Hawaiian Culture Center

ELEVEN HAWAIIAN VALUES AS TAUGHT ACCORDING TO OUR KUPUNA

ALOHA

Aloha is among the most sacred and powerful of all Hawaiian words - it has the power to transform and heal lives;
Aloha recognizes the sharing of life-giving breath, well-being, love, support, and compassion with others;
The presence of breath, the breath of life;
Comes from Alo - meaning presence, front and face, and hā, meaning breath;
A deeper meaning is the JOYful (oha) sharing (alo) of Life Force energy (hā) in the Present (alo);
A way of living and treating ourselves and each other with love and respect;
To live in harmony and balance

Discussion:
How do you show yourself love, compassion, and respect?
How do you show love, compassion, and respect to others?
Why is it important to show love, compassion and respect to yourself and others?
How can aloha help you live in balance with others and nature?

‘OHANA

It is about both lateral relationships (i.e., relationships between mother, father, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and non-blood relatives) and vertical relationships with akua (gods), aumakua (family gods), and ancestors, as well as future generations;
It represents the most complex and important part of how man defines his part of within the universe;
It is about connections, commitment to be connected and supportive of each other;
Family, relatives, community, including animals, plants, all life

Discussion:
Who is in your family? Think also about past generations, animals
Do they all live with you?
Where do they live? If they are dead, discuss visiting their graves, what you’ve learned from them, why they are still important in our lives, etc.
What kinds of things do you do to show your family that you love them?

‘ĀINA

The term ‘āina is comprised of the two words ‘ai, which means ‘to feed’, and the suffix ‘na’. Used together, they mean ‘that which feeds.’ In other words, land is that which feeds;
land, that which feeds/nourishes all life and which connects pasts and future generations;
Mālama ‘āina means to care for and nurture the land so it can give back all we need to sustain life for ourselves and our future generations;
Aloha ‘āina means our love, care and respect for our land

Discussion:
How are you connected to the land? This includes the ocean, water, air; all interconnected; nothing is separate;
How does the land nourish you?
What do you do to care for the land?
Why is it important to care for the land?
How does our relationship with the land connect us to our families, to our communities, to past and future generations?

MĀLAMA

Mālama involves a reciprocal relationship and correct behavior; the ali‘i demonstrated care for their people and the people demonstrated care for their ali‘i in return;
It was mālama that made service to the ali‘i a personal effort that came with an investment of love, skill, and proper execution;
Mālama involves carrying out tasks with a spirit that nurtures devotion and guidance; to impart the spirit of affection, respect, trust, care, stewardship, with guidance, and the reciprocal relationship of mālama from the ali‘i to the people; from one to another;
From the concept of aloha, we are all connected to the Divine and to all aspects of manifestation. We all share hā, the breath of life, and this understanding guides mālama;
To take care of, to protect, to preserve, to serve, to honor, to show respect, be respectful;
To observe a taboo, kapu, or proper behavior and procedures;
Stewardship (this involves commitment, guidance, protection, reciprocal relations)

Discussion:
Why is it important to mālama ourselves, others, the land?
What kinds of things do you do to mālama your physical and spiritual needs?
What kinds of things do you do to mālama your family? Your community? Of the Land? Of people you’ve never met?
What new things can you do to better mālama yourself, others, and the land?

PONO

Pono means that everything is in balance – the akua (deities), people, and the land
In ancient times it mean that the akua, ali‘i, kahuna, maka‘āinana, and the ‘āina lived in balanced with each other and that people had enough to eat and were healthy;
The loss of pono (harmony) or loss of balance is believed to be a cause of illness;
It also means right relations, to be right with, to be in harmony with; to behave in fair, correct, proper, beneficial, and respectful ways;
Pono can also refer to property, resources, belongings, assets – but not in a strict material sense, but in terms of rights and privilege, responsibility, trust

Discussion:
What do we mean by the idea of “everything is in balance” or “in harmony?
What kinds of behavior do you practice to promote pono in yourself? In your community? Beyond your community?
Why is pono important?

KULEANA

Kuleana means recognizing the privileges we have because of what our ancestors and others have done for us, then considering the responsibility we have to ourselves, our community, and the world because of that;
Kuleana extends to past, present, and future generations, and includes the privilege and responsibility to take care of past generations/our ancestors, including iwi kupuna (bones of ancestors);

Practicing self honesty, accountability, integrity, and developing healthy and right relations with one’s self, others, and our environment;
The connection of privilege and responsibility in all things we do
Discussion:
What do the words privilege and responsibility mean?
What kinds of rights and responsibilities do you have? And how do you act on them?
What kinds of things do you that connect those rights and responsibilities with past, present, and future generations and with our environment?

