Cultural Values, lessons, questions

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Nohola
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Cultural Values, lessons, questions

Postby Nohola » 2006-10-01, 17:00

I'll leave this section for anything on the culture. I'll start off with a few proverbs, known to us as 'Olelo No'eau.

I ulu no ka lälä i ke kumu

The branches grow because of the trunk.

This one reminds us that without our ancestors we would not be here.

He ipu ho'oilina mai nä kupuna mai

An inherited container from the remotest ancestress.

The ipu, which is part of the squash family is dried out and used as a container to hold things, as well as used as an instrument. It compares the ipu to the the womb, the container by which the family line continues.

I pa'a i kona 'a'ole käkou e puka

Had our ancestress died in bearing our grandparent, we would not have come forth.

This one I've heard people use before. And that we should respect the elders because they came first.

and finally.....

I pa'a iä ia 'a'ole 'oe e puka

If it had ended with him [or her] you would not be here.

One of my favorites, which we use to remind the younger generation that respect should be given to the elder. Literally it says how if it was closed (meaning the womb) at the time of the (older) sibling, you (or us, if you're younger) would not be here. I've had this happen in my own family where my great-grandmother died shortly after giving birth. Her daughter, with the same name eventually suffered the same fate. Now had they not died right after childbirth, they probably would have had more children.

All of these 'olelo no'eau I used covers a main aspect of Hawaiian culture and that is having respect. In old days, there was a class system and the ali'i class, or chiefly class was on the top of that tier, followed by the maka'ainana or the common class. Then you had your outcast (kauwa/kauä) at the bottom. But even among the ali'i, you had various classes of chiefs, one higher than the other. All of whom gave respect to whomever was owed that respect based on lineage, rank, title, etc. Even today this is carried, although we did away with the classes, but among the older and younger generations. That doesn't mean that everyone follows it, especially non 'Oiwi or native people.
He manao oiwi!

E hoi e pee i ke opu weuweu me he moho la. E ao o hai ka pua o ka mauu ia oe

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Ariki
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Postby Ariki » 2006-10-02, 6:22

Tena koe,

I can not help, but just agree with the whakaaro (ideas) encapsulated by the meanings of those 'olelo no'eau. We also value our elders in much the same ways.

As for the older sibling and younger sibling relationship, our soceity very much treated everyone as equals and we all had a duty to each other. Our whakatauki (proverb) goes like this -

Ma te tuakana te teina e whakatika

The elder sibling corrects the younger sibling

Ma te teina te tuakana e whakatika

The younger sibling corrects the older sibling.

Essentially, it is the tuakana's role to teach the appropriate social ettiquette to their teina. However, the teina in turn, due to their cheeky nature, will also enforce those rules on their tuakana.


Our taha (calabashes) our made out of the hue plant. Does this grow in Hawai'i? Taha as well as the ipu (bowl, container) were both important over here as well.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

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Nohola
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Postby Nohola » 2006-10-02, 12:56

riki wrote:Tena koe,
As for the older sibling and younger sibling relationship, our soceity very much treated everyone as equals and we all had a duty to each other. Our whakatauki (proverb) goes like this -

Ma te tuakana te teina e whakatika

The elder sibling corrects the younger sibling

Ma te teina te tuakana e whakatika

The younger sibling corrects the older sibling.

Essentially, it is the tuakana's role to teach the appropriate social ettiquette to their teina. However, the teina in turn, due to their cheeky nature, will also enforce those rules on their tuakana.

Pretty much the same thing where the older sibling has an important role in shaping the lives of their younger. In the Hawaiian culture, a lot has to do with ka hiapo, the first born. In old days, they say that the hiapo was given to the grandparents to learn all the traditions of the family. A male grandchild would be given to the paternal grandparents, while the granddaughter to the maternal grandparents. They all focused on 'ohana (family) and how they were all related and each had an important role among their own families and were well respected.

Our taha (calabashes) our made out of the hue plant. Does this grow in Hawai'i?

I never heard of the hue plant before, but maybe if you saw a photo of it, you may recognize it. Of course under a different name probably. Unfortunately flora & fauna are not my forte, unlike my cousin's. He'd know these things.

Taha as well as the ipu (bowl, container) were both important over here as well.


The ipu had a significant role too on the island I'm from. Especially in my cousin's family, the Pe'elua family since they had an ancestress who was well known in ancient days as a prophetess. The 'umeke (your taha) had some type of poetic reference to each family, something (again) I'm not too familiar with since my own family comes from Maui, another island than the one I'm from. And as you saw earlier in the 'olelo no'eau, the ipu was used. It housed other things too including the iwi. I use my ipu to house some iwi too. :)
He manao oiwi!

E hoi e pee i ke opu weuweu me he moho la. E ao o hai ka pua o ka mauu ia oe


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