Hinaikamālama and Kaʻōnohiokalā

I had a conversation with someone and I brought up this saying “Ka-lā-i-ke-kilipue-ʻo-Hina” or the sun in the embrace of Hina. I forgot that some may not know some of these stories so I thought I would share this one.

There are several Hawaiian stories about the sun. One is that the sun is the kite of Māui . Another is that the sun is a person chasing the moon around the world. One of the most poetic stories I ever heard from a kūpuna from Waiʻanae was about Hinaikamālama or Hina in the Moon.

Kaʻōnohiokalā–lit the eye of the sun–was said to be the child of Hina, the mother of Māui and the personification of eternal sacred female. Everyday, Hina would give birth to Kaʻōnohiokalā and as the day went by, Kaʻōnohiokalā would age until the child was no longer a child but an elder. Kaʻōnohiokalā would then seek to return to the bosom of his/her mother. Hina would slowly appear to embrace Kaʻōnohiokalā tenderly (hence the term kilipue which means to ardently embrace) until Kaʻōnohiokalā would disappear in Hinaʻs arms only to be reborn the next day.
Symbolically, this story was told to me that women are so tough that they can embrace the sun. It is also a reminder of our own fragile mortality and not to forget oneʻs parents for when one is young, one sometimes seeks to push them aside and take them for granted but as one grows older, one realizes how important they were in oneʻs life.

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