Makahiki in Hawaii
What a wondrous synchronicity that Maui’s GMO Moratorium passed right in time for the Makahiki Celebration!!! And the Full Moon!!!!
Makahiki, the rising of the Pleiades star cluster, marks the start of Hawaiian ceremonies that make tribute to HEALTHY LANDS, precious NATURAL RESOURCES, ABUNDANT FOOD and SUSTAINABILITY. Makahiki is the Hawaiian New Year as in Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year)
And the Moon is one of the main agricultural tools used by farmers since time memorial!
Wow, what are the odds!!? Yay to the Pleiades!!! Be sure to watch for this marvelous star nursery in the East shortly after sunset.
And the Full Moon tonight will also rise shortly after sunset!!! Isn’t nature magical?! Happy Happy Joy Joy.
Once a year, as the sun slips into the ocean, a watery blue cluster of stars rises from the opposite skyline. The first appearance of the Pleiades, known in Hawaiian as Makalii, signals the beginning of the Makahiki season in Hawaii, a time of ancient ceremonies celebrating the arrival of Lono — god of thunder, rain and harvest.
Kepa Maly, ethnographer and executive director of Lanai Culture and Heritage Center, says these ceremonial tributes allowed the chiefs and common people to take stock of their resources; abundant offerings signaled healthy lands and reefs. “Makahiki,” Maly says, “is about knowing boundaries — that resources have limitations. If we take too much today we will have zero for tomorrow.” Makahiki was a time of assessment, uniformly observed across the islands. It was, he says, a time of renewal for the people, the land and the sea.
The reflowering of Hawaiian culture has brought with it a growing appreciation for the lessons of Makahiki. “It’s still important,” Kepa Maly says, “because it connects people with the sacred, familial relationship shared with the land and natural resources about them.”
Keeaumoku Kapu, taro farmer and Hawaiian cultural practitioner, says, “In pre-Contact Hawaii we could manage ourselves by identifying different moons, seasons, and stars” to help grow and harvest abundant food — enough to sustain island populations similar to today. Just as the first sighting each year of a single constellation triggered a time for renewal, he sees Makahiki as a “cultural beacon to bring reverence to the ways of the past” that sustain the land.
Kapu helped organize a torch walk that encircled the island of Maui, covering 193 miles over seven days. Kapu says the walk was about enlightening and unifying the people of Maui.
Maui Astronomy Club