Manaikalani at Bishop Museum

DSCN1256Manaiakalani made from wood. The tip is bone lashed on with Ol0na a cord made from the fiber of the Olona tree.

When giving tours to children, at the Bishop Museum, the first stop is to the case containing Maui’s fish-hook which is called Manaiakalani. Maui sometimes called a god and sometimes called a demigod was famous throughout the pacific. It is even said that many belive he really did exist at some time in history.

IMG_1180Maui, the Manaiakalani and the ‘Alae ‘Ula

For the children though I think the story of how Maui, given the hook Manaikalani by his father, took his brother fishing for the giant fish Pimoi captivates their imagination.

The brothers were to paddle their canoe out to sea and not look back as Maui baited the hook with the ‘Alae ‘Ula or what is called the Hawaiian Moorhen. You can see the hen in Maui’s hand in the above photo. It was said that Pimoi was attracted to the red around the birds face.

As the brothers paddled and Maui held on to the line the giant fish emerged. The brothers looked back, the fish pulled away and the line snapped causing the fish to break apart and the hook to fly off into the sky where it became the constellation Manaiakalani or Scorpius.

And what happened to the fish? Well he broke apart. Each part became a Hawaiian Island. Hey that’s just as believable as George Washington not being able to tell a lie!

I always ask the kids what their version is and there is always a different one or they may not have heard it at all. But they enjoy hearing about the waves thrashing and something big coming out of the ocean and I enjoy telling the story to them. Believe it or not even some adults like the story too. What do you think?


One comment on “Manaikalani at Bishop Museum

  1. megtraveling says:

    It’s such a creative way to explain the islands – it is a good story!


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