Ho'omana - Hawaiian Gods

Apr 7 21:00 2002 Gayle Olson Print This Article

Many examples of the land and its ... ... gods, or akua to the ... The tree, plants, stones, animals, and human beings were just a few ... each akua had a special name with c

Many examples of the land and its creatures represented gods,Guest Posting or akua to the Hawaiian. The tree, plants, stones, animals, and human beings were just a few examples, each akua had a special name with certain attributes.

The four great gods of the Polynesian system were Ku, Kane, Kanaloa, and Lono; each possessing particular powers and duties.

Ku - architect and builder

Ku was the great god presiding over war. Human sacrifices were made to him in temples built to honor Ku. His worship days, four in succession, occurred at the start of the moon month. The temples of Ku were built to certain specifications and presided over by a distinct cult of priests.

Kane - creator and giver of life

With the aid of Lono, Kane created man. Kane created the forests and brought certain rains and life to the land. Kane was the healer who resided in many of the healing plants. He had his own temples and priests. Depending on the attributes or purposes, Kane was known by many names.

Lono - god of agriculture and peace

Lono may have been the most beloved of the great gods. His presence was seen in the rain clouds and in growing things. The householder dedicated his family worship, making daily offerings to Lono. The farmer would dedicate his first fruits to Lono.

Kanaloa - god of the great ocean and all within

In Tahitian theology, Kanaloa was the creator of the universe and man. By the time the Polynesians came to Hawaii he had been overthrown and was "brother" to Kane.

When Christianity came to Hawaii and the Hawaiians attempted to "fit" their beliefs into the "new" religion, Kanaloa was expelled from heaven and became the devil.

The Hawaiians worshipped thousands of other demigods and lesser gods, such as Pele and her family. Pele of the volcano was an earthbound goddess who could take on may transformations as a woman and who was bound by certain powers and limitations in each transformation.

Worship of each god in old Hawaii was a religion based on a system. Only a priest could interpret the actions of the gods. From this grew a theology with prayers and ceremonies which were performed in the temples.

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Gayle Olson
Gayle Olson

Author and Internet Content Developer since 1995.

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