On the first Monday of the month a traditional or modern moʻolelo depicting the culture, values, language or traditions of Hawaiʻi, will be shared through a virtual platform. These mo‘olelo promote literacy within the classroom and home, and encourage ʻohana to read and learn together. Moʻolelo are shared by staff and guest storytellers.
In the 1820’s, Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III was the catalyst for the rise of literacy in Hawaiʻi. He stated, “ ʻO Koʻu Aupuni, he Aupuni palapala koʻu. My kingdom shall be a kingdom of literacy”. Within our moʻokalaleo, we share a literacy component that extends our moʻolelo journey.
Hina’s Gift from the Heavens
The goddess Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama (Hina-feeding-on-the-moon) was frustrated. She loved her human ‘ohana but her husband, the chief ‘Ai-kanaka, was lazy, and their two sons, Puna-i-mua and Hema, were just like him. ʻAi-kanaka and his sons hardly ever helped with chores or contributed to the family’s survival. They never pounded kalo to make poi. They rarely filled the ipu wai with fresh water.
They depended on Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama to maintain their hale and provide for their ‘ohana. She pounded the softest and whitest kapa from the wauke plant for their clothing. She wove beautiful mats from the leaves of the hala tree for sitting and resting. She made torches from the nuts of the kukui tree to light their home. It took Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama a long time to finish all this work. Then she still had to complete all the household chores since no one else did them. She was disappointed in her human family.
One day after Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama spent much of the morning beating and weaving, she discovered that once again there was no food for their evening meal. No poi, no fish, nothing! The behavior of her ‘ohana was getting worse and worse. The next morning as Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama gazed towards the sun, she spotted a brightly colored rainbow arching across the sky. Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama decided to climb it in search of a new home. “I will live on the sun!” she declared.
Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama started to climb up the rainbow. She rose higher and higher into the sky, past the clouds. As she got closer to the sun, she became hotter and hotter. The heat made Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama feel weak, so weak that she could barely continue to crawl up the colorful path through the sky. “Aue! I feel like I’m on fire!” she cried. “I can’t stay on the sun.”
Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama slid down the rainbow to the clouds. She rested there until she regained her strength and could return back to the earth once more. As the sunset in the west behind the Ko’olau mountains, she looked towards the east and noticed that the moon had risen. It was a full moon shining brightly in the night sky. The moon looked beautiful above Maʻeliʻeli, a hill in the ahupuaʻa of He’eia. Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama declared, “I will climb to the moon and find rest there. The moon will be my new home.”
Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama fetched her special ipu named after her beloved brother Kipapa-lau-ʻulu. He gave her this ipu containing knowledge of the mahina and hoku. Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama was always able to get food for her troublesome family, for Kipapa-lau-‘ulu showed her where and when certain foods would grow and be ready to harvest and gather.
Along with Kipapa-lau-‘ulu, she gathered her most valued possessions and tucked them under her arm. Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama sprinted up Maʻeliʻeli and leaped into the sky towards the moon.
‘Ai-kanaka saw what was happening and ran after her anxiously calling out to his wife. “Stay,” he pleaded, “do not leave your family to live in the sky!”
“I have made up my mind. I am leaving to live on the moon!” Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama replied firmly. She continued to climb higher and higher into the night sky.
‘Ai-kanaka ran up Ma’eli’eli and with a mighty jump, he reached for her. Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama nearly escaped, but’ Ai-kanaka managed to grab her foot.
Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama chanted and chanted to her ‘ohana, her ‘aumākua, and to those who live in pō to help her escape. Finally, her prayers were answered. She pulled free from ‘Ai-kanaka, but her foot broke off. ‘Ai-kanaka, holding Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama’s foot, tumbled and tumbled down the side of Ma’eli’eli and fell to the ground. Filled with great sadness, ‘Ai-kanaka buried Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama’s foot in the ground at Maʻeliʻeli. He then returned home to tell his sons of the tragedy.
In spite of her injury, Hina-ʻai-a-ka-malama was still determined to reach the moon and make it her new home. Holding Kīpapa-lau-ʻulu in her arms, she slowly stumbled onto the moon. Hina-ʻai-a-ka-malama was finally free!
‘Ai-kanaka and his sons were brokenhearted by the suffering they caused Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama. From her new home on the moon, she could hear ‘Ai-kanaka, Puna-i-mua and Hema as they cried, expressing their apologies with tears and chants.
