Sunday, April 19, 2015

P'uhonua o Honaunau

In ancient Hawaii only Ali'i Nui (royal chiefs) owned property.  Ali'i land was pie or wedge shaped so each chief received rights to the ocean, beach, and so on up into the mountains/volcano cone, allotting equal access to all needed resources.  There was no form of currency, the only thing a common person actually owned was his own life.

Polynesian culture was ordered with laws that were sacred rules, known popularly as taboo, in Hawaii as kapu.  While modern usage of kapu throughout the Hawaiian isles is keep out, or no trespassing, that is only a portion of what it used to mean.  Kapu rules codified what was acceptable in their society.  Like any society kapu covered all aspects of life: gender roles, politics, religion, areas open for fishing, when to harvest trees and so forth.

With no currency, no ownership of property, how would you punish someone for large and serious transgressions, by taking the only thing they owned, their life.  Now, there was this very tiny loophole to escape death, a loophole that wasn't easy to wiggle through, but was available, pu'uhonua, a place of refuge.  If you could make it to pu'uhonua, then after religious rites and purification all was forgiven, and were free to regain society once again.

The pu'uhonua on Hawaii is wedged between the ocean and the Ali'i Nui (royal) compound at Honaunau.  It was not meant to be an easy thing to get to, many were supposed to fail on their journey, so only the bravest, strongest and most determined managed to save their lives.  Weeding out the weak in a very Darwin way, yeah?

The building behind the wall is the pu'uhonua compound.  During times of war, women and children, elders and defeated warriors took refuge from the battles, no chief would breach the kapu of killing someone within the walls.  If the chief of the area lost the battle, the chief took ownership of the land and had a ready supply of people to get back to work.  A much better way of waging war if you ask me.

This is the reconstructed temple or heiau that also served as a mausoleum for the Ali'i bones. (royal chief)

Ki'i or more widely known using the Maori word, tiki.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Greetings from Hawaii!

Where everyone is ready for whatever!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


We are really enjoying the Big Island, it's nearly the size of Connecticut! There is so much to see and do, we're only scratching the surface.

The reason you've been only getting pictures and no text is I left my computer at home, and tapping out posts on my phone takes to freaking long.

Yesterday we drove over to the volcano park. Took an interesting hike filled with information on Hawaiian myths and native plants and birds. Turns out, that I'm very sensitive to the volcanic fumes, and have stuck close to home today.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Vacation Mystery, part 2

Hello there duckies!

Tomorrow, before it qualifies as 0 dark 30, I'll be on my way to see TH!  Our rendezvous is Seattle before we jet off for 10 fabulous days together.  We haven't seen each other since Christmas, its been much much to long.  So where are TH and I headed?

 It's time for a new game of Where's Biki on Vacation! 

I promise to not let it string out as long as I did last time.  I'll just leave the clues here today, guess if you'd like to, and Monday will post a picture and let you in on the secret.



A Queen
 Good luck!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why the NCAA Must Pull The Final Four From Indiana

As an avid baseball fan when I was a wee sprout, I followed a few select teams, GO CUBS!  Most of the sports history Keith Olbermann talks about I had no clue about.  He lays down a fantastic logical argument why major league sports needs to take a front row seat in this fight for LGBT equality. 

Society as a whole, plays catch up to the more progressive elements who are the vanguard to sweeping social change.  White folks going to the Cotton Club to listen to jazz that cant be heard any other place other than Black clubs due to Jim Crow laws.  The military desegregating ending the days of the "Buffalo Troops".  And a baseball team brave enough to hire the first major league African American player, hero Jackie Robinson.

In the late '60s the ballerina Raven Wilkinson faced harsh racism while the Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo toured the southern states that she had to leave the company for safety reasons.  Imagine being horrified that one of the dancers was Black.  I don't know about you, but there is no way for me to understand this extreme racism. 

Sit back and listen to him weave a web of logic that underscores just how backwards the right is.