In Hawaiian mythology, Kāne is considered the highest of the four major Hawaiian deities, along with Kanaloa, , and Lono, though he is most closely associated with Kanaloa.[1] He represented the god of procreation and was worshipped as ancestor of chiefs and commoners. Kāne is the creator and gives life associated with dawn, sun and sky. No human sacrifice or laborious ritual was needed in the worship of Kāne.


The 1907 book Legends of Hawaii has the following account of creation involving Kāne. The author says that there are several versions of this story, probably due to waves of immigration from different areas of Polynesia at different times, but generally they agree on the major points. It says that in the beginning, there was nothing but Po; the endless black chaos. Then Kāne, sensing that he was separate from the Po, pulled himself free of Po by an act of sheer will. Sensing Kāne's presence, Lono and then Kū also pulled themselves free of Po. Then Kāne created the light to push back Po. Lono brought sound to the universe and Kū brought substance. Between them, they created all the lesser Gods. Then together, the three Gods created the Menehune, the lesser spirits to be their messengers and servants. Next, they created the world to be a footstool for the Gods. Finally, they gathered red clay from the four corners of the world, they mixed the clay with their spittle and molded it into the shape of a man. Then Kāne took a special magical white clay and formed it into a head. Then the three Gods breathed life into the statue and created the first man. The first man was created in the image of Kāne.

There is a parallel legend that says that Kāne alone breathed life into the man-statue. At the same time, Kanaloa tried to duplicate Kāne's feat, but his statue failed to come to life. So he challenged Kāne, saying something to the effect, "that man will live only a certain span of time, then he will die. When he dies, I will claim him as my own." This seems to tie in with his position as ruler of the dead as an entity separate from Kāne. Some versions say that Kanaloa is the alter ego of Kāne, the dark half so to speak. Others say he is a lesser god who was created to be in charge of the dead. The author of this particular book says that in the oldest legends, prior to about 1100 A.D., there is no mention of Kanaloa. The author is of the opinion that Kanaloa is, therefore, an addition from some later wave of immigration to the islands.

There is another completely separate legend about the creation of man found in the Kumulipo. The first-born son of the Wākea and Ho`ohokukalani is stillborn. When he is buried, the first Kalo plant springs from his navel. Named Hāloa or Long Breathe. The second-born son named after the first, is the first modern man. Hence the two sons are eternally connected. Man tends his brother the Kalo, and the Kalo feeds his brother the man. In that version, there is no mention of Kāne.

Aloha, the traditional greeting, was originally spoken while touching foreheads and exchanging a breath of air. This is possibly a reflection of the legend, exchanging the breath of life, Håloa; originally given by the Gods.

External links

See also


  1. ^ Bluecoast.org http://www.bluecoast.org/nonprofit/kanaloa/k47.html
Ewa District, Hawaii

ʻEwa was one of the original districts known as moku, of the island of Oʻahu in Ancient Hawaii history.

The word ʻewa means "crooked" or "ill-fitting" in Hawaiian. The name comes from the myth that the gods Kāne and Kanaloa threw a stone to determine the boundaries, but it was lost and later found at Pili o Kahe.

Haumea (mythology)

Haumea (pronounced [həuˈmɛjə] in the Hawaiian language) is the goddess of fertility and childbirth in Hawaiian mythology.

She is the mother of Pele, Kāne Milohai, Kā-moho-aliʻi, Nāmaka, Kapo, and Hiʻiaka, among many others. Except for Pele, who was born the normal way, her children were born from various parts of her body. From her head, for example, were born Laumiha, Kaha'ula, Kahakauakoko, and Kauakahi.

She was a powerful being, and gave birth to many creatures, some after turning herself into a young woman to marry her children and grandchildren. She was finally killed by Kaulu.

The Hawaiian goddess is not to be confused with a Māori god named Haumia or Haumia-tiketike, the god of wild plants and berries; he is the god of wild food, as opposed to (his brother) Rongo, the god of cultivated food.

Hawaiian religion

Hawaiian religion encompasses the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of Native Hawaiians. It is polytheistic and animistic, with a belief in many deities and spirits, including the belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as other animals, the waves, and the sky.

Hawaiian religion originated among the Tahitians and other Pacific islanders who landed in Hawaiʻi between 500 and 1300 AD. Today, Hawaiian religious practices are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Traditional Hawaiian religion is unrelated to the modern New Age practice known as "Huna."

