Thursday, September 11, 2014

Na 'Aumakua

Na ‘Aumakua or Pule Ho'uluulu
*Adapted from Hawaiian Antiquities by David Malo


Na ‘Aumakua mai ka la hiki a ka la kau!
Mai ka ho’oku’i a ka halawai
Na ‘Aumakua ia Kahinakua, ia Kahina’alo
Ia ka’a ‘akau i ka lani
‘O kiha i ka lani
‘Owe i ka lani
Nunulu i ka lani
Kaholo i ka lani
Eia na pulapula a ‘oukou ‘o ka 'ohana Calizar ( insert your family name)
E malama ‘oukou ia makou
E ulu i ka lani
E ulu i ka honua
*E ulu i ka pae’aina o Hawai’i a me ke'ia moku o Salish
E ho mai i ka ‘ike
E ho mai i ka ikaika
E ho mai i ke akamai
E ho mai i ka maopopo pono
E ho mai i ka ‘ike papalua
E ho mai i ka mana.
‘Amama ua noa.
Ancestors from the rising to the setting sun
From the zenith to the horizon
Ancestors who stand at our back and front
You who stand at our right hand
A breathing in the heavens
An utterance in the heavens
A clear, ringing voice in the heavens
A voice reverberating in the heavens
Here are your descendants, the (name of your family)

Safeguard us
That we may flourish in the heavens
That we may flourish on earth
That we may flourish in the Hawaiian islands and in this Salish island
Grant us knowledge
Grant us strength
Grant us intelligence
Grant us understanding
Grant us insight
Grant us power
The prayer is lifted, it is free.
LISTEN to the original 'oli.

*I have adapted this 'oli to be used during telling on Whidbey Island ('this Salish island').


In the Hawaiian culture Na 'Aumakua are our ancestors who have died, passed from the physical body into the realm of spirit. These ancestors, our family, are those recently passed as well as those we have known through the telling of their legacies ... their antics, their heroics, their mishaps. Then there are those we have never met but know them in our gut or in our dreams. Those never-seen-with the-eyes-of- today's-body are nonetheless important, and present. I feel them in the winds, the breezes, the shift in temperature and the voices of the seven ravens that dance above me. Natural presents. When I need their help, I ask for it. I call them. They get used to the sound of my voice, and come.

"Sometimes musical instruments are used in connection with the ancestor spirits. The clicking of sticks or bones is another way to ask for ancestral help: each clicking sound represents our commitment to break harmful family patterns or harmful cultural patterns." - The Four-Fold Way "The Way of the Teacher", Angeles Arrien


I am preparing to give thanks and share my gifts as storyteller and elder-in-training through an interactive presentation. The preparation has been a year in the making, with sixty-six years of practice. Gathering elements of nature for the offering of story, I walk the beaches and keep my eyes and my belly open to the sticks that call to me as kinolau (representatives) for the ancestors. "Who will you call when someone clicks and clacks you? What patterns and legacies will be broken when the soundings are made?" I ask these things as I walk the beaches. I ask for knowledge, strength, intelligence. I ask for insight, power. I ask for a prayer to learn, and to practice. I am given the one that begins this post, and ends this way ...

"E ho mai i ka ‘ike
E ho mai i ka ikaika
E ho mai i ke akamai
E ho mai i ka maopopo pono
E ho mai i ka ‘ike papalua
E ho mai i ka mana."

Grant us knowledge
Grant us strength
Grant us intelligence
Grant us understanding
Grant us insight
Grant us power



The way I can be present with my gift as storyteller begins by honoring my past. Clearly and humbly asking for what I need, though it may not be what I want. The gathering begins and I give thanks. The sticks that collect in my car, and along the walls of my hale (house) wait to help me. They wait to bring their medicine, and they will sniff for the hands to hold them as we chant and dance together at STORY STORY SUNDAY. The gift is in the gathering. The joy is in the living. The connections are timeless.


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