KŌKUA

Kōkua and Laulima (many hands) are at the core of how to live, how to achieve harmony with nature and each other;
Kōkua embodies a communal spirit of mutual assistance, lending a hand and helping others without concern for your own personal gain;
Kōkua involves building community, through right relations, working together, cooperation, shared support;
To unselfishly extend love and help to benefit others to bring about harmony and balance in community and nature; not for personal gain

Discussion:
What does it mean to build community? To build harmony and balance with each other and nature?
Why is building community and right relations important?
What does mutual assistance mean and how does it relate to building community? Building right relations? Building harmony and balance?
Why is cooperation and shared support important? Why not individual achievement? Why not competition?

MO‘OLELO

Genealogies, legends, significant events, values, beliefs, and traditional practices were carefully memorized in the minds of gifted storytellers and preserved in oli (chant), hula (dance), mo‘olelo (stories), and pohaku ki‘i (petroglyphs);
Mo‘olelo (in all forms; genealogy, legends, chants, etc.) are gifts given by our kupuna to us to learn and to share responsibly with each other and with future generations;
The telling of mo‘olelo (in all forms) perpetuates culture and history from generation to generation by linking the teachings of our kupuna and ancestors with the present and with future generations;
Mo‘olelo (in all forms) spiritually connect us to our kupuna and their mana that remains upon the land and guides us in all that we do;
Mo‘olelo belong to the community, they are what connect us together as a community;
Genealogy provides the authority to teach and share mo‘olelo that is entrusted from one generation to the next

Discussion:
Where do stories come from?
Are all stories written?
Why do we tell stories? How do they connect us as a community? How do they connect us with past, present, and future generations?
Is being a storyteller an important responsibility? Why? Who and how does someone become a storyteller?
Why is it important to maintain myths and legends?
How/why is genealogy an important component of mo‘olelo?

LŌKAHI

Lōkahi involves man being a part of the peace and harmony within the universe, within the holistic system of all life, rather than in control of the system;
Lōkahi is about the harmony and unity that guides everything we do, that brings together the physical tasks and interactions of man with nature and of man with man;
Lōkahi to be in balance, to be in harmony both within and with everyone and everything in the universe;
Ho‘olōkahi is about our spiritual and physical actions to bring about balance, harmony, unity, peace, agreement

Discussion:
What does it mean to say we live in balance or harmony with nature? With ourselves or others?
Why is it important to think of ourselves as part of a holistic system? As being in harmony with rather than in control of the system?
Why is it important to focus on building harmony and balance?
Why is unity, peace, cooperation, and right relations important? Are these achievable?
What do you do to live a balanced life? To build balance, harmony, unity within our local community? National and Global communities?

MAHALO

Mahalo andAloha are the two most sacred and powerful words in the Hawaiian language, representing a two fundamental Hawaiian values;
Mahalo’s root components are Ma (In) + Hā (breath) + Alo (presence, front, face);
Using mahalo correctly as a single word prayer and acknowledgement of the mana (spiritual power, divine power) within and without, might be experiences as “May you be in divine breath;”
Mahalo must be experienced on a spiritual level as a divine blessing, spoken from the within as life-enhancing and life-transforming;
On a spiritual level, aloha is an invocation of the divine (mana or spiritual power) and mahalo is a divine blessing. Both are acknowledgments of the divinity that dwells within and without;
Mahalo is a divine breath of gratitude and thanksgiving for all things;
Mahalo involves sharing one’s mana with another, it involves building reciprocal relationships and community;
Mahalo is about sharing both inward and outward respect, gratitude, appreciation, support, cooperation, willingness, forgiveness, trust to bring about both inward and outward balance (pono)

Discussion:
How do you share your spiritual inner self with others? In building community?
How do you share your rights, privileges, knowledge, skills, etc. with others so as to building healthy communities?
How are you working to be pono in all that you do?

HO‘OKUPU

Ho‘okupu to sprout, to grow, to honor, to respect, to increase mana;
Ho‘okupu is a protocol that is dictated by respect for the host, land, ancestors, or gods. It establishes a connection between the giver and the receiver that is culturally appropriate;
Ho‘okupu is the
act of ceremonial gift-giving to show respect or honor, etc (it does not refer to the gift itself); Ho‘okupu is also a ceremonial offering of symbolic significance for the occasion, and may be a song, dance, food, plant, etc.
In offering a ho‘okupu, one asks for growth, that one’s request be granted, that there be reciprocity, an exchange of mana or life force.

Discussion:
What does it mean to share in a reciprocal manner one’s mana? One’s honor and respect?
What does it mean to “grow” or increase mana between the giver and receiver?
Why is hookup important? How does it relate to building right relations? Building community?