The Origin of Aloha
eia ko’u ha i ko alo // here is my breath of life
‘iwi a ‘iwi // bone of my bone
koko a koko // blood of my blood
i’o a i’o // flesh of my flesh
‘ekolu o’u piko, piko a noho ‘ai // I have three centers
ke kupuna ea, piko a noho ‘ai // aloha existed in my ancestral journey
ke ao o ke kupuna, piko a noho ‘ai // aloha exists in my personal journey
ke mau hanau, piko a noho ‘ai // aloha will exist in my future journey
‘ekolu o’u piko, eia ko’u ha // from these three centers comes my ha [life force] and my ALOHA
This chant is a welcoming and opening connection to family, friends, and newcomers alike. It explains life from a Hawaiian perspective by telling the listener that the very foundations of ALOHA comes from the spiritual connection to the bones, blood, and flesh of the past, present, and future.
Hawaiians lived connected to the spirit of the past and the present. This chant makes the connection of those spiritual lines down through the flesh, through the blood, into the physical bone. One strives to live in harmony of the physical and spiritual, in harmony between the past and the present.
We learn from past generations and we learn from our present experiences. When all levels are understood and are in harmony, then knowledge can be dispersed to future generations. This is the beginning of ALOHA.
“Our understanding that their life force lives on…[‘iwi] . . .their knowledge is alive and their connection to us is relevant.”
My temple on your temple?
WHY IS ALOHA `ĀINA MORE IMPORTANT THAN TMT?
My temple on your temple. That is what colonial oppression is all about.
Astronomers believe their western scientific connection to the universe is more significant than Aloha `Aina’s connection to the universe, so they are entitled to build their optical temple on top of Mauna Kea, the highest sacred temple to Hawaiians.
It doesn’t get more colonial oppressive than that. The Thirty Meter Telescope pundits say they did their seven years of due diligence, but the protesters have been actively and legally acting to stop the industrial development and environmental destruction (desecration) of the mauna for decades.
The pursuit of astronomy is as religious as any other spiritual pursuit: They seek to touch the mind of god by finding out the details of the creation of the universe.
But it also is as pro-corporate as any other capitalist endeavor — to seek out asteroids worth mining (with the hyper-miner Canadian investors indebted), to develop technologies for military applications (laser tech), and the search for exoplanets (to satisfy their commitments to the Department of Defense), and to generate fund-able research projects within the international astronomical community.
TMT is big business for astronomy.
So, they build their temple on your temple because that is what colonial oppressors have done to exert their self-proclaimed cultural entitlement.
Aloha `Aina is part of a larger global movement of indigenous people rising up to stand and protect sacred lands — the global biosphere, which is under dire threat by climate change, environmental destruction and extinction.
The most pressing problems that we face are not scientific; they are political. How can we activate a social revolution to save the planet?
TMT cannot solve these problems, but Aloha `Aina can.
That is why Aloha `Aina is more important than TMT. Any astronomers who also are environmentalists must stand down on TMT and support Aloha `Aina’s protection of the mauna.
Lynda Lovon Sebastopol, Calif.