Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Week in Nature: The 2nd week in October - 'Ikuwā

What's Happening in Hawaii 
during the 2nd week in October:

O 'Ikuwā i pohā kō 'ele 'ele,
'ikuwā ke kai, 'ikuwā ka hekili,
'ikuwā ka manu.

'Ikuwā is the month when the dark storms arise, 
the sea roars, the thunder roars,
the birds make a din.

'Ikuwā means "noisy" and indicates a transition from peaceful summer weather to the storms of ho'oilo, the rainy season, which begins next month. Another proverb speaks of strong winds: "The [flap of the] loincloth [flutters and] snaps in the month of 'Ikuwā."

Clouds, thunder, rain, and wind are associated with Lono, one of the four principal Hawaiian gods. It is Lono whose mana (power) brings forth plants for sustenance and healing, and the four-month Makahiki season, which begins about the middle of October, is dedicated to him. In old Hawai'i, the ali'i collected taxes at this time, usually in the form of food. Afterward, the harvest was celebrated with an extended festival. Warfare and work were kapu. Hula was danced for entertainment and in friendly competition with neighbors. Wrestling, boxing, and other games were the order of the day.

Taken from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

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