Talk:Hawaiian religion

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Hawaiian religion:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Expand : add section on human sacrifice; Moku`ula‎
  • Infobox : Check and see if there's an existing infobox that covers the topic; if not, it might be time to make one for topics about Hawaiian traditions.
  • Merge : Further reading section into body of article as references.
  • Verify : Add {{fact}} templates to dubious statements as the first step in vetting the content.


Is this correct mythology? I am concerned for how these statements may affect perception of Hawaii/Pele vs. Maori religion.

Possible merge with Hawaiian mythology?[edit]

Well, time to get started!

I've been looking over the information available, and I was wondering if it's possible to either merge this article to Hawaiian mythology or merge that article here. As it stands, the mythology page is simply a list of the major Hawaiian gods and goddesses. I suppose a key point is whether it is possible to separate the mythology from the religion (ala Christian mythology vs. Christianity and Ancient Greek religion vs. Greek mythology)--my personal opinion is that discussions of the major stories belong in the mythology article while a brief overview of the Hawaiian pantheon and description of the historical evolution of the religion would be better suited here. Thoughts? --jonny-mt 02:23, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I am not an expert on this, but to me Hawaiian mythology includes the epic stories of warriors and kings, whereas religion would cover the gods and goddesses. So Pele, Lono, et al should be here, but Ka'ala and the night marchers etc. would be in mythology. How does that sound? Makana Chai (talk) 06:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
That's about what I was thinking. Since you seem to have a clearer grasp on where the line is, can I leave the merge to you (along with the copying of the workpage)? --jonny-mt 07:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a need for a merge as they are two distinct topics. Hawaiian religion covers the institutional tenets, traditions and practices that are based on the mythology, which in turn concerns itself with the stories of the Hawaiian gods. While there is certainly overlap, as with any two related topics, the treatment of both is entirely different. Hawaiian mythology is in need of expansion. Viriditas (talk) 11:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
You're definitely right about that article needing expansion, and there's probably nothing worth merging anyway, but I wanted to define our scope before we get going. For example, it seems that discussions of the main gods and goddesses would be better conducted here in the discussion of religion than in the discussion of mythology, which would deal with the folk legends and stories as Makana indicated above. --jonny-mt 15:12, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Basically, myth and religion are treated in terms of anthropology; religion is considered the broad view of the beliefs, rituals, practices and institutions, while mythology is the narrow view of the stories used to support the religious beliefs. See religion and mythology. So, we wouldn't go into too much story detail here, leaving most of it to Hawaiian mythology. Viriditas (talk) 22:16, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Expansion and move of the temp page[edit]

I've been bold and expanded the temp page to include what is probably a terrible overview of Hawaiian religion. I'll polish it up to something useable in the next week or so, but as part of the expansion I decided to go ahead and merge the history of the temp page with the history of the main article in order to protect the GFDL. I've marked it as {{Underconstruction}}, so have at it! --jonny-mt 16:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Remind me never to get on your bad side. :) That was a good idea to add the section "Hawaiian religion in modern times". It should be interesting to see what turns up, particularly in terms of sovereignty issues which appear to be inseparable from religious claims. Viriditas (talk) 00:12, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Great job[edit]

Thank you so much johnny-mt for putting this together. It's a really good start.

I fixed the two "who?" and I took out after Lono, "whom the native Hawaiians apparently mistook Captain Cook for[4]" - this article is about Hawaiian religion and this comment would go in Hawaiian history. PS I think the real story is more complicated. I believe the kahuna knew he was not a god, but wanted everyone else to think he was.

Yes, Hawaiian religion today will be interesting - a kumu just sent me a long letter about how Christianity is the true Hawaiian religion. Makana Chai (talk) 10:16, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Kahoʻolawe comes to mind. Particularly the lawsuit that Protect Kahoolawe Ohana filed to gain control of the island, partly on the basis of a religious claim. While the suit failed, they eventually won over the public. Bombing stopped in 1990, and the island was handed over to the state in 1994. These and other Hawaiian sovereignty claims are covered in American Cultural Pluralism and Law: Third Edition (2006), and many involve an appeal to Native Hawaiian religious belief and freedom to practice their religion. It should also be mentioned that the Hawaiians are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Viriditas (talk) 18:15, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Great continuing job on this article! Mahalo nui loa. Viriditas, it would be great if you added your mana'o above to the article. Makana Chai (talk) 10:40, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Just