Talk Story with Aunty Lynette: Hawaiian World Views

What is the Hawaiian worldview all
indigenous peoples have worldviews andthey’re all not the same value is
universal but how you put it into actionis going to be dependent upon their
worldview okay so when I talk aboutHawaiian worldview I’m thinking of that
framework now why is that connected andimportant I connect it with social workin the 1960s we came across situations
with our families that we worked withthat they talked about behaviors and
patterns and beliefs that created in their ability to get along
with each other and with society aroundtheir choices their decision often
landed them in the statisticsand when a family came to a worker and
said our family has been cursed ha ifthey’re only statistics we take them on
but if they’ve been cursed yeah or ifthey saw ghosts and if they had spooky
dreams our schooling did not include anyof that our schooling in a western
setting talked about theories andtranslated it into ways of working with
the families in understanding them inanalyzing situations the king from a
Western framework is that going to fitfor the Hawaiian it doesn’t and so
social workers at the Children’s CenterQueen Liliuokalani Children’s Center
learned with what was the Hawaiian families worldview
and I’d like to share that with you Iselected the as one Hawaiian
framework I’ve selected asanother Hawaiian framework I’ve selected
as another framework that arebased in written documentation in the
chance that go way back the is the one that connects us with our
beginningsall the way back to the gods
the links me back to myancestors to and
mother the beginningsof the Hawaiian worldview
the also has sections thattalk about the birth and the creation of
ocean creatures that has its counterparton land so what we find in the ocean we
find on land okay so those who arestriving to develop and expand on their
your family genealogy manyare able to go back to they’vecompleted it others are not so lucky and
those that come to the attention ofsocial workers chances are probably not
the ones that know they become disconnectedand so in the they have
identified ways in which to help thoseof us living today to reconnect with our
past one is with ithelps with our identity it helps us to
make some decisions that allow us torespect and bring honor to our family
name and our ancestors the birth ofcreatures in the ocean and creatures on
land that’s the plants the animals andthe birds reminds us of duality ocean
and land yeah reminds us of north andsouth east and west oppositesso if there is disharmony we know the
opposite of that is to beimbalance to have harmony so there’s an
indication there’s always a solution younever left that way so you look for that
pathway that can bring you back tobalanceso duality is important according to. . .
before they got elevated to thegodliness were husband and wife
and they came from and when she says
it’s from the land far away no specificplace and she said
represent oppositesfor example in your body is on the right side is on the
left side when I was first and as II was with twins so oh
was kind of big so my parents and myin-laws the mothers especially they were
watchingI think going be girl. . . no no no I think going be boy cuz she doeverything with the right hand the right
hand is strong going be boy and when Iwent was girls but they still recognize thisis male this is female in healingHawaiian’s recognized there’s external
treatment internal treatment oppositesand with external treatment pick with
the rightthe with the left you pick with the left. . . for internal treatment it’sthe use of the right so if one is going
out in the environment together if itis for internal treatment you go when
the Sun is beginning to rise and youpick with your right hand and you’ve got
enough time to get back before high noonif you’re doing for external you pick
with the left and you have time toprepare okay so again this notion of
oppositesour alignment of our body is made
visible by our shadow in the morningwhen the Sun is coming up the shadow is
on the right in the afternoon as the Sunbegins to set the shadow comes out on
this side but at high noon shadow recedes into the body
and joins with who is already herewhen the Sun begins its journey above
the head shadow begins to leaveand you can see it on the ground
Hawaiian’s believe at high noon thepowers of in unity is strong
power it is a time to have yourceremonies it is a time for sacred rites
to beginin my husband’s teaching of it is
the recognition among the warriorsand the that when they do
sacred ceremony it’s either called or it’s at midnight and it’s
dependent on where the moon is and forsacred ceremonies regarding treatment
and healing it’s very important that yourecognize when this concept plays an
important role when we’ve done is really deep and it
is pervasive and it cannot take one timeit takes several timesprotocol in ritual define levels of
expectations and accomplishments so theritual makes known you have reached this
stage it also makes known what has beenaccomplished so if the has been
worked through it has been workedthrough but it also identifies in the
modern way what efforts were taken tobring this about and at this point being
involved in a ritual solidifies itbecause that ritual includes
acknowledgement with the higher spiritsthe spirits of that healing practice and
it involves individuals it involvesindividuals to make it happen in a
cognitive way because once you releasein a ceremony
it can never be brought up againso what does the ceremony consist
of it is the preparation of selectedfoods representative of the gods it’s
presented and portion and it’s cookedit’s offered its essence to the gods and
the powers that be and then the leftoverfoods are eaten by the participants mmm
the punished ceremony can also includerituals of cleansing so that after
you’ve eaten these foods you clean yourbody and you wash it away in our
sessions I believe we’re going to beable to cover some of that because these
practices are part of learning how tocare for yourself so that when you get
involved with that you are saying I amfully in I’m fully compatible and I
honestly and genuinely engage in whatI’m doing
that symbolizes my release letting goand my to cut so it’s not just
somebody telling you to but you’reinvolved in that process because requires you to do your own one of the things that we’ve done
sometimes it kids is this activity ofperspectives and truth and we often ask
them describe what you see the otherside another person describes what they
see but it may be different if you havea book the front cover is different from
the back cover but their story isdifferent but it is their truth because
they’re saying exactly what they see soit emphasizes honoring perspectives my
husband with the men will always say tothem I have a stack of Bibles here I
want you to come over here and can youput your hand on the Bible and swear
that is your truth that’s another levelwhat their perspective is is from the
human domain but when he asked them toput the hand on the Bible that is
getting inside of them and forcing themto reckon with the higher power they
believe in so ritual is so powerful butyou cannot use it for everything to
solve everything without going throughthe proper process okay so that’s what I
mean by form and essenceso spirituality is a very important part
the is the seat for your familyspiritual guardians to be able to join
youthe is the one that connects you
with the livingOhana. This one connects you with the
deceased Ohana the genitalia connectsyou with the future Ohana when all of
this has been righted and is balanced and in harmony then you are
said to be in alignmentyes the is your guide that tells you
am I being genuine or am i going throughthe motionsso
our hawaiian worldview acknowledgesplants around our spiritual in nature
they have a spiritual componentmany of them are of our God’s
so that they’re always reminders of usof our worldview out there
representing but from yougo up to
to from to so they’re there yeah the Tea Leaf of the godsso spirituality is the domain that
permeates all of the Hawaiian life andso the teachings of getting along and of
loving and of giving being generous ofbeing courageous to step up to the front
to protect what you value and you lovethey’re all built into that genuineness
is a reflection of your in alignmentwith the spiritual powers yeah so all of
those terms that talk about how yourelate to other people are the action
words that promote interrelationshipsand interdependence as much as you are
hospitable and you’re generous with yourOhana
they going to return like time to youand so the worldview is based upon this
give freely unconditional because whenyou need it’s going to come back it’s
based on malama taking care not justyourself but your relatives around you
and all the and the plants thatis about you Hawaiians are not perfect
on about maybe 15 years ago in anexcavation being done in on
Kauai dr. William Kikuchi in hisexcavations
came across chicken bones that were hugeand he looked at this and he said look
at the chicken bones but he said when heput the pieces together with chicken
bones and then he remembered in NewZealand they have the is
chicken and these more are big chickensand they stand very high so his theory
was in Hawaii we had but because ofuncontrolled consumption plenty meat and
you offer it to the you offer it tothe gods
plenty meat they didn’t know how toincubate they wiped out the
extinctionso through experience our people learn
you have to and propagate so thatyou replenish in a sustainable way
otherwise it leads to extinction so itjust didn’t come to them they live
through these experiences yeah the lastthing I want to cover with you is the
I want you to take yourselves on a
journey let’s go up to Palehua we gothrough the arid lands go through the
subdivision the air is turning coolerand then you have to stop and open the
locks as you continue going up andthere’s one section where they have a
camp or a retreat but beautifullylocated so from that point you can go
even further up to Kaala the highestpeak highest elevation on Oahu on
Palehuayou look to the right you look to the
lefton one side
you might be able to see the ocean youmight be able to see where the land
reaches the ocean that’s one boundary onthe other side at Palehua you look and
you see that plains that lies betweenthe two mountain ranges and beyond the
Koolau range this ocean againif you switch your body going
north-south and if you’re up at the one side you’ll see the land
meeting the ocean on the other side byHaleiwa land meeting the ocean and the
ocean going beyond that coastal area andthe ocean just goes and goes and goes
and you don’t know where it stops thatis the world view and that world
view tells them, my islandhas boundaries the resources on my
island are limited it doesn’t extendbecause you hit the deep blue water
you’ve lost navigation you don’t knowhow to go beyond them so what does that
tell them they have to malama what theyhave on land if they don’t malama it’ll
become extinct so that worldview alreadysets into motion taking what you need
and not raping the resources and whenyou gather together you share what you
have harvested because harvestingrequires more than one person or one
family requires you to be generous andif you have an coming and you have
to preserve and have food ready what doyou do you reserve
certain plots of land for the growth ofthe plant life that you need to be able
to make available to the youdevelop fish ponds or you take advantage
of nature’s curve of the land and youcreate natural fish ponds that allow the
taking of limited amounts of fish sothat there’s always more so this idea
harvesting only what you need beinggenerous with what you get and sharing
the notion of having to take care ofyour resources so that when you need it
it is available that’s all part of theKanaka worldview and this attitude has
come down to us now comes Westerncivilization now comes freezers
refrigeration now comes money so whathappens with our interdependence what
happens with our need to make resourcescontinue for those living and for those
who are yet to come there’s a break inall of that okay so the Hawaiians
choices were in large part determined bytheir worldview but with the mingling of
outside forcesmany things went out the window

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