Herb Kawainui Kāne

Herbert "Herb" Kawainui Kāne (June 21, 1928 – March 8, 2011), considered one of the principal figures in the renaissance of Hawaiian culture in the 1970s, was a celebrated artist-historian and author with a special interest in the seafaring traditions of the ancestral peoples of Hawaiʻi. Kāne played a key role in demonstrating that Hawaiian culture arose not from some accidental seeding of Polynesia, but that Hawaiʻi was reachable by voyaging canoes from Tahiti able to make the journey and return. This offered a far more complex notion of the cultures of the Pacific Islands than had previously been accepted. Furthermore, he created vivid imagery of Hawaiian culture prior to contact with Europeans, and especially the period of early European influence, that sparked appreciation of a nearly forgotten traditional life. He painted dramatic views of war, exemplified by The Battle at Nuʻuanu Pali, the potential of conflicts between cultures such as in Cook Entering Kealakekua Bay, where British ships are dwarfed and surrounded by Hawaiian canoes, as well as bucolic quotidian scenes and lush images of a robust ceremonial and spiritual life, that helped arouse a latent pride among Hawaiians during a time of general cultural awakening.

House of Moana

The House of Moana is a princely line of the Islands of Hawaii. The line begins with Moana kāne (sometimes Moanakāne), the son of the former aliʻi nui of the island, Keākealani Kāne and is also the name of the ruler's granddaughter. Moana kāne and Moana Wahine's descendants include many, if not most of the monarchs from the House of Kamehameha. In the Hawaiian language "moana" means: "ocean". The word combines moe and ana (a lying down) and can also mean the act of prostrating one's self by leaning forward on one's hands and knees in the presence of a chief. Also meaning the act of worship. Ku-hai-moana is the most famous of the Hawaiian shark gods.

Kahekili I

For later chief of Maui, see Kahekili II.

Kahekili I was a king of Maui. He was a noted warrior chief who nearly destroyed his country. He was styled Kahekilinui or "Kahekili the Great" even though his greatness was small in comparison to his descendant Kahekili II. His name was short for Kāne-Hekili after the Hawaiian god of thunder.

Kahekili II

Kahekili II, full name Kahekilinuiʻahumanu, (c. 1737–1794) was an ali'i (Moʻi) of Maui. His name was short for Kāne-Hekili after the Hawaiian god of thunder. Because Kāne-Hekili was believed to be black on one side, Kahekili tattooed one side of his body from head to foot.

He was called Titeeree, King of Mowee by European explorers.


In Hawaiian mythology, Ka-moho-aliʻi is a shark god and a brother of Kāne Milohai, Pele, Kapo, Nāmaka and Hiʻiaka.

Ka-moho-aliʻi swam in the area around the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe. When a ship was lost at sea, Ka-moho-aliʻi shook his tail in front of the fleet and the kahuna would feed him "awa" (a name for kava, a narcotic drink), and Ka-moho-aliʻi would guide the men home. He is sometimes said to have guided the ships of the original inhabitants of Hawaii from the mainland to their island home in this way.

Ka-moho-aliʻi had the power to take on the form of any fish.


In the traditions of ancient Hawaiʻi, Kanaloa is a god symbolized by the squid or by the octopus, and is typically associated with Kāne. It is also the name of an extinct volcano in Hawaiʻi.

In legends and chants, Kāne and Kanaloa are portrayed as complementary powers (Beckwith 1970:62–65). For example: Kāne was called upon during the building of a canoe, Kanaloa during the sailing of it; Kāne governed the northern edge of the ecliptic, Kanaloa the southern; and Kāne then taps them out. In this way, they represent a divine duality of wild and taming forces like those observed (by Georges Dumézil, et al.) in Indo-European chief god-pairs like Odin–Týr and Mitra–Varuna, and like the popular yin and yang of Chinese Taoism.

Kanaloa is also considered to be the god of the Underworld and a teacher of magic. Legends state that he became the leader of the first group of spirits "spit out" by the gods. In time, he led them in a rebellion in which the spirits were defeated by the gods and as punishment were thrown in the Underworld. In traditional, pre-contact Hawaiʻi, it was Milu who was the god of the Underworld and death, not Kanaloa; the related Miru traditions of other Polynesian cultures support this.The Eye of Kanaloa is an esoteric symbol associated with the god in New Age Huna teaching, consisting of a seven-pointed star surrounded by concentric circles that are regularly divided by eight lines radiating from the inner-most circle to the outer-most circle. Kanaloa is also associated with the Ocean as a god of the sea, hence his association with boats and squid. Huna, as a New Age religion developed in the 20th Century by a Caucasian-American founder, bears no relation to the Native Hawaiian Religion. Native Hawaiians reject "Huna" as a mishmash of Hawaiian elements with European religious metaphysical ideas.


