Saturday, May 13, 2017

Becoming Mauliauhonua (a family intimate with their place)

O ka hua o ke kolea aia i Kahiki
The egg of the kolea is laid in a foreign land
— from Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘0lelo No’eau: Hawai‘ian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings, Bishop Museum Press 1983

Kolea eggs in an Alaska ground nest.
Leave-in-your-hair rinse
(c) Mokihana Calizar

A gentle rain falls in the woods
Heavenly drops 
Bless me with a leave-in-your-hair rinse.

Ka 'ua o Whidbey 
Kanu 'o ia i ke Quonset
He 'ua nani keia.

The Whidbey Rain
Sounds on the Quonset
Beautiful the kanu.

The kaona the hidden meanings of the poetry lie in the meaning of kanu. From the Hawaiian Dictionary kanu. 'To plant, bury; planting, burial, Fig., hereditary.' The rain present where we live on Whidbey Island plants itself in the roof of our shelter where I persist in my hereditary commitment to write/communication. While I walk from our small shelters the heavens fall, the same heaven that blesses my ancestors on islands across the ocean. I leave the blessing in my hair to plant in me, the crop, the legacy.

Last night my husband Pete and I woke just before 10 PM to join folks of Hui Aimalama for the second FB online lecture to train us to become Mauliauhonua. From kumu Kalei Nu'uhiwa's mana'o (lecture notes) we learned:

"He aha ia mea, he MAULIAUHONUA? What is a Mauliauhonua and why do we want to become one?The Pukui & Elbert Hawaiian dictionary says: mauliauhonua - nvs. Descendant of old chiefs of a land; established, ancient, as a family. Ua kū kēia welo ā mauliauhonua, this family is old and well established (1985).

Simply said, the term mauliauhonua is given to a family or a community that has been on the same plot of land for multiple generations. A mauliauhonua can be a family or community that has become well established in their area of residence.
The term well-established means that these multi-generational residents have been in a single spot for so long that they have become intimately engaged with and understand their own surroundings.
They know all the names of all the rains, winds, waterways, peaks, plateaus, mountains and other natural features. They also know the seasons of nature and have figured out how to live efficiently within their surroundings. These MAULIAUHOUNA have survived, engaged and adapted their practices to their own particular space. A person from a community called mauliauhoua knows the natural occurrences, cycles, weather patterns, and growth processes of their own environment.
They know their own location so well that they can accurately predict when certain seasons will begin or end, whether their environment is healthy or unhealthy and if the resources they depend upon are ready for harvesting or not. A person who is called a mauliauhonua does not need an app to tell him or her whatʻs going on in their own backyard. A mauliauhonua is the app. The ultimate result of learning the ʻAimalama methodology is to become the app. So, how do we do that? ... "

The brief one hour interactive lecture involved a small group of people in a discussion of the 5 components "in becoming a person whoʻs family will eventually become mauliauhonua. The components are:

1. Learning and utilizing the Kaulana Mahina to note monthly, seasonal and cyclical occurrences. 
2. Kilo - Making observations. Paying attention and noting what is happening around you.
3.Collecting your observations and correlating them with the Kaulana Mahina establishes your own foundational understanding of your surroundings. Over time you will be able to see the normal or abnormal trends that are occurring to which you can make adjustments to your practice.
4. Collecting your own data in your own way. Examples of tools available out there to start your data collection would be to begin keeping observations sheets, logs, journals, composing ʻōlelo noʻeau (proverbs), writing moʻolelo (stories), or composing mele (chant, song).
You can also choose to write ʻōlelo noʻeau to continue the practice of creating traditional databases to transfer your observations on to the next generation.
5. Become Mauliauhonua - "Be the App"
The final component is to work towards becoming the expert in your neighborhood or community. 

Kalei left us participants with this challenge: Tell us what you can do to start building your foundational database of your location. This blog, this online journal is one way for me, and my husband to continue building that foundational database of our location. Wow, what an insight and clarification, an Aha a ha morning right here, right now, all along. Every blog, every medicine story, every attempt at sharing what we experience has been, and continues to be at home over time. 

So ... as Hummingbird gathering the nectar of the tiny bell-shaped flowers of the Wild Huckleberry outside the Quonset window, I answer Kalei's challenge with this blog post and mahalo the work of my ancestors. Last night's FB lecture began with an introduction. Part of that introduction included these words:

"One of the intentions for these lectures is to assist more people with learning about the ʻAimalama method to prepare and adapt to climate change. ʻAimalama believes that each and every one of us is a descendant of survivors. Our ancestors learned skills that were not only passed down from one generation to the next, also as each generation moved forward they innovatively made changes to those skills to adapt, survive and successfully move forward into the future purely for the sake of survival. Our ancestors faced and adapted to adverse conditions, environmental activities, and social interferences. We are the living proof of their keen survival skills. We are here because they survived.The ʻAimalama team believes that some of those survival techniques can be applied today to navigate our way through the environmental changes currently happening and to overcome and empower ourselves to innovatively survive into the future.We are committed to providing information on the Kaulana Mahina and ʻAimalama methodology to a broader community through these FB Hui ʻAimalama lectures..." 

We gather and record the baseline data of life where we are, and put it here as Mauliauhonua, the continuation of practice begun as makua o'o.  Have a great day. Interested in learning more about Hui Aimalama? Go to their website:

No comments:

Post a Comment