Saturday, July 30, 2016

Water is life, life is water!

Akaka Falls

He ola ka wai, he wai ke ola!
Water is life, life is water!

Akaka Falls cascades 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge feeding the lush forest. It is a Wailele (waterfall) symbolic in myth and legend. 
The main Hawaiian God, Kane, the creator, is the keeper of the precious Wai (water). He is the giver of life to the earth and all who dwell there.

"He Wai a Kane

Aia e-hea ka Wai a Kane?
Aia i-lalo, i ka honua, i ka wai hu,
i ka wai kau a Kane me Kanaloa
He wai-puna, he wai e inu,
He wai e mana, he wai e ola.
E ola no e-a!

The Water of Kane

Where flows the water of Kane?
Deep in the ground, in the gushing spring,
In the ducts of Kane and Kanaloa,
A well-spring of water, to drink,
A water of magic power, The water of life!
Life! O give us this life!"

(Unwritten Literature of Hawaii, by Nathaniel B. Emerson, 1909)

People of old deeply appreciated and honored life giving Wai, the very element that sustains all life. The purity and vibrancy of the water determined the health of the island and the people. Strict Kapu (taboo) was used to maintain the clarity of the water of life.

Hawaiians honored the Akua (gods) who guard the Wai 
to preserve its Ma'ema'e (purity).

Hawaiian legend tells the story of Akaka Falls, where a handsome young warrior chief named Akaka lived with his wife in the little village of Honomu. 
But Akaka also was in love with two beautiful goddesses, Maile and Lehua, who he would secretly meet in the forest when his wife was away.
When his wife found out about the affairs, Akaka was deeply ashamed and ran into the forest. He was so saddened that he lost his footing, fell of a steep cliff and turned into a huge waterfall.
His lovers, Maile and Lehua, were heartbroken. They cried so hard that they turned into the two smaller falls on each side of Akaka Falls. According to legend, a smaller flow downstream called Kahuna represents Akaka's faithful wife, still by his side.
If you listen closely on still and moonless nights, you can hear his wife, muffled by the roar of the falls, still calling for Akaka.
Tradition says that if you strike the large rock at the top of the waterfall with a Lehua twig or wrap a Maile lei around it, rain will fall, because Lehua and Maile always made Akaka's wife weep.

The indigenous Hawaiian Ohia Tree also is vital of Hawaii's natural ecosystem and water supply.

The Ohia Tree is the first form of life to grow directly out of the hardened black lava. 

Its beautiful red flowers are called Lehua, which means "Flower sacred to the Gods" in the Hawaiian language. The red Lehua flower is the official flower of the Big Island of Hawaii. Native Hawaiians used to make a medicinal potion out of the Ohia Tree’s bark and leaves. It was meant to spark a strong, passionate, inward fire to grow, bloom, and rejoice in life. The Ohia Lehua Tree is said to grant visions of the future, offering inspirations to manifest personal transformation. It signals the completion of one cycle and illuminates a new beginning.
The Ohia Lehua Tree has been sacred to the Hawaiian people since ancient times and is often mentioned in legends, hula, songs, and chants.
The Lehua is also known as Pele’s Flower. In Hawaiian mythology, Ohia and Lehua were two lovers. The Volcano Goddess Pele desired Ohia. But Ohia only had eyes for Lehua. His rejection made Pele so furious that she turned him into a tree. Lehua was devastated by losing her lover. Out of pity, the gods turned her into a flower which they placed on Ohia's tree. Hawaiians believe that it rains when a Lehua flower is picked from the Ohia tree, signifying the tears of these eternal lovers.

The Ohia Lehua Tree is a powerful symbol of all that is Hawaii.

Vital to Hawaii's natural ecosystem, the Ohia Tree provides an essential food source for native birds and bugs. The bark of the Ohia tree captures the mist of the forest and lets it slowly seep into the ground, which replenishes the Island's water supply.
The Ohia tree is Hawaii's iconic tree that is most responsible for replenishing the Island's water sources. Now it is being attacked by a fungus disease and seriously endangered. 
At one time, Hawaiians bathed, swam and drank from the abundance of clean, clear water on the Islands, Today these same waters are often tainted with disease and pollution.

We all can contribute to prevent further contamination 
with attention, awareness and Aloha!

Take on the challenge to protect the Island's precious water sources 
by avoiding pollution and waste!

Menehune dolls Akaka and Lehua were created in honor of Hawaii's precious water sources and Ohia forests.

Akaka and Lehua
Birth Date: Lulai 31, 2016 (07/31/16)

He ola ka wai, he wai ke ola!
Water is life, life is water!

Akaka and Lehua bless you with life giving water and the magic of the Lehua flower.

"Akaka, look at the beautiful Lehua flowers all around us!" Lehua calls out to her brother. Lehua is named after the magical flower of the sacred Hawaiian Ohia Tree. Lehua means 'Flower of the Gods'. Honoring the Mana (spiritual energy) of the forest, Lehua humbly asks permission from the Akuas (gods), before she starts gathering some of the flowers. She will pick just enough to make a special Ohia Lehua lei for her beloved Tutu (grandmother). Akaka helps his sister for a while and when they both become thirsty, he walks down to the pond below the Wailele (waterfall) to fill up his gourd with the pure, clear water.
Akaka and Lehua honor Hawaii's life giving Kumu Wais (water sources), which are continuously replenished through the moisture in the bark of the Ohia Tree.
Everybody in the Ohana (family) contributes to maintain the purity and vibrancy of the Kumu Wais and the Ohia Trees.

Tutu sewed Lehua's mountain green dress and Akaka's matching lava lava (wraparound). She drew Lehua flowers on the bottom of Lehua's dress and crocheted green panties and matching little shoes. Last Tutu created a special Ohia Lehua hairpiece for beautiful little Lehua.
Akaka is named after the famous 400 feet waterfall on the Big Island. Tutu drew a waterfall design and 2 Lehua flowers on his lava lava. She wove a special white feather lei for Akaka which symbolizes the sacred Wailele.
Hawaiian gourds grow on a vine. Tutu picked the most beautiful of the Ipus for Akaka's Ipu Wai (water gourd). She cleaned, polished and decorated with the drawing of a Lehua flower. Tutu blessed the Ipu Wai with Hawaiian salt and special prayers. The water gourd is sacred now. It was created for Akaka and only he is allowed to touch it. The Ipu Wai became Akaka’s most treasured possession.
All these precious things were Tutu’s gifts of Aloha (Love) to her Mo’opunas.

Akaka and Lehua are about 4” tall fitting in the palm of your hand. The bodies are made out of stretch cotton. The eyes and mouth are intricately embroidered onto the face. Akaka and Lekua have tiny little hands and feet, ears, buttocks, and belly buttons.
All accessories were individually handcrafted.

Akaka and Lehua are one of a kind display dolls handcrafted by Hawaiian Dolls. They come with their story and a certificate of authenticity.

Akaka and Lehua inspire us to protect our precious water sources and forests 
with attention, awareness and Aloha.

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