Nhsc-v1-231

From GrassrootWiki
Revision as of 00:23, 8 February 2006 by WikiSysop (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-231

Text Only

Lahainaluna scholars such as Samuel M. Kamakau, John Papa I'i, Boaz Mahune, and Timothy Keaweiwi) the following account is given:

The manner of worship of the kings and chiefs was different from that of the common people. When the commoners performed religious services they uttered their prayers themselves, without the assistance of a priest or of a kahu-akua. But when the king or an ali'i worshipped, the priest or the keeper of the idol uttered the prayers, while the ali'i only moved his lips and did not utter the prayers to their gods. 1/

It is expedient here to recognize that "assistance of a priest or a kahu-akua" is the key phrase underscoring the role of the organized priesthood in the formalized "community" organization of "national" worship by chiefs. While worship of the gods by commoners was directed toward the identical akua 'aumakua, the role of the priests (if they assisted the commoners in simpler rites on family shrines at all) was outside their official governmental capacity. The political aspect of the chiefs and priests' religion can be seen in that the community system of religion sustained the authority of the chief as an authority granted by the akua in lineal descent from the akua, with the chief as a divine embodiment of the akua in the world.

Thus, there were two systems of religion in ancient Hawaii: one set in which commoners and chiefs worshipped the gods and where the rules of order were maintained by the priestly orders of Ku and Lono; another in which men and women worshipped the same gods as family guardians in everyday ceremonies, or as patron deities by occupational groups. The society did not exempt the men from the established community worship of the great akua gods on the sacrificial temple (luakini), but it exempted the women. Chiefesses worshipped at the Hale o Papa temple (heiau) when services were held at the heiau dedicated to Ku (one of the major gods). All women in the society observed the tabus on silence, eating, and cohabitation when worship periods were in effect on the major temples.

The year was organized into the major ritual seasons by the Lono priesthood who kept the calendar computations accurate by marking the solstices, equinoxes, turning of the Milky Way during the months of the year, and by adjusting the ecliptic to the sidereal cycle of the Pleiades from one November sighting in the east, at first rise after the first new moon, to another November. Heiau attendance by males in the community was compelled for eight months of the year, divided into seventy-two days per year, nine per month. The required attendance was relaxed during the four-month makahiki season of Lono-i-ka-makahiki, when taxes were collected and the first-fruits ceremonies enacted in honor of the god Lono-i-ka-makahiki. This makahiki season took place in the first quarter of the Hawaiian year, between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, ending when the Pleiades came to zenith culmination. Exactly ninety days, or three Hawaiian months, could be computed between the first sighting of the Pleiades in November and the end of the quarter called ke au o Makali'i, the quarter season of the Pleiades year. These ninety days equalled one-quarter of the ecliptic, or the passage of the sun from one equinox to one solstice.

All of this was coordinated into a lunar calendar so that the nine tabu days called the la kapu kauila were spaced out through the moon's synodic cycle of 29.5 nights per month (mahina). During the waxing of the

-p231-

Previous Page Next Page