Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hawaiian Aumakua, Our Ancestral Guardian Spirits

"Kaha ka 'Io me na Makani"
(The Hawk Soars with the Winds) 

To the ancient Hawaiians, an Aumakua was a deified ancestral guardian spirit, embodying the form of an animal to watch over their descendants. An Aumakua could manifest itself as a shark, a sea turtle, an 'Io (hawk), a pueo (owl) or other animal. The Aumakuas empower, guide, protect and inspire their descendants. They are treated with the greatest respect and often asked for advice in times of need. Aumakuas also may bring gifts of Mana; supernatural powers that manifest in talents and abilities.

In Hawaiian mythology, ‘Io, the Hawaiian Hawk, is considered a messenger of God. The sacred bird teaches us to look at life from a higher perspective. ‘Io is the king of the Hawaiian birds.

“He ‘Io au, he manu i ka lewa lani. 
(I am ‘Io, the bird that soars in the heavenly sky.)” 

‘Io reminds us to live well, love nature, and Malama ‘Aina (care for the land).

The Hawaiian Hawk is endemic to the Islands of Hawaii. His feathers are different shades of brown. ‘Io is about 17 inches long and considered an endangered species.

Watching the majestic bird soar through the sky in the beautiful, secluded mountains of Kau on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I have lived for the past 30 years, I developed a deep connection to him. ‘Io, calling to me from leva lani (the heavenly sky), became my Aumakua.

Following an inspiration I decided to include 'Io in the creation of "Magical Hawaiian Menehunes". Many hours and a lot of love went into handcrafting the 1.5" miniature Hawaiian Hawk.

'Io became the Aumakua of Princess Iolani.

Princess Iolani's and ‘Io’s Story 

Birthdate: Ianuali 3, 2010 (01/03/10) 

Iolani (Heavenly Hawk) is a Hawaiian Menehune Kamali’i Wahine (Princess). Her sacred Aumakua (ancestral spirit) is the Hawaiian ‘Io (hawk). In Hawaii the ‘Io is considered the hawk of the Ali’i (royalty).
'Io is a messenger of God. He soars high above, reminding us to live well, love nature, and Malama ‘Aina (care for the land). 

Iolani and ‘Io remind us that the divine is always with us. 

Io is just a baby hawk. He loves to play and ride on Iolani’s right arm revealing his miraculous powers and loving concerns to her. Together Iolani and ‘Io walk through the beautiful indigenous Ohia forest in the Kaiholena mountains.

Princess Iolani’s brothers, Kanaka (Hunter) and Pueo (Owl) with his Ulula (baby owl) accompany the Princess as her guardians. 

Their laughter echoes through the forest as they play with ‘Io and Ulula. They Malama ‘Aina (honor the land) with their Hawaiian chants. ‘Io is their messenger spirit who heightens their awareness and lets their true soul light shine through.

The coconut for Iolani’s cradle was selected from palm trees at Punalu’u Black Sands Beach. It is hand carved, sanded, polished, and fit to a custom coconut base. 
The coconut cradle wears a lei of white hawk feathers on the top and base. In Hawaii the Hulu (feather) is believed to link to the divine. The bedding and ruffles of the cradle are sewn out of red cotton with a gold colored Lehua blossom (flowers of the Ohia tree) design. 
Iolani’s lava-lava (wraparound dress) matches her bedding. Maile Leis (native Hawaiian vine) are wrapped around her neck and ankles. Princess Iolani bears a half moon shaped golden crown on her head and a white Plumeria flower behind her left ear. Iolani is about 3.5” tall. The body is made out of stretch cotton. The eyes and mouth are intricately embroidered onto her face. 
'Io, the Hawaiian Hawk, is about 1.5” tall. He is handcrafted out of white and brown fur, leather for the beak and claws, and black crystals for the eyes. 

On her first birthday Iolani’s Tutu (grandmother) gave her two golden Hawaiian bracelets. They were Tutu’s gift of lasting love and Aloha to her Mo’opuna (granddaughter). Iolani treasures her Tutu’s gift. She always wears the bracelets on her wrists.

Princess Iolani and ‘Io carry the spiritual power of Hawaii. 

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