Ancient Hawaiians: Pantheistic Destination

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For over fifty years, Hawaii has been a part of the United States. It is known as a tropical vacation spot and popular tourist destination. What goes unnoticed by most travelers and vacationers, is the rich history that goes along with these beautiful islands. Hawaii has an extensive and intricate culture, originating back to Polynesia. It has its own unique history of religion, medicine, music and dance. The influence of Hawaiian culture can be seen all over the world, from surfing to luau parties. What’s most remarkable about the ancient Hawaiians is their ability to thrive in isolation. Their skill at using the resources provided to them by the island is extremely impressive. The Hawaiian island were first inhabited by people who migrated …show more content…
Every object of nature or natural phenomenon was a deity. One example of this is Pele, a Hawaiian goddess associated with fire, who, according to the religion, lives in the Kilauea volcano. Ancient Hawaiians made (and still make today) sacrifices to her, such as leis, so that should she be angered, the volcanic eruption would leave them and their property unharmed. Believers tried to remain in favor with their gods, and believed that certain actions would please or anger the gods of the islands. They were firm believers in kapu, or taboo, and the warning that something may be kapu is often still used around the islands to warn of angering the gods by trespassing on sacred ground. Kapu even extended to food – early Hawaiian women were not allowed to eat bananas, coconuts, pork and certain kinds of seafood due to them being considered taboo (Kirch, P. & O’Day, S. 2003, p. 486). Hawaiians worshipped sometimes in nature, but mostly in temples known as heiau. These temples could be oval but most were rectangular, with walls constructed from stone. A strong characteristic was the duality of men and women, therefore there were undertones of sexuality. Priests of this religion were known as Kahuna Pule or Kahuna Laau Kahea. They were known as the spiritual leaders of their communities and were considered experts in prayer. Prayer was the cornerstone of ancient Hawaiian medicine, as the belief was that sickness was an energy disruption. …show more content…
While it was mostly made by women, only men were allowed to make the loincloths. Kapa fabric was used to make clothing for both men and women, and beautifully dyed and scented with floral or natural scents, to the preference of the maker. Kapa was also used to make bedding as well. The texture of kapa also varied upon designer, and could be inscribed with geometric shapes and patterns. Eventually other Polynesian civilizations also took up this practice, especially after the arrival of Captain Cook, but their skill level never quite reached that of the Hawaiians (Francis, B. 1997, pg. 52). Another remarkable ability of the ancient Hawaiians is their ability to navigate without instruments, using only the stars. They also were skilled boat makers, sometimes making boats with outriggers to hold more supplies or the

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