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Hawaiian Birth Signs – Nā Hō`ailona Hānau
Journey to a time in Hawai`i when mythical gods roamed the earth, ruled the elements and proclaimed the destiny of the Hawaiian people. Discover the celestial revelations of the ancient Hawaiian Kahuna – and the union of man, nature & the gods.
Hawai`i Cultural Services is pleased to announce the release of the unique audiobook entitled, Hawaiian Birth Signs – Nā Hō`ailona Hānau – a talking book on CD which also includes chants and new Hawaiian songs performed in the traditional style. The author, narrator and composer Kahu Silva, presents an insightful blending of entertainment and education – a wealth of little known and lost ancient Hawaiian spiritual beliefs, cultural teachings and the timeless wisdom of the priestly sages. In the custom of the Kahuna (spiritual/cultural experts) and in the classical style of Hawaiian poets and songwriters, the work has kaona (hidden) and dual meanings that will hopefully serve as a source of inspiration for further exploration.
The listener is invited to traverse the hidden realm of Hawaiian mysticism and discover the secrets of the ancient kahuna stargazer, interpreter of the cosmic signs, who used the laws of heaven and earth, an individual’s birth date and other divination tools. He learns about the intimate relationship that the indigenous Hawaiian had with his `aumākua (ancestral guardian deities), nature and the universe.
For the first time, the astral mysteries of the Kahuna are revealed for all 12 months of the ancient Hawaiian lunar calendar. The Hawaiian knew that living holistically in balance and harmony in the cosmos was vital to his material, physical and spiritual well-being. Everything in creation including the elements of earth, fire, water and air, and man, the 5th element, were governed by the powerful forces of mahina, the moon, and Hina, the moon goddess. The elements were representations of the major Hawaiian gods Lono, Kū, Kāne, and Kanaloa and treated with great respect and reverence. The dual nature of the gods pervaded the environment and every aspect of man’s culture. Each deity could assume different forms, often the polar opposites and each had dual roles: rain clouds and rainbows, calm and chaos. The kinship between mother nature and human nature – man’s character traits, tendencies and his duality-like the yin and yang (dark and light) of the universe were not only written in the stars, but they were deeply rooted in the bosom of Papa (Earth Mother); they were cast on the wind of goddess La`amaomao, etched in the lava of Pele and given life in the fresh water springs of Kāne. Manʻs oneness with the universe and his `aumākua was his spiritual DNA, his heritage and his identity.
The musical highlight of the CD are the mele (songs) and traditional oli (chants) which are performed n the kahiko (ancient) style but may also be presented in the `auana (modern) style. The powerful calls of the conch shells serve as heralds for each month and five carefully chosen traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments and two wind instruments are nature’s many voices: pahu (drum), kala`au (dancing sticks), `ili`ili (stone castanets), `uli`uli (rattling feather gourd), ipu heke (double gourd), `ohe hano ihu (bamboo nose flute) and pū, (conch shell). Their instrumentation masterfully conveys the changing seasons, 10 gods, and their many manifestations: rain, storm, gusty wind, kalo, Kamapua`a (pig demi-god), `ohe (bamboo), ipu (gourd) and mullet. The foods eaten and the materials ancient villagers used to make musical instruments were sacred representations of the deities and imbued with great mana.
The listener embarks on a journey of discovery along with the ancient Hawaiian seafarers as they paddle in time to the steady beat of the pahu canoe prayer chant “Ia Wa`a Nui.” The author cleverly uses the double-hulled canoe to symbolize the dual nature of people born in the month of Kau-lua. “Auhea la `oe e na Kona,” a new composition for Nana is accompanied by the kala`au and beckons kama`āina and malihini to behold the serene beauty of Kona, “wreathed in a garland of sea clouds like hinano blossoms.” Springtime blooms in Welo with the sweet melody of the rare `ohe hano ihu instrument of romance and courtship in old Hawai`i. The harvesting and pounding of kalo into poi (Hawaiian staple), was part of daily village life. Jokes and songs made the hard work easier as the men pounded. In a cute poi pounding chant for Mahoe-mua entitled, “Ku`i i ka Poi,” the `ili`ili, replaces the stone poi pounder. The mele ends with, “a delicious treat, indeed, the best. Ah! Satisfaction guaranteed.” A very special message to the people of Hawai`i is shared in Māhoe-hope and the prayer chant in Makali`i “Pele Honua Mea,” is offered to Pele in the spirit of aloha.
This body of knowledge is a precious legacy gifted to Kahu Silva from his cherished kūpuna (ancestors) and cultural mentors. In their tradition, Kahu preserves this knowledge orally so that it may live on for all future generations.
May everyone enjoy it, listen and learn the timeless message that stands true for the universal family of man.
2. The Lunar Calendar
3. Kaleo (January)
4. Kau-lua (February)
5. Nana (March)
6. Welo (April)
7. Ikiiki (May)
8. Ka’aona (June)
9. Hina-ia`ele`ele (July)
10. Mahoe-mua (August)
11. Mahoe-hope (September)
12. Iluwa (October)
13. Welehu (November)
14. Makali`i (December)
15. Closing Remarks