A kahuna o maka is a person who has mastered the art of listening to the rhythms orchestrated in nature, of watching how the stars, land, and living organisms work in synergistic patterns, and most importantly, of understanding the importance of how all elements come together to create sustainability to support life.
On a recent cultural excursion, Ho’omana Lomi Ohana sponsored Kumu Mike Lee, a modern Kahuna o maka and cultural practitioner to come to Maui to share his mana’o (thoughts). He took our students to two sacred Maui pools sharing the cultural significance of these brackish pools as being the pools of life and death.
Babies would be birthed and cleansed in these sacred waters. As he shared about a white mo’o or lizard goddess who is the keeper of the freshwater springs that feed this pool, he was visibly troubled at the fact that not one of the seven springs nourishing the pool was flowing. He brought with him a ho’okupu (offering) of Awa and a Ti leaf wrapped offering of limu kala (seaweed of forgiveness). He called upon his ancestors, honoring the mo’o goddess and ancestors of the area, to restore the spring and allow life-giving water to flow into the area once more.
A short distance away was the pool of death. In contrast, this pool was dark as night with the heavens and forests of trees shimmering in it’s reflection. Kumu shared that this pool was a portal where those that had reached the end of their life would go to take the leap into Po- “the realm of spirits” where the aumakua –family spirits awaited them.
After a short talk-story, we returned to the original pool and to our amazement the main spring was gushing forth with fresh water. Within the course of 15 minutes, one by one each of the seven springs began flowing.
The wisdom of our ancestors is alive and well and in the islands, all we need to do is watch, listen, understand, and flow in our life’s journey respecting and protecting nature as a support for all life forms.
We cannot fail to respect and then take action towards preservation of our precious wai. If we do not begin now, we stand to lose their natural splendor, cultural value and spiritual significance provided for generations.
To learn more about these pools select https://hoomanaspamaui.com/blog/.