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Makahiki 2009

By Kanoe Davis

Lonoikamakahiki! Lonoikamakahiki! Lonoikamakahiki! These are the words that are shared amongst individuals who celebrate the Lono season where the rise of the Makali'i star marks the time to honor an Akua who brings life and peace to the 'aina.

For many, Makahiki never ends. Harvesting and cultivating food is a year round responsibility for many farmers and for many it’s a lifestyle not brought by any season.

What makes this time of the year significant is that it was kapu to make war which allowed people a time to appreciate and take care of what they had so that they could replenish what they were missing. It was also a time of celebration when the ruling chiefs showed their aloha to Lono by offering their best vegetation and gifts from their ahupua'a. In return they asked for the rains of Lono to nurture their gardens and to strengthen their relationship with the land.

Some of the kinolau, or body forms of Lono can be seen as kukui, kumu, `aweoweo, black pig, certain kalo and niu, laua`e, `a`ali`i, and other varieties of lau.

Now that the makahiki season has come to an end, Molokai celebrates with an opening and closing ceremony that is shared by many of the children and community members of Molokai as well as those from the outer islands including O'ahu, Kaua'i, and the Big Island.

Aside from the protocols held by Makahiki coordinators, many practitioners here still honor Lono through ceremony and pay respect for their ahupua`a. Each land section had a significant site or ahupua`a that bordered or marked their `aina. It is at this place that Lono visits and where those of the ahupua`a give their ho`okupu.

An akualoa or image of Lono is held up high and walked alongside the land; upon his passing, games are played amongst the people and it is a great time to sharpen skills, to compete and to find the strongest competitor within the ahupua`a. If war was about, there would be no time to play or hone one’s skills making this season very important to the ali`i.

As we enter the season of Ku where the production and the outcomes are reflections of the Lono season, I share with you my mana`o. If I have offended anyone that is not my intention. Mahalo for allowing me to share and until the next rise of the Makali`i, LONOIKAMAKAHIKI!

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