Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ipu, Hawaiian Gourd of Mana

(Heavenly Gourd)

In ancient Hawaii the Ipu plant was sacred and considered the kino lau (body form) of Lono, the Hawaiian god of agriculture. Ipus were so precious that they were often named after ancestors and handed down from one generation to the next. The Ipu played an important part in sustaining life in old Hawaii: It held the precious dinking water, medicines and food. It accompanied hula dances and chanting during festive and spiritual ceremonies. Up to today, the sacred rhythm of the ipu is heard in Kahiko (ancient) and Auana (modern) hulas.
Two varieties of the ipu were cultivated by ancient Hawaiians: the ipu manalo, or sweet gourd for eating; and the ipu 'awa'awa, or bitter gourd for medicine and containers. Through selective breeding the ipu 'awa'awa was developed into many sizes and shapes. After the harvest the gourds were hollowed, cleaned and polished to a shine. Sometimes they were painted on or decorated with leis in a special, artistic manner. All the symbols had a meaning. The colors and shapes were expressing important messages.

According to Hawaiian culture, that which takes care of you must also be cared for! 

Gourds have always been highly valued in Hawaii. In ancient times special customs and rituals were performed during the planting, cultivation and harvest. Gourds were planted on the night of Hua, when the moon was shaped like an egg. A potbellied man would carry the seed as if it already was a huge gourd. Chanting, he would drop the seed quickly in the hole, keeping his hands straight and steady in order to keep the gourd from twisting and shriveling:

He ipu nui!
O hiki ku mauna,
O hiki kua,
Nui maoli keia ipu! 

A huge ipu!
Growing like a mountain,
To be carried on the back,
Really huge is this gourd!

Ka ipu o ka ike
The gourd of Mana

Several beautiful, large ipus decorate my home. I adorned them with Hawaiian seed and feather leis. Their special Mana (spiritual energy) greets me, every time I walk into my house. They seem to nurture and watch over me, giving me the greatest comfort.
Ipulani, the Menehune Guardian Angel, was created in honor of the precious Hawaiian Ipu.

Ipulani (Heavenly Gourd), the Guardian Angel 

The sacred rhythm of the Ipu (gourd) echoes across the ‘Aina (land) calling Ipulani, the Menehune Guardian Angel to earth. Ipulani’s Mana (spiritual energy) radiates the power of unconditional Aloha (love). Ipulani is named after the sacred Hawaiian Ipu (gourd), which invokes blessings of the divine.
Her home is Lanikeha, the high sky. The heavenly light of Ipulani’s candle illuminates the paths of the Menehune’s lives on earth.
The Menehunes know Ipulani always watches over them enlightening their lives with her angelic presence. Hearing the divine drumming of the Ipu in the distance, the Menehunes sense that Ipulani is near. Sometimes she allows them a glance at the heavenly glow of her Ipu candle or a glimpse of her angelic white feather wings passing by to remind them how brightly the Aloha spirit is shining from their own souls. All they have to do is call and Ipulani appears offering her wisdom and guidance.

Welcome Ipulani as your guardian angel! She is devoted to protecting and guiding you on your life’s journey. 

Ipulani often rests in the serene Hawaiian Ohia forest, worshipping the beautiful world around her. She never tires of rejoicing in the abundant splendor of nature.

Ipulani wears a white dress with a big pink Puakenikeni flower in the front, pink crocheted panties and matching shoes. Her Maile Haku (head lei) with the fragrant, pink Puakenikeni flowers represents spiritual strength, unity and love. 
She is holding an Ipu with a candle in her hands. The angel wings are crafted out of real white feathers.

Ipulani is about 3.5” tall, fitting in the palm of your hand. The body is made out of stretch cotton and wired for flexibility. The eyes and mouth are intricately embroidered onto the face. Ipulani has tiny little hands and feet, ears, buttocks, and a belly button. All accessories were individually handcrafted.

Ipulani is a one of a kind display doll handcrafted by Hawaiian Dolls. She is a collector’s item bringing you the spiritual power of Hawaii.

Ipulani’s Mana (spiritual energy) radiates unconditional Aloha. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hi'iaka, Cradled in the Arms of Pele

No Hi‘iaka nō he inoa ‘eā
In honor of Hi‘iaka

Hi’iaka is Hawaii's patron Goddess. She possesses the power to heal and the truth of vision. Hi'iaka is worshipped for her Hula and many dances have been dedicated just to her. She also is the favorite youngest sister of Pele, Hawaii's famous and feared Volcano Goddess.

It is said that Hi'iaka was born in Tahiti by the great Earth Mother Haumea in the form of an egg. Pele lovingly carried her sister in her armpit on the long canoe ride from Tahiti to Hawaii. Hi'iaka is therefore often called Hi’iaka i ka poli o Pele, which means “cradled in the armpit of Pele”. At long last they reached Pele's new home on Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island. There Pele nurtured Hi’iaka in the beautiful Ohia forest until she hatched.

Goddess Pele creates the land with molten fiery hot lava. Hi’iaka blesses the land with rain and creates soil, trees and life with her healing Mana (spiritual energy). Together the sister Goddesses ensure that the growth and life of the land continues.

Hi'iaka's beloved Ohia Tree is the first form of life to grow directly out of the hardened black lava. It signals the completion of one cycle and illuminates a new beginning. Hi'iaka lives in a sacred grove of Ohia trees where she spends her days dancing with the Akuas (spirits) of the forest.

One famous legend tells of Hi'iaka's precarious journey to Kaua'i where she was sent by her sister to bring back Pele's lover, Lohi'au. Pele asked Hi'aka to be back within 40 days and promised to protect her sacred Lehua groves and best friend Hopoe during that time.
But Hi'iaka encountered many obstacles on her journey: The landscape was treacherous, the weather hostile and deadly Mo'o lizards attempted to trap her. When she finally reached Lohi'au's home on Kaua'i, he had committed suicide because of his longing for Pele. Hi'iaka was able to revive him with the power of her chanting and prayers.
Hi'iaka was armed with some of Pele's Mana (powers), but she was still unable to complete the mission in 40 days. Pele, fearing that Hiʻiaka had betrayed her and was keeping her handsome lover for herself, was enraged. She destroyed Hiʻiaka's sacred Lehua groves and killed her friend Hopoe, turning her into stone.
When Hiʻiaka returned, seeing her friend dead and her forest ravaged, she took revenge on Pele and made love to Lohiau right on the edge of the crater where Pele was sure to see them. Furiously, Pele covered the couple in waves of fiery hot lava. Hiʻiaka was unharmed, but Lohiau died. Hiʻiaka brought him back to life for the second time.
Pele regretted her actions toward her beloved sister's Lehua groves and best friend. She decided to let Lohiau choose who he wanted to be with.
During their long and dangerous journey from Kaua'i, Lohi'au had come to love and greatly admire Hi'iaka for her bravery, loyalty, kindness and beauty. He chose her for his wife and took her back to Kaua'i with him.

Hi'iaka connects our hearts and actions with Aloha (love). The reality of our outer lives is often the result of what we carry in our hearts. Hi'iaka teaches us to focus on our higher purpose. If you choose wisely, you will grow, flourish and blossom in unlimited possibilities.

Goddess Hi'iaka's divine Mana inspired the creation of Menehune Dolls, Hi'iaka and Lohi'au.

Hi'iaka and Lohi'au
Birth Date: ʻOkakopa 15, 2014 (10/15/14)

Onaona i Kahala me Ka Lehua
He Hale Lehua no ia na Ka noe
Aloha e, Aloha e

(Fragrant with the breath of Hala and Lehua
This is the sight I long to see
Greetings, Greetings)

The sacred drumming of the Ipu (gourd) echoes across the 'Aina (land) as Hi'iaka and Lohi'au dance and chant with the Akuas (spirits) of the Ohia Forest.
The Menehune Ohana (family) watches in awe as the harmony of Ipu, Hula and chant attunes them to spirit and gladdens their heart.

Hi'iaka and Lohi'au connect our hearts and actions with Aloha (love). Focus on your higher purpose, choose wisely and you will grow, flourish and blossom in unlimited possibilities. 

Hi'iaka's and Lohi'au's Mana attunes us to the spirit of Aloha.