In November 2017, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs published Mana Lāhui Kānaka, a multidimensional study of mana: what it is, how to articulate it and how to access and cultivate it in order to uplift our lāhui. This book shared mana‘o from community contributors, including Billy Fields, discussing what mana means to him.
For me mana is ke Akua.
Perhaps I am a little different from others, where they believe people have mana. I believe that ke Akua has the mana and then he uses all of us in whichever way that he can to do good work.
It means in times of need he uses us to help others. When we have need, he provides through that mana and his mana extends into our daily lives. We only have to sit and recognize it so we know that it’s happening, and he’s happening.
I’ve had many moments where mana has been present in my life. The one that I can think of right off the top of my head is when I became the Hope Kahu of our church. I realized as I got up on to the kuaho to hold my first service that there was nothing there on the kuaho except for prayers and pule. I realized that really I needed to depend on ke Akua’s mana to be able to do this work that I had been called to do. It was a mana-filled moment as I stood there and recognized ke Akua’s hand on me. I recognized that my grandmother had been right all along, that ‘ōlelo was going to be something more than just teaching it to others, but to really carry on a good work.
Tap into your mana by downloading a free copy of Mana Lāhui Kanaka at oha.org/mana.