E nā hoa heluhelu mai ka piʻi ana o ka lā i Haʻehaʻe a i ke kai kāʻili lā o Lehua, aloha nui kākou! Greetings of aloha to my fellow readers, from the rising of the sun at Haʻehaʻe to the sun snatching sea of Lehua.
He wā hoʻomaikaʻi a hoʻokulāia nō kēia no ka lāhui! Ua ʻula aʻe nei ka lae o kahi Kauka Kalei Nuʻuhiwa a laeʻula ihola nō hoʻi! This is a time of congratulation and celebration for the lāhui! The brow of a certain Dr. Kalei Nuʻuhiwa has been reddened and her doctorate obtained!
I bring this news to you, dear friends, as we enter into the time of the year that we celebrate the beginning of the Makahiki. Dr. Nuʻuhiwa received her Ph.D. from the University of Waikato in Aotearoa. Her dissertation was titled: Makahiki – Nā Maka o Lono Utilizing the Papakū Makawalu Method to Analyze Mele and Pule of Lono and the Makahiki.
Dr. Nuʻuhiwa’s dissertation is a feast for hungry practitioners of the Makahiki traditions and burgeoning kilo lani practitioners. Her research offers a lens through which we can grow our limited understanding of an important legacy left to us by our ancestors. Makahiki is more than just the “games.” It is a time to recalibrate, physically, spiritually and politically.
For this short article, and since we are in the appropriate time in the Kaulana Mahina, the moon calendar, I wanted to share with all of you, dear friends, a glimpse of her dissertation and what Dr. Nuʻuhiwa says regarding the start of the Makahiki.
Although the opening of Makahiki is celebrated in communities across Hawaiʻi at varying times from September through November, according to Nuʻuhiwa, the first ceremony that opens the Makahiki season is the ceremony that closes the Kū season.
This ceremony is called “Kauluwela” and it happens around August/September, or Hilinehu in the Kaulana Mahina, at which time environmental and political shifts occur from Kū/Kāne to Lono/Kanaloa.
The second ceremony that opens the Makahiki season is “Kuapola” which occurs on pō Hua in the malama of ʻIkuā (October) followed by a second Kuapola on pō Hua of Welehu (November). During the first Kuapola, observations and then prognostications of the upcoming Makahiki are made by the kahuna and aliʻi. The second Kuapola affirms those observations and prognostications with the makaʻāinana. It is in Welehu when the Makaliʻi (Pleiades) is seen rising in the east, following both the setting of the sun and moon, marking the beginning of the year.
We anxiously await the publication of Dr. Nuʻuhiwa’s book to learn more about Makahiki, but in the meantime you can join her every morning at 9:00 a.m. at kanaenaetogether.com for her daily sharing of pule hoʻōla, prayers to support one another.
And with that, I end here with this refrain, say it with me, “LONOIKAMAKAHIKI!”