Monday, April 14, 2008

News about Moku'ula

I have some news about my trip to Maui that I've been waiting a while to share. I think that in the beginning I was so honored and amazed that I wondered if this project was even truly real! My second week in Maui seems in some ways like a dream, a wonderful dream that was actually real.

During my second week there I visited an organization called "Friends of Moku'ula" that was responsible for an incredible walking tour I'd been on 18 months or so before. I hadn't been able to forget about Moku'ula since I'd heard about it and wanted to visit the main offices and become a "Friend".

While there, my vision for Moku'ula was re-ignited. I visited with Akoni Akana, an inspired kumu, Hawaiian cultural expert, and the Executive Director of the Friends of Moku'ula. Moku'ula is a sacred site to the people of Hawaii; it was the spiritual and political center of the Hawaiian Kingdom for hundreds of years. Due to years of cultural upheaval and the influence of missionaries, Moku'ula fell into disrepair and neglect. In the early 1900's it was even covered over and became a baseball field.

Interestingly, the covering over of Moku'ula preserved it.

Now, there is a grassroots effort to restore Moku'ula to the glory it once held and still holds in the hearts of many who love Hawaii. Akoni Akana has a vision for Moku'ula that will restore this vital archaeological site to its former significance, complete with a royal residence, auxillary buildings, a mausoleum, a pond fed by underground springs, educational historical and cultural exhibits, and and more. Even more important than the physical significance and restoration is the spiritual significance of Moku'ula. It symbolizes many Hawaiian values that were suppressed and that unknowing but effectively predatory visitors attempted to stamp out, but that live on nevertheless.

Akoni Akana asked me to help him to tell the story of Moku'ula. I am now writing a book with him about Moku'ula that will be for visitors and tourists and others, to help them to understand the power and significance of Moku'ula. It will tell the stories about Moku'ula that are so important, and that are on the verge of becoming forgotten.

We hope that the restoration of Moku'ula will accelerate as more and more people understand the importance of this vital historic site to the Hawaiian people. Non-Hawaiians too can benefit enormously from learning about and incorporating into their own world-view vital Hawaiian values, such as Lokahi (oneness), Malama (caring for), Pono (Balance), and so much more.

I am very, very honored and blessed to be involved in this project. Although I'll be putting my novel on the back burner for a while, in a way I won't, as the project will assist in my understanding of the Hawaiian people, language, and values in a way that will dramatically enrich my novel; my novel takes place in Maui, of course :)

This brings me one step closer to my dream of living in Maui, and gives me ties to loved ones there in Lahaina. It is more than a project for is my heart.

~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark (except for pictures of Akoni Akana...not sure where I found them...if you know, please let me know)


CrystalChick said...

Hello! What a truly wonderful experience this will be for you. Certainly everyone will benefit from a project as this.
All good values do live on and find ways to spread into the hearts of many.
Wishing you all the best in this new endeavor! :)
Peace, Mary

Olivia said...

Thank you, Mary. I really hope so. Good values do indeed live on. I really like that they end up triumphing :) Thank you for your encouragement, O
Peace back to you, O xxoo

thailandchani said...

Oh, I certainly understand this one! I just found something new, too, and just posted about it this morning. (So weird that we are posting about essentially the same thing - restoring the values that are in our hearts rather than our immediate surroundings.)

Olivia said...

I am so excited, Chani, that you understand. We ARE indeed posting about the same thing. It is interesting how we attract the surroundings to our hearts as well. I loved what you wrote on your blog.

Many Americans do not understand reverence or respect as these values are no longer a strong component of our culture. I think that when we don't have these we lose big-time!

Love, O xxoo

Kate said...

Oh this sounds wonderful Olivia, just perfect for you. I am happy for you. When you get back ot it the novel will be waiting for you and you will be ready.


Olivia said...

I'm excited too Kate, thanks. You know it does seem perfect. And I think that the novel will be much better because of my increased closeness to the Hawaiian people's experience. Traveling mercies and blessings to you, O xxoo

Hootin' Anni said...

Alrighty!!! I got your blog added to the Over 50 blog roll. You may have to refresh your browser to see that you've been added to the membership. Welcome. Hope you can find some lasting online friendships through the listing.

This was such an interesting blog entry!!! I love Hawai'i the big island. We were there for only a week, and had our son as a tour guide...we saw so many wonderful and interesting places that 'most tourists' don't see. I think the best part for me was actually CLIMBING Diamondhead and looking down into the bunkers and such....never realizing it was there 'til we climbed!!!

An amazing cultural experience, I agree.

Olivia said...

Thank you, Anni! I'm glad you love Hawaii as well, Blessings, Olivia