with the first rising of the constellation of the Pleiades or Makaliʻi, over the horizon at sunset. ʻAuhau or tribute for Lonomakua, the Makahiki god, was made up of things such as, “Feathers of the ʻōʻō, mamo, and ʻiʻiwi birds, puaʻa or pigs, kapa, and bundles of pounded kalo or paʻiʻai, to serve as food for those who carried Lonomakua. When enough ʻauhau had been collected from the ʻāina to satisfy the demands of the tax collector, the kahuna who accompanied the idol came forward and uttered a prayer to set the land free. This prayer was called a pule hainaki.”
Lonomakua continued to make a circuit around the island. Upon the return of the Makahiki idol, the aliʻi sailed forth in a canoe accompanied by his retinue of warriors, to meet the Makahiki god on his return from his tour, a ceremony which was called Kaliʻi. When the aliʻi came to where the Makahiki god was, there was a large body of warriors with spears in their hands drawn up at the landing as if to oppose him. The king was accompanied by one of his own men who were experts in warding off spears. This man went forward in advance of the king. And as the king jumped ashore, one of the men forming the company about the Makahiki god came on the run to meet him, holding in his hands two spears bound at their points with white clothe called ʻoloa. One of these he hurled at the king and it was warded off by the warrior who went in advance. The second spear was not thrown; the man merely touched the king with it.
The work of closing the Makahiki began with the dismantling of the Makahiki idols which signaled the return of Kū. After the idols were put away in the luakini, the kahuna closed the services of the day with prayer. It was then that the Maoloha ceremony was initiated. A net with large meshes was then made which, being lifted by four men supporting it at the four corners, was filled with all kinds of food such as taro, potatoes, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts, and pork, after which the kahuna stood forth to pray. When the kahuna uttered the word hapai (lift) in his prayer, the four men lifted the net and shook it back and forth to make the food drop through the meshes, such being the purpose of the ceremony. This was called the net of Maoloha. If the food did not drop from the net, the kahuna declared there would be famine in the land; but if it all fell out, he predicted that the season would be fruitful.
Today, Makahiki ceremonies are conducted throughout the Hawaiian Islands honoring Lono with the sharing of food and music, the making and teaching of arts and crafts, poi or kalo ponding, and the interactive sporting competition of the Makahiki games. Some of these games are Kōnane, a two-person strategy game similar to the game of checkers. Ulu Maika, where a disc-shaped stone is thrown between two stakes. Moa Paheʻe, a dart sliding game similar to Ulu Maika. Haka Moa or standing chicken fight, where two players hold their left leg with their left arm and try to grasp their opponentʻs right arm and wrestle them to the ground is a favorite, but perhaps most challenging is the Ōʻō Ihe, where spears or javelins are thrown at a target, usually a banana stump, by the contestant. Many of these Makahiki games take skill and practice, but both those who are experienced and those new to Makahiki games, enjoy the event having eaten good food, listened to awesome local music, and the opportunity to practice their own skills at the Makahiki games while participating in an educational cultural event. As we say at this time of the year, Lonoikamakahiki!
 David Malo, Hawaiian Antiquities. Honolulu: Bernice P. Bishop Museum, 1992, page 141.
 Ibid., 331.
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.