Over time, Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama realized that her ‘ohana felt truly sorry for the way they had mistreated her. With aloha and a generous, forgiving spirit, Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama gave her ‘ohana a precious gift. From the place where her foot was buried, a vine started to grow. It was a new plant that we know today as ‘uala, sweet potato.
Those who know this mo’olelo will often refer to ‘uala as hua-lani, which means “seed of heaven.” From ancient days until today, ‘uala is cultivated by breaking off and planting pieces of the mother plant.
Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama is often referred to as Lono-muku,” the crippled Lono.” This name shows her relationship to Lono the god of agriculture, peace, and rain. It also reflects Hina’s connection to growing food, and the sacrifices she made on her journey to the moon.
So, the next time you see the beauty of a full moon, look carefully into its silver light. Can you see Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama beating kapa with Kipapa-lau-‘ulu at her side? Hawaiians are forever grateful for Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama’s gift from the heavens.
The mo ‘olelo of Hina-‘ai-a-ka-malama has been retold from generation to generation. The account in this reader is based primarily on interpretations found in Hawaiian Mythology by Martha Beckwith, Hina the Goddess by Dietrich Varez, Hawaiian language newspapers, and information collected by the Bishop Museum. This version is written by Papahana Kuaola staff.
Naukiuki ke akua wahine ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama. Aloha ‘o ia i kona ‘ohana kanaka, akā na‘e, ua moloā kāna kāne, ‘o ‘Aikanaka a pēlā pū me kāna mau keiki kāne, ‘o Punaimua a me Hema, like nō lāua me ia ala. ‘A‘ole ‘o ‘Aikanaka a me kāna mau keiki kāne e kōkua i nā kuleana no ka ‘ohana. ‘A‘ole lākou e ku‘i i ke kalo a ho‘omākaukau ‘ia ka poi. ‘A‘ole lākou e ki‘i a ho‘opihapiha ka ipu wai me ka wai.
Kauka‘i lākou iā Hina‘aiakamalama i ka mālama ‘ana i ka hale a me ka ‘ohana. Ua kūkū ‘ia ke kapa palupalu a me ke kapa ke‘oke‘o e ia mai ka wauke i kanu ‘ia no ko lākou lole. Ua ulana ‘ia nā moena mai nā lau o ka pūhala no ka noho ‘ana a me ka ho‘omaha ‘ana. Ua ho‘omākaukau ‘o ia i nā lamakū mai nā hua o ke kumu kukui i mea e hō‘ā ai ka hale. Ma hope o kēlā mau hana, pono ‘o ia e ho‘okō i nā kuleana o ka hale, no ka mea, ‘a‘ole i kō ‘ia. Hoka ‘o ia i kona ‘ohana.
I kekahi lā, ma hope o ka lō‘ihi o kona ho‘okūkū kapa ‘ana a me kona ‘ulana ‘ana ma ke kakahiaka, ua ‘ike ‘o ia, ‘a‘ohe mea ‘ai no ka ‘aina ahiahi. ‘A‘ohe poi, ‘a‘ohe i‘a, ‘a‘ohe lā! E ‘oi ana ka moloā o kona ‘ohana. I ke kakahiaka a‘e, ua nānā mai ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i ka lā, a ‘ike ‘o ia i kekahi ānuenue ‘ōlinolino e pi‘o ana i ka lani. Ua ho‘oholo ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama e pi‘i ‘o ia a ‘imi i kekahi hale hou. “E noho ana au ma ka lā!” i ‘ōlelo mai ‘o ia.
Ua ho‘omaka ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i ka pi‘i ‘ana i luna o ke ānuenue. ‘Oiai ‘o ia e pi‘i ana i luna a ‘oi aku i ka lani, kā‘alo ‘ia nā ‘ōpua. Ke kokoke mai ‘o ia i ka lā, welo ‘ino ‘o ia. Nāwaliwali ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i ka wela a ka lā, ua nui ka nāwaliwali i loko ona, ‘a‘ole hiki iā ia ke ho‘omau ma ke ala waiho‘olu‘u i ka lani. “Auē! Wela au me he mea lā, hō‘ā au i ke ahi!” ua uē ‘o ia. “‘A‘ole hiki ia‘u ke noho ma ka lā.”
