The Seven Dawns of the Aumakua

The Seven Dawns of the Aumakua

The Ancestral Spirit Tradition of Hawaii

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An extensive examination of Hawaiian spiritual tradition and its emphasis on ancestral spirits by a descendant of an ancient lineage of Hawaiian priests

• Describes the time-honored intergenerational bond between a people and a land that embodies the heart of indigenous spirituality

• A powerful and authentic portrait of a culture on the cusp of extinction

In Hawaiian spiritual tradition, the sacred bond formed between the land and its people is perpetuated in every new generation by the voices of the ancestors who pass on this inheritance. Just as elders are the intermediaries between these voices and the younger generations, the na aumakua, or ancestral spirits, are the intermediaries between the living and the sacred land they inhabit.

In The Seven Dawns of the Aumakua Moke Kupihea takes the reader on his journey from childhood to young manhood as he experiences what remains of the spirit of his ancestors and learns the importance of remembering. The descent of the aumakua and its spiritual link through the eyes, sound, voice, touch, people, and breath constitute its seven dawns--the means by which the author is reawakened to his native tradition.

The author’s desire to know this tradition leads him as a young boy to seek out his kupuna--his elders, the old men of the mountains--and learn from them the stories to be found in each feature of the landscape. These men and the people he meets as he grows older became his kahu--his ancestral guardians--who teach him to understand that the world of ancestral voices still speaks, if only in a whisper. Learning how to hear these voices is the key for returning Hawaii to its proud spiritual path and learning to live mindfully and soulfully with the land and with all who have come before us.
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  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780892811441 | 
  • March 2004
List Price $16.95
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Six
The Touch of the Aumakua


Each of us, at some time or other during our lives, has at least one moment that is profound, even miraculous--a moment of seeming divine intervention, when the thread of connection to life or our world as we know it seems frayed to the point of breaking, but instead some mercy is shown, some unseen hand of rescue is offered. A child almost twelve years old is both old enough to understand the depth of the darkness before rescue and young enough in spirit to be awed and changed by the touch of mercy leading him out of the dark. A child of twelve remembers such a moment... see more

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