A few weeks ago, Big Island Farms had the unique honor of participating in a Aha’ Aina ceremony with Lanakila, the Director of the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua. The ceremony was intended to welcome our directors and interns into the culture of Hawai’i, and harmonize our efforts and visions for the farm through food sharing.
The name of the ceremony translates to Aha: gathering and Aina: to be fed from the earth, or to feed multitudes. The ceremony is built around the Hawaiian understanding that food is sacred, and that it is capable of nourishing on many different levels. In Hawaiian tradition, food allows individuals to achieve consciousness in mental, physical, spiritual realms.
Below is a brief photojournal of the ceremony:
Salt offered to cleanse the pallet and remove any negative energy.
Lanakila announcing and welcoming all deities and ancestors to be present.
Mixing of the Awa (Kava) and adding the sacred wai niu (coconut water).
Directors humbly offer the first Awa as a sign of their commitment and servitude to the students.
Offering awa to the ancestors, deities, and land.
Offering of Awa.
The offering of Ko (sugarcane) representing Kane, the god of life. Symbolic of bringing life and intentions. May the beginning be sweet.
The offering of Mai’a (banana) representing Kanaloa, the god of sea and the deep psyche. Embodying the idea that life is comprised of layers and understanding the importance of journeying into the depth of the spirit and mind.
The offering of Nui (coconut) representing Ku, the God of Social Order. Nui symbolizes hard work and pulling one’s weight in the community.
Lastly, Uala (sweet potato) represents Lono, the god of fertility and agriculture. Uala represents the manipulation of natural order to obtain from it and the notion of sharing what’s obtained.
For more information on the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua, please visit http://hccoh.org/
Once again, Mahalo to Lanakila for helping to facilitate the Aha’ Aina!