Hawaii: Mystical Islands
The Hawaiian archipelago rising gradually to more than 4
km above sea level, Hawaii's Mauna Loa is the largest volcano
on our planet. Its long submarine flanks descend to the sea
floor an additional 5 km, and the sea floor in turn is depressed
by Mauna Loa's great mass another 8 km. This makes the volcano's
summit about 17 km above its base! The enormous volcano is
among Earth's most active volcanoes. Its most recent eruption
was in 1984 through its Kilauea Crater, and has continued
to erupt for 17 years without ceasing.
The first Hawaiians (Kanaka Maoli) arrived after travelling
in great double hulled ocean going migration canoes called
Wa'a Kaulua. Travelling some 2500 nautical miles from various
parts of the South Pacific, they were guided by Kahuna Navigators
who followed ancient prophesy, chants and dream messages
that told the story of a mystic island in the middle of the
Finding the world's most remote island group was no accident
or a matter of just drifting along. Strong equatorial currents
and counter currents had to be dealt with. Navigating by
known stars and southern constellations became impossible
once they crossed the equator into the unknown waters of
the Northern Hemisphere.
A Personal Understanding
Living on this island archipelago, they found forces that
could bring death and destruction to all, but recognised
it as also a creative force. Beautiful, with majestic landscapes
and fertile land.
We like to describe ancient people as mystical, magical,
supernatural, abnormal, though these are not words that explain
a Hawaiian's (Kanaka Maoli) oneness with the living aspects
of natural phenomena. As with all ancient people, there are
Spirits and Gods still known today as personification of
natural forces and energies. Pele, the Goddess of volcanoes,
still lives in the hearts and minds of all Hawaiians today
and even tourists sense her presence when visiting her home.
The chants and legends about Pele and her clan of sisters
are not archaic legends to a true native Hawaiian (Kanaka
Maoli), but very dynamic realities, held in an orderly and
rational philosophy identifying family in a nature oriented
Traditional beliefs are not merely superstitions. They are
the records and interpretations of experiences, gained through
being participant observers, and sensitive expressers of
a nature oriented culture. With an overwhelming love of family,
spirituality, deeply rooted in the family, they upheld it
by their unmatched reverence given to their gods and goddesses.
This then, became a great beginning for a new existence.
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