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Moku ka piko

Updated: Nov 22, 2022


Photo: ku'ialuaopuna


A genealogy or kūʻauhau is a lineage of traditions or a pedigree that has a source of a so called origin. Moʻokūauahu is a succession of ancestral knots on a cord that can also trace back its origins. Each knot on that kaula or cord is unique from the another. Yet each knot added is a succession of teachings that improve over the length of the cord due to the knots before it. Kuialuaopuna is a unique knot on a long cord of traditional Lua practitioners and ʻōlohe, dating back thousands of years.. These unique qualities are important for the cord to keep extending and growing. It is necessary that these knots have their own ideals and teachings, as they hold the cords framework together. These guidelines and traditions set the boundaries and foundation that forms the uniqueness of every knot. Traditions and guidelines within ones hālau cannot be blurred or compromised from within, or the hālau will not function smoothly to progression. It is the kumu /ʻōlohe that is focused on the highest progress for their own hālau. It is their knowledge and character that molds the hālau to a certain standard.

In the traditional lua and hula pa of ancient times there were guidelines and rules to keep the cord growing and surviving without turmoil within. The haumāna should not wander between multiple hālau to learn his art as there is no dedication or commitment on his part. This term ʻai wale, describes one who has no loyalty and dedication, only greed for knowledge, eating what he wants with no care for others. His reputation will be known and soon no one will commit to teaching him. This is how it was done in all of our ancient traditional practices. In contrast, the kumu is highly dedicated to their haumāna and will instruct to the best of their abilities, all knowledge necessary to help the haumāna reach their highest potential. Traditional hālau today are very rare. Ancient guidelines that were setup for many reasons are relaxed and rules blurred for the sake of modern western values that have tainted traditional teachings. The modern term used today, “cross training “ is where one can learn from many sources at the same time without care for the values of each hālau. This foreign concept has led many hālau to lessen their standards and weaken their knot, and this can lead to the compromising of other rules within and soon the standards of the hālau become muddied and unclear. This causes problems for all future knots on that aho.

Two terms come to be used and sometimes interchanged with their meanings. The first is ʻOki means to cut, sever, or to divide. It is a action that is done to something. Its meaning is clear to the people of old. The second is moku, which means cut, seperated, the action of oki is completed and the result of this action is the moku. Mōkapiko is a combination of two thoughts. Moku and piko. Piko is the umbilical cord that nourishes the baby to its mother, it is also the cord of a relationship that promotes a loving and nurturing source that extends from both parties. Mo ka piko means the relations have been severed or cut, it is the hopena or result. With Mokapiko, All kinship ties that once were intact have been lost. There is no bond that is recognized by the severed relationship. For our haumāna who have the blessings of their ʻōlohe to leave we use the term ʻoki as they have left for reasons that their ʻōlohe accept, there is always a chance to return in the future to continue the relationship. Terms and words can have a great effect on us if misinterpreted in translation or thought.




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