August 2010, Pu‘u Koholā Heiau, Island of Hawai‘i,by Sam Ohu Gon III - In 1791, the Hawaiian chief Kamehameha completed the building of a massive heiau (temple) dedicated to Kūkā‘ilimoku, the god of governance and warfare, on Pu‘u Koholā, a hill overlooking the sea at Kawaihae on the Island of Hawai‘i. There he consolidated his mana (spiritual power) and began a campaign to unify the archipelago under his rule. He succeeded after years of battles and diplomacy and established the unified Hawaiian kingdom in 1810.
In 1991, 200 years after the dedication of Pu‘u Kohola Heiau, a group of far-thinking Hawaiians, challenged by their Maori cousins, established the core of Nā Papa Kānaka o Pu‘u Koholā: an assembly of practitioners who gather regularly to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. We are linked to Pu'u Koholā heiau –by genealogical lineage, by core Hawaiian identity and values, and by pursuit of ‘ike Hawai‘i (traditional Hawaiian knowledge). From 1991 Nā Papa Kānaka has dedicated itself to the perpetuation and growth of Hawaiian leadership, spiritual protocols, language, and skills. The theme of this movement is Ho‘oku'ikahi (Unification) – a call to come together and contribute to each others' growth in the ways of the ali‘i (chiefly leadership), koa (the warrior's path), and kahuna (priests and experts).
In August 2010, recognizing the 200th year since Kamehameha's successful unification of the Hawaiian Islands under single rule, Nā Papa Kānaka hosted many of our Polynesian cousins to share in the rich progress that has been shown, in the steady building of Hawaiian language, rediscovery and spread of material cultural skills, restoration and establishment of great heiau of Pu‘u Koholā as a living, functional temple of state, and dedication to strengthening the health of Hawaiians. A week of ceremonies and workshops were climaxed by an offering of skills, mea makamae (treasured items), kākā‘ōlelo (oration), and other ho‘okupu (offerings) as a tangible demonstration of continuing support and dedication to growth of Hawaiians everywhere. It was a week of hō‘ailona kū i ka ilihia (awe-inspiring signs and portents) that cannot be forgotten by those that experienced it.
Sam ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon III, Kahuna Pule O‘o (Senior Prayer Master), Na Papa Kanaka o Pu‘u Kohola.