Friday, August 14, 2015

He'e Nalu, the Hawaiian Art of Surfing

Hawaii is a surfer’s paradise. Volcanic activity, mild weather, and coral reefs create perfect and challenging waves on white, golden, green and black sand beaches. When the surf is up, the surfer’s heart dances with excitement as he eagerly anticipates the challenges of the great waves. The ancient Hawaiians called this feeling “hopupu”. Surfing means riding the waves with focus and balance, finding the perfect attitude between tension and flexibility. Surfers describe it as the very best feeling in the world.
They share a love for the ocean. It becomes their greatest teacher evoking deep respect, humbleness, and fear. With relaxed alertness the surfer watches the ever changing tide, the swell building or fading, the shape of the wave; until he finds the break and rides one of those big waves home.

Surfing requires intense focus, strength, courage, and grace. 

He'e Nalu

The history of surfing in Hawaii goes back to the 4th century A.D. To the ancient Hawaiian people surfing was a spiritual form of art which they integrated into their culture. They called it he’e nalu which means wave sliding. The art of riding the waves was a deeply spiritual skill and ritual in ancient Hawaii. The ceremony began with the creation of the olo (surfboard). After choosing a WiliWili, Ula, or Koa tree, Hawaiians faced towards the sea and said a prayer of thanks for the wood they would use. Then they honored the spirit of the tree by burying a fish underneath it.
Before entering the great ocean, Hawaiians performed a ceremony of special dances and chants asking for strength, protection, and great surf.
Around 1820, the missionaries prohibited surfing in Hawaii and it became nearly extinct until in 1905 a group of native Hawaiians, led by Duke Kahanamoku, revived surfing on the islands.

Today, surfing in Hawaii has become a way of life.

The magic of surfing inspired the creation of Iniki (Strong Wind), a Miniature Hawaiian Menehune Doll. 

Iniki (Strong Wind)
Birth Date: 'Aukake 7, 2015 (08-07-15)

Iniki inspires us to surrender to the winds and waves of life with focus and balance, allowing them to safely carry us to our highest goals.

Iniki's best friend and greatest teacher is the ocean. Iniki is a Menehune He’e Nalu (surfer) boy. He is named after the strong winds of the Pacific Ocean.
When the surf is up, Iniki can’t wait to get into the ocean. His heart dances with Hopupu (excitement) as he eagerly anticipates the challenges of the great waves.
Iniki loves the Pacific Ocean and the surf has been his greatest teacher, evoking deep respect and humbleness within him. He knows that every wave along with the wind presents a challenge of going with its flow. Iniki watches the waves, feels them inside, and connects to their Mana (spiritual energy).
Like the wind, he flies along the sea on his Olo (surfboard), riding the waves with focus and balance, Iniki finds the perfect attitude between tension and flexibility and rides the great wave home. It is the very best feeling in the world. 

Surfing is magical; it has become his way of life!

Iniki's Aumakua (guardian spirit) is Mano, the shark. It is a great honor in Hawaii to have the shark as your Aumakua. Mano evokes leadership, strength, and courage. Iniki always feels protected when he surfs because he knows that his Aumakua is watching over him. In honor of his Aumakua, Iniki wears a necklace with a shark tooth pendant around his neck. Like all the other, cool Menehune surfer boys Iniki also has a small, turquoise earring in his left ear.
Iniki and his Kuku(grandfather) made the Olo (surfboard) together. First they chose the right Hawaiian Wiliwili tree for the board. Before cutting the tree, they faced towards the sea and said a prayer of thanks for the wood they would use. They honored the spirit of the tree by burying a fish beneath it. The wooden Olo is Iniki’s most treasured possession. He always carries it with him, even when he goes to sleep. 
Iniki’s Tutu (grandmother) sewed his red Lava lava (wraparound) with a white Hibiscus flower design. She crocheted matching turquoise shoes and gave Iniki a head band to keep his hair out of his eyes while he surfs. Last Tutu draped the Mano pendant around his neck and put a turquoise earring in his left ear.
All these things were Tutu’s and Kuku's sacred gifts of Aloha (Love) to their beloved Mo'opuna Kane (grandson).

Iniki is about 4” tall fitting in the palm of your hand. His body is made out of stretch cotton and wired for flexibility. The eyes and mouth are intricately embroidered onto his face. Iniki has tiny little hands and feet, ears, buttocks, and a belly button. His doll stand is a white piece of coral from Punalu’u Black Sands Beach. All accessories were individually handcrafted.

Iniki is a one of a kind collectible display doll handcrafted by Hawaiian Dolls.
He comes with his story and a certificate of authenticity.

Iniki reflects the spiritual powers of the Hawaiian Winds and Waters.

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