Wai Ola: Water of Life

I LOVE this indigenous wisdom, so beautifully written by one of my kumu, Maka’ala Yates. Maka’ala is a great healer and dear friend to us and our ohana near and far.

Indigenous Medicine

Wai Ola

Water of Life

Life for Hawaiians, especially before colonization, was centered on water and agriculture (land). The most important food staple at that time was kalo (taro), which relied heavily on the mana (life-force) of the water because the kalo was considered ʻohana (family) to the Hawaiians. The mana of the water was established through attentive cleanliness of the river ways by ceremony, which included pule (prayers) by the villagers. These ceremonies and prayers were important in maintaining a positive relationship between land and water, which led to the same relationship to all Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiians).

There are two kinds of water in the Hawaiian language, wai (rain or land water) and kai (sea or salt water). The ancient God for wai was Kané and for the ocean water it was Kanaloa. Of the many water ceremonies used in pre-western contact Hawaii, the two most…

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Categories: Indigenous Wisdom

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