Hoʻi I Ka Piko
"RETURN TO THE SOURCE"
ABOUT THE THEME
Hoʻi I ka piko can be translated to "return to the piko." In the Hawaiian context, the piko represents the umbilical cord or "source" in which life is created. This phrase is commonly used to reinforce returning to the stories of our kūpuna (or elderly/ancestors). For our theme this year, we have chosen "Hoʻi I Ka Piko" to encompass the story we will be telling, a Hawaiian creation story. A story passed down through generations, expressing the importance of the connection between people and nature.
"THE STORY OF HALOANAKALAUKAPALILI"
A HAWAIIAN CREATION STORY
The name Hāloa tells a story of the connection between all Hawaiians, and a story of the connection between people and nature. As Hawaiians are one with Hāloa, we are one with Kalo (taro).
Creators of the beloved island chain, Wākea, the expanse of the heavens, and Papa, the foundation that is earth, give life to Hoʻohōkūkalani. Her name means “the making of stars in the heaven.” Hoʻohōkūkalani gave birth to a baby boy, but he was stillborn. The family wept for the beloved baby boy who would have been named Hāloa, meaning long, eternal breath. The family wrapped Hāloa in Kapa, placed him in a basket of woven lauhala, and buried him in the ‘āina (land). Crying and chanting, they watered the grave with their tears.
In time, a plant grew from the grave. It was fragile and tender, but also strong and healthy. Their heart-shaped leaves swayed in the wind and in the center of each leaf, water would gather, like a mother’s teardrop. This plant grew well and when matured, the mother plant would produce a corm called an ʻohā. When this ʻohā was removed from the mother plant, it would grow wherever it was planted and start another life cycle. The word ‘ohana means family, and it comes from the word ʻohā. It describes human families as Kalo pants with offspring.
Hoʻohōkūkalani conceived another son and he was also named Hāloa, after the firstborn son. This boy was handsome and strong. We call the firstborn son Hāloa Naka, and he became the first Kalo and was respected as an older sibling. The second-born Hāloa became the first Hawaiian. This story shows the connection Hawaiians have to the universe, each other, nature, and to the land and the sea. The heart of the Hawaiians is found in the ‘āina.
The word ‘āina more specifically means “that which feeds” and maka’āinana means “eyes of the land.” Thus, nature feeds us and in return, we must watch over and care for the land. E mālama pono i ka ‘āina: Take good care of the earth.