Hanau ka po ia honu kua nanakaSource: NPS
From the darkness of time came the sea turtle with its plated back –
~ Kumulipo: A Hawaiian creation chant
I cannot overstate the importance of Honu. This ancient, amphibious creature connects the land and the water. Honu also serves as a reminder to all of us of the fragility of life and the importance of balance. Being in the presence of honu humbles us with the quiet majesty. No discussion of Polynesian traditions and culture would be complete without a discussion of honu. The origin of life and the harbinger of the end.
Perhaps as a continuation of the creation legends, or perhaps as part of Hawaiian’s connection with nature, but many families feel that honu are their guardians. They call this aumakua. Since the honu symbolize long life, endurance, and good luck, I can certainly understand feeling a connection.
Since the beginning I have loved honu. I understand the draw the Hawaiians feel, the connection. So I searched high and low for the perfect honu-themed project. Unfortunately, I couldn’t choose because nothing seemed quite right. Maybe I’ll have to make a reverse side to my pillowcase with a honu applique. Or maybe I can make some sort of ornament.
Although it seems perhaps my search is over. I can just buy one from Hawaii Pacific Parks! I especially love this one because it combines the honu with the woven fronds, which are a Polynesian art I also love.
Until I have the perfect honu souvenir I’ll just have to settle for information and images. While I bask in the quiet reverence of an ancient, spiritual, giant.