Ua pāhe‘e ‘o Hina‘aiakalamala i ke ānuenue a i nā ‘ōpua. Ua maha ‘o ia ma laila a i ka ho‘iho‘i ‘ana o kona ikaika i loko ona a hiki iā ia ke ho‘i i ka honua. Ke nāpo‘o ‘ana o ka lā ma ke komohana, ma waho o ke kuahiwi ‘o Ko‘olau, ua nānā ‘o ia i ka hikina a ‘ike maka ‘o ia i ka mahina i puka ai. He mahina poepoe a kōnane nō i ka lani pō. Ua u‘i maoli nō ka mahina i kau a‘ela ma luna o Mā‘eli‘eli, he wahi pu‘u ma ke ahupua‘a ‘o He‘eia. Ua ho‘oholo akula ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama, “E pi‘i ana au i ka mahina a noho ma laila. ‘O ka mahina ko‘u home hou.”
Ua ki‘i akula ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i kona ipu kupaianaha i kapa ‘ia e ka inoa o kona kaikūnanae ‘o Kīpapa-lau-‘ulu. Ua hā‘awi ‘o ia iā ia i kēia ipu i piha me ka ‘ike o ka mahina a me nā hōkū. Ua loa‘a iā Hina‘aiakamalama ka ‘ai i nā manawa a pau no kona ‘ohana i ho‘opilikia ‘ia ‘oi a ma muli o kēia ipu no ka mea, ua hō‘ike ‘o Kīpapalau‘ulu iā ia i kahi a me ka manawa kūpono no ke kanu ‘ana a me ka huki ‘ana o ka ‘ai.
Me Kīpapalau‘ulu, ua halihali ‘o ia i kona mau mea pono‘ī a hāpai ‘o ia ma lalo o kona lima. Ua holo wikiwiki ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i uka o Mā‘eli‘eli a lele ‘o ia i luna a i ka mahina i kau ‘ia ma ka lani.
Ua ‘ike ‘o ‘Aikanaka i ka hanana a holo ‘o ia iā ia a kāhea i kāna wahine, “E noho!” mākilo ‘o ia, “mai ha‘alele i kou ‘ohana i mea e noho ai i ka lani.”
“Ua kūpa‘a ko‘u mana‘o. E ha‘alele ana au e noho ma ka mahina!” e pāne kūpa‘a mai ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama. Ho‘omau akula ‘o ia i kona pi‘i ana i luna i ka lani pō.
Ua holo akula ‘o ‘Aikanaka i uka o Mā‘eli‘eli a, me ka lele ikaika loa, ua lālau akula ‘o ia iā ia. Māihi ola ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama, akā, pa‘a maila ‘o ‘Aikanaka i kona wāwae.
Ua oli akula ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i kona ‘ohana, i kona mau aumākua, a me nā kānaka e noho i ka pō e kōkua iā ia. Ua pane ‘ia maila kāna mau pule. Ua ho‘oku‘u ‘ia ‘o ia mai ‘Aikanaka, akā na‘e, ua haki kona wāwae. Ke pa‘a mau ‘o ‘Aikanaka i ka wāwae o Hina‘aiakamalama, hā‘ule ihola ‘o ia ma ka ‘ao‘ao o Mā‘eli‘eli a i ka papa honua. Pi‘i ke kaumaha i loko ona, ua kanu ‘o ia i ka wāwae o Hina‘aiakalamala i ka honua ma Mā‘eli‘eli. Ua ho‘i maila ‘o ia i kona hale e ha‘i i kāna mau keiki kanaka i ka mea kaumaha.
Ua kūpa‘a mau ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama e holo i ka mahina a noho ma laila. Ke pa‘a mau ‘o ia iā Kīpapalau‘ulu, ua holo mālie ‘o ia i ka mahina. Ua makala maila ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama!
Ua kaumaha loa ‘o ‘Aikanaka a me kāna mau keiki kāne i ka ho‘opilikia ‘ana o lākou iā Hina‘aiakamalama. Mai kona home hou ma ka mahina, ua lohe maila ‘o ia i ka uē a me ka mihi a ‘Aikanaka, Punaimua, a me Hema me ka waimaka a me nā oli.
Ua hala ka manawa, ua ‘apo ‘o Hina‘aiakamalama i ka mihi o kona ‘ohana no ko lākou mau hana hewa ‘ana iā ia. Me ke aloha nui, ua hā‘awi akula ‘o Hina‘aiakalama i kekahi makana i kona ‘ohana. Ma kahi a kona wāwae i kanu ‘ia, ua ulu a‘e i kekahi lā‘au hihi. He mea kanu hou i ulu a‘e, a i kēia lā, maopopo iā kākou kēia mea kanu, he ‘uala ia.
ka ‘uala, he hua lani, a ‘o ka mana‘o o ia inoa, “he hua mai ka lani mai.” Mai ka wā kahiko a i kēia lā, i mea e ho‘oulu ai ka ‘uala, pono e haki i nā māhele mai ka makua a kanu ua mau māhele nei.
Ua kapa ‘ia ‘o Hina‘aiakalamala i Lonomuku. ‘O kēia inoa kai hō‘ike i kona pilina me Lono, ‘o ia ke akua no ka ‘oihana mahi ‘ai, ka maluhia, a me ka ua. E hō‘ike ‘ia nō ho‘i ua inoa nei i ko Hina pilina me ka ‘oihana mahi ‘ai a me kona mau mea i mōhai ‘ia ‘oiai ‘o ia e huaka‘i i ka mahina.
No laila, i ka manawa ‘ē a‘e āu e ‘ike maka ai i ka u‘i o ka mahina poepoe, e nānā kūpono i ka hulili o ka mahina. Hiki paha iā ‘oe ke ‘ike iā Hina‘aiakamalama e ho‘okūkū ana i kona kapa me Kīpapalau‘ulu ma kona ‘ao‘ao? Ua mahalo nui nō nā kānaka Hawai‘i i kā Hina‘aiakamalama makana mai ka lani mai.
Ua ha‘i ‘ē ‘ia kēia mo‘olelo mai kēlā hanauna a i kēia hanauna. ‘O ke ‘ano o kēia mo‘olelo i ho‘okāhua ‘ia mai ka puke ‘o Hawaiian Mythology, na Martha Beckwith i kākau, Hina the Goddess, na Dietrick Varez i kākau, a me nā nūpepa Hawai‘i a me nā mea i noi‘i ‘ia mai ka hale hō‘ike‘ike ‘o Bihopa. Ua kākau ‘ia kēia ‘ano o ka mo‘olelo e na limahana o Papahana Kuaola.
Weekly, a Mo‘o ‘Ōlelo, a succession of Hawaiian words or phrases will be shared. The mana‘o behind each word or phrase relates to the mo‘olelo being presented. This component will enhance cultural awareness and knowledge through Hawaiian language.
According to Kalani Akana, Hei is the Hawaiian tradition of string figure making, which preserves genealogical, geographical, biographical, and biological information.
The moʻolelo of Hina-ʻai-a-ka-malama, also known as Lonomuku, is told and perpetuated through Hei. The instructions provided have been recorded and presented in Lyle A. Dickeyʻs book String Figures from Hawaiʻi.
Can you see the calabashes that Hina is carrying under her two arms, and the short leg that ʻAi-kanaka grasped and broke?
Pō is also a a term used to refer to the realm of the gods; pertaining to or of the gods. In this moʻolelo, Hina-ʻai-a-ka-malama chants to her ʻohana, ʻaumākua and to those who lived in pō to help her escape her abusive husband ʻAi-kanaka and lazy sons Puna-i-mua and Hema.
ʻo Kīpapalauʻulu ka inoa o ko Hinaaimalama ipu ā Kīpapalauʻulu, ʻoia hoʻi kona kaikuana punahele, i haʻawi aku ai iāia. I loko o ka ipu, aia ka ko Hina ʻai a iʻa; he mahina ka ʻai a he hōku ka iʻa.
Kīpapalauʻulu is the name of Hinaaimalama’s gourd that Kīpapalauʻulu, her favorite brother, gave her. Inside of the gourd was food and fish; the moon was the food and the stars were the fish.
ʻUala is known as hua-lani. Since ancient days, it is cultivated by breaking off and planting pieces of the mother plant.
ʻŌlelo Noeʻau # 946
He ʻuala ka ʻai i hoʻola koke i ka wī.
The sweet potato is the food that ends famine quickly. The sweet potato is a plant that matures in a few months.