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. 

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