Keākealanikāne (1575 – 1635) (Hawaiian: Ke-ākea-lani Kāne "the male heavenly expanse") was an aliʻi nui of the island of Hawaiʻi (1605–1635). He was the sovereign of the Big Island. He is mentioned in chant Kumulipo.

During the reign of Keākealanikāne several of the more powerful of the district chiefs had assumed an attitude of comparative independence.


In Hawaiian Religion, Kumu-Honua ("first on Earth") is the first man.He was married to Lalo-Honua; the couple was given a garden by Kāne and were forbidden from eating a particular fruit.

This story may be in whole or in part Christianized.

Kāne Milohai

In Hawaiian mythology, Kāne-milo-hai is the brother of Kamohoaliʻi, Pele, Kapo, Nāmaka and Hiʻiaka (among others) by Haumea.

He is a figure most prominently in the story of Pele's journey along the island chain to Hawaiʻi, and may be seen as a terrestrial counterpart to his brother, the shark-god Ka-moho-aliʻi.The word kāne alone means "man", and Kāne is one of the four major Hawaiian deities along with Kanaloa, Kū, and Lono. As a result, Kāne-milo-hai is occasionally confused with the latter.

In Hawaiian mythology, Kū or Kūkaʻilimoku is one of the four great gods. The other three are Kanaloa, Kāne, and Lono.

Feathered god images or ʻaumakua hulu manu are considered to represent Kū. Kū is worshipped under many names, including Kū-ka-ili-moku (also written Kūkaʻilimoku), the "Snatcher of Land". Kūkaʻilimoku rituals included human sacrifice, which was not part of the worship of other gods.

List of figures in the Hawaiian religion

Hawaiian narrative or mythology, tells stories of nature and life. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian narrative, developing its own unique character for several centuries before about 1800. It is associated with the Hawaiian religion. The religion was officially suppressed in the 19th century, but kept alive by some practitioners to the modern day.


Māhū ('in the middle') in Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) and Maohi (Tahitian) cultures are third gender persons with traditional spiritual and social roles within the culture, similar to Tongan fakaleiti and Samoan fa'afafine, Kāne (men) who have sexual relationships with men are Aikāne.

According to present-day māhū kumu hula Kaua'i Iki:

Māhū were particularly respected as teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. In pre-contact times māhū performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women. Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies. Traditionally parents would ask māhū to name their children.


In Hawaiian mythology, Nu'u was a man who built an ark with which he escaped a Great Flood. He landed his vessel on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Nu'u mistakenly attributed his safety to the moon, and made sacrifices to it. Kāne, the creator god, descended to earth on a rainbow and explained Nu'u's mistake.


Piʻilaniwahine II (piʻilani = "ascent to heaven", wahine = "woman/wife") was a Hawaiian High Chiefess. She was of very noble ancestry and is known to us today from the old chants.

She lived in ancient Hawaii; her mother was Kekaikuʻihala I and her father was Kalanikaumakaowākea.Piʻilaniwahine had two husbands herself. She married Ahu-a-ʻI; their child was Queen Lonomaʻaikanaka of Hawaiʻi.

Another Piʻilaniwahineʻs husband was called Moana (son of Keākealani Kāne). Their son was named Lono after one god.

It is unknown when Piʻilaniwahine died.

Raymond Kāne

Raymond Kaleoalohapoinaʻoleohelemanu Kāne (, Hawaiian: [ˈkaːne]; October 2, 1925 - February 27, 2008), was one of Hawaii's acknowledged masters of the slack-key guitar. Born in Koloa, Kauaʻi, he grew up in Nanakuli on Oʻahu's Waiʻanae Coast where his stepfather worked as a fisherman.Kāne's style was distinctive and deceptively simple. He played in a number of ki ho'alu tunings always plucking or brushing the strings with only the thumb and index finger of his right hand. He also played hammer-ons and pull-offs in a unique way; his finger moving up and out, instead of down and in, after striking a string. He emphasized that one must play and sing "from the heart". He was never flashy or fast. In Hawaiian, his sound is described as nahenahe (sweet sounding).

He was a recipient of a 1987 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.


In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne. He found the first woman, Marikoriko, in a pond; she seduced him and he became the father of Hine-kau-ataata. By extension, a tiki is a large or small wooden or stone carving in humanoid form, although this is a somewhat archaic usage in the Māori language. Carvings similar to tikis and coming to represent deified ancestors are found in most Polynesian cultures. They often serve to mark the boundaries of sacred or significant sites.


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