Lonoikamakahiki! Our staff and Hālau Pāheona After School haumāna (students) were blessed on October 16th on the Kaimuki High School campus with warm sunshine as we celebrated the start of the Makahiki season, the time from mid-October through mid-February. In keeping with Hawaiian cultural traditions, Makahiki is a time of peace, where no ali‘i (chiefs) or armies were allowed to go into battle, and war was kapu (forbidden).
In ancient Hawaiian times, Makahiki was a time to gather and pay a villageʻs produce or earnings to chiefs who redistributed the land’s gifts. It was a time to cease farming and a time to feast and enjoy competitive games. Hawaiians gave ritualized thanks for the abundance of the earth and called upon the Akua (gods) to provide rain and prosperity in the future. Makahiki connects to the Akua of Lono, the god of fertility, agriculture, rainfall, sports, music, and peace.
Our staff offered 5 social distanced workshops to the haumāna. Two of the sport games of Makahiki of Ula Maika (rock disc bowling), Moa Pahe‘e (large, short wooden dart bowling) were lead by Uncle Estria, where the goal was to get as many discs or darts between two stakes in the ground.
Three of the activities were of the Hawaiian arts and crafts. Card making was lead by Kumu Elisha Zeitler, and star compass bracelet weaving was lead by Kumu Lacey Evans. The Ki (ti leaf) wristband weaving was taught by Angela Pastores with our Kaimuki High School graduates and interns, Makanoe Hufana and Praise Gomes. Ki is considered sacred to Lono and Laka (goddess of hula). We explained to the haumāna how in ancient times, Hawaiians paid their taxes to the ali‘i in the form of handicrafts and garden products, and then they were free to play and dance.
Makahiki was a spectacular afternoon where we not only celebrated a Hawaiian tradition but our haumāna were able to appreciate and connect in-person instead of being boxed in the virtual screens of our weekly online classes. Most of the haumāna knew each other from this past Mele Murals Summer Program, so it was refreshing for everyone to celebrate the event with familiar faces.
As we ended the afternoon of Makahiki activities, several Kaimuki High School teachers and staff acknowledged us and realized how the school lost this tradition. With the return of Hālau Pāheona (the school of visual arts) celebrating Makahiki this autumn & winter season, we hope the celebration grows bigger next year to more haumāna of Kaimuki High School and the youth of Oahu. Mahalo to all haumāna, parents, and staff that came out to celebrate – Lonoikamakahiki!