HKM Makahiki Celebration
November 25 - November 27
The Makahiki Season
The Makahiki season is a four-month period of the year, beginning with the first sighting of the makali`i (the constellation Pleiades) in late October or early November on the horizon. As the year’s harvest was gathered, tribute in the form of goods and produce were given to the chiefs from November through December. Various rites of purification and celebration in December and January closed the observance of the makahiki season.
The makahiki was a form of the “first fruits” festivals common to many cultures. Something similar was observed throughout Polynesia, and in Hawai`i the festival reached its greatest elaboration.
While the lands rest and are softened by the rains in preparation of the new planting season, all wars were prohibited and goodwill prevailed. The chiefs joined with the maka`ainana in feasting, testing of argumentative skills and athletic competition.
There were three makahiki images carved. Rites were performed for the main makahiki god, Lonomakua. His image, called the akua loa, was a 16-foot pole with a carved human head at the top, and crosspiece hung with sheets of tapa, fern and feather streamers. It was borne around the island, stopping at each land section, ahupua`a, to receive the people’s tribute. As the akua loa moved on, his place was taken by the god of play or pa`ani, and the chief’s kapu over the land was lifted. This image, similar to the akua loa and called the alua pa`ani, was set up to preside over the sports and games participated in by the people of the land and by those who followed the procession of the akua loa. The third god, the akua poko, collected tribute from the makua lands set aside by the chief for his direct support.
Upon the completion of the circuit of the island, and the return of the makahiki gods to the ruling chief’s heiau, rites were again performed for the akua loa, and then the images were dismantled after the chief ceremonially recaptured the island. At that point, the chief’s kapu were reimposed upon the maka`ainana for the rest of the year
When the makahiki season closed, Lono went back to the Kahiki and Ku returned. The ruling chief, symbolic of Ku, again reasserted his power and authority over the maka`ainana and the Ku rituals again took precedence.
In another ceremony marking the closure of the makahiki, a canoe with offerings to Lono was set adrift to return Lono to the ancestral lands of Kahiki.
From protectkahoolaweohana.org full article here