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Nā keiki uneune māmane o Kula.

An expression of admiration for the people of Kula, Maui, who accomplish whatever they set out to do. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #2238

Aloha kākou,

Sometime last year, I stood at Peʻepeʻe Falls (Boiling Pots) and read the story of Hina, her son Maui, and the great moʻo Kuna that my family and I have read many times since moving to Piʻihonua.

Kuna was a trouble maker who lived at Peʻepeʻe Falls. Hina, the mother of Maui lived down river in a cave concealed by the mist of Rainbow Falls. One night a great storm arose, and while Hina slept, Kuna threw a huge boulder into the falls below Hina's cave, causing flood waters to threaten her. From the island of Maui, her son heard her screams for help. After crushing the rock that caused the cave to flood, Maui pursued Kuna.

Kuna dove into the river, hiding in an underwater cave. Unable to reach Kuna, Maui called to Pele for help. Pele sent lava from Mauna Kea to the river, causing the water to boil violently, until Kuna emerged. Maui chased Kuna, and with a mightly blow, slayed the moʻo.

As I stood and watched the river, a question came, "Who is Vibrant Hawaiʻi in this story?"

I thought about the incredible vision we have for community, and our commitment to equity, agency, and empowerment, and I replied, "We are Maui. We are trying to save our community from injustice and inequity."

With grace, wisdom, and aloha - the river was quiet. No affirmation. No judgement. Just quiet.

And in the spaciousness of silence, I received clarity of Vibrant Hawaiʻi's role in community. We are Pele.

Pele does not "activate" until she is invited.

Pele provides a specific resource that is requested, for a specific purpose.

The resource she provides is just enough so that Maui can slay the giant moʻo, and Maui can be the hero of the story.

E nā hoa kākoʻo i nā Hono a Piʻilani. Let's lean into the wisdom of our ʻāina and kūpuna - help when we are invited and asked, and help in a way that restores dignity and power to the people of Maui to be their hero of their story.

Eō nā keiki uneune māmane o Kula!

Janice Ikeda

Executive Director

Vibrant Hawaiʻi


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