Hālau Na Pua ʻO Uluhaimālama
cordially invites you to
MOKU KA PIKO CEREMONY
on Saturday, the thirteenth day of March
Two thousand and ten
400 Hualani Street
Potluck Lunch to Follow
Aloha Attire Please
I ola i ka noho hale.
That the house dweller may prosper.
The ceremony performed to bless our new home, our new child, was adapted from one described in David Malo's Hawaiian Antiquities. Ka 'oki 'ana o ka piko o ka hale, or the cutting of the navel string of the house was only performed after the house was complete and ready for habitation. Since we no longer thatch our homes and need to cut a door out, instead, we had a symbolic piko tied above the door. Within it were eight plants, each of them there for a reason.
'Ohe (Bamboo) knives were used in the past to cut the piko that bound mother and child. Its presence in the piko is a reminder of that.
Koa is one of the words for warrior. It is associated with strength, so its inclusion was to lend that aspect to our ceremony. They are also long lived trees, something we want to ensure our new hālau with.
Liko is the word for new growth. It symbolizes the child that our new hālau is, and encourages it to flourish.
Kupu means to sprout. By using Kupukupu in our piko, we help our hālau's growth and expansion.
Maile is one of the kinolau of the deities associated with hula, an integral part of our hālau's beginnings. Because of his involvement in hula, Kumu Em's knowledge and dedication to promoting and educating everyone about our culture was born. We used maile here in its binding form.
Pili was one of the most commonly known plants used for thatching a new hale. The word itself means close and suggests a binding relationship. Its dual symbolism here made it an important part of our piko.
Kukui is a word for light. It is also one of those plants associated with enlightenment. By including this plant in our piko, we ask for guidance and to be shown the way in all that we do.
The La'i used in our piko was that of the Kahuna variety, the one with the wavy edges used in blessings. It symbolizes blessing and good health.
All of these important plants were tied together by a Hau rope. The plant itself is a relative of the hibiscus and likes growing along the banks where there is brackish water. The picture you see here is of the leaves mainly because I couldn't find one of the winding branches. The wood is lightweight and was used in firebrands and to start fires. A rope can be made from the inner bark, but it is a tedious and time consuming task that can take weeks to complete. The resulting product is beautiful.
Hau is a derivative of the word hahau, which means to offer a prayer or blessing. It was an appropriate choice, therefore, to use to bind everything in our piko together. Oh yes, and the third hilo comes in here since the rope was of course, braided.
Our new child is born, ready to embrace the world and for it to embrace her as well.
A moku ka piko i ele ua i eleao
I ka wai o Ha'akulamanu la
A moku ka piko o kou hale la
I ola i ka noho hale
I ola i ke kanaka kipa mai
I ola i ka haku 'aina
I ola i na li'i
Oia ke ola o kau hale e Mauliola
Ola a kolo pupu a haumaka iole
A pala lauhala a ka i koko
Severed is the piko of the house, the thatch that sheds the rain, that wards off the evil influences of the heavens,
The waterspout of Ha'akulamanu, oh!
Cut the piko of your house, O Mauliola!
That the house dweller may prosper,
That the guest who enters it may have health,
That the lord of the land may have health,
That the chiefs may have long long.
Grant these blessings to your house, O Mauliola.
To live till one crawls hunched up, till one becomes blear-eyed,
Till ones lies on the mat, till one has to be carried about in a net.
It is free.