Blowing the Pu is a deep part of Hawaiian culture. Blown in accordance with Hawaiian protocol, it is a call to the divine announcing the official beginning of a sacred ceremony.
In ancient times the Pu announced the arrival of Ali’I (royalty), the beginning of the Makahiki season (Hawaiian New Year festival) and other important events. Conch shells were so precious, they were handed down from one generation to the next. In old Hawaii the Pu was also used to communicate across the waters, requesting and granting permission to come to shore. When blown correctly the beautiful hollow sound of the Pu can be heard from miles away.
Today the conch shell is still used in many traditional festivities and ceremonies throughout the islands, keeping Hawaiian culture alive.
Following sacred protocols the conch shell is blown pure and clear in the four directions. Complex sets of meanings are applied to when, how many times and in which direction the Pu is blown. The teachings of Kahunas (priests) reveal some of the deep sacred meanings of blowing the Hawaiian conch shell in tune with divine Mana (spiritual energy).
One well known story of the Pu tells about the mystical Hawaiian Menehunes, a legendary race of small Hawaiian people, who were considered gods by the Polynesians. When Chief Kiha on Oahu used a conch shell to control the little gods, the Menehunes stole it from him and blew it all night long so that nobody could sleep. Finally a brave Hawaiian retrieved the stolen conch shell but chipped it on the way back. This very shell is now displayed at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
The heavenly call of the Hawaiian Pu inspired the creation of Magical Menehune Guardian Angel Pupu Puhi (Conch Shell).