Fare Hape, Papenoʻo: Faʻafaite’s Valley
By ʻOiwi TV
This place is Faʻafaite’s origin. The waʻa are extremely important to us because they brought our ancestors to this land. And the values that sustain us until today: humility, respect, aloha for this place and each other, these are values from the waʻa that our kupuna brought with them here and throughout the Pacific. The waʻa is our origin. It is why we are here in these islands
“Our kupuna left us cultural treasures for us here on land like these marae. These marae are waʻa as well, waʻa on land but waʻa nonetheless. They are spiritual waʻa that connect us, and carry us, to our kupuna,” said Matahi Tutavae, president of the Tahitian voyaging canoe Faʻafaite.
The crew was fortunate to embark on this vessel, bringing gifts or prayer and chanting. These may seem like unusual tasks for sailors but are common practice for this crew.
“Our kupuna weren’t just navigators or just sailors. Prayer and chanting were a part of most activities. As we continue that way of being, we honor and mahalo our kupuna and the knowledge they left us,” said Maya Saffery, a cultural protocol specialist for the Worldwide Voyage.
Maya offered a hula for “Te Ura Wahine”, the Tahitian name of the Hawaiian diety Pele who lived at Fare Hape before migrating to Hawaiʻi.
It was important to come here and witness this place were she resided. We saw her various forms in the waterfalls and rain. It was important for us to experience this. I chose “A ka luna o Puʻuonioni” as my offering here at this home of Pele because it reminds us of the value that. One meaning of “mālama honua,” or caring for place, can be about this “place” right here, the individual, out body and spirit. It seemed appropriate given the worldwide voyage theme of “mālama honua,” or caring for earth,” said Maya.
These are priceless lessons being shared via the “waʻa”, both off and on the ocean.
“Today, these important lessons from the waʻa are fading. If we don’t want these things to disappear from us, we have to think long and hard about this. In the waʻa setting, if people lose this knowledge, they will fade themselves and perish. The same applies on land. These values must carry on with our children or they will be lost. We have to think about what lies ahead of us. It is a lesson we teach and learn on the waʻa. We don’t just sail aimlessly from island to island. We sail with purpose, knowing where we are headed. Again, we can apply this lesson on land. We are constantly reminded about the beauty and wonder of Faʻafaite. It is an amazing classroom to teach and perpetuate these ways,” said Matahi.
No nā kūmole a ʻikepili no ka Huakaʻi Holo Puni Honua, ʻo Mālama Honua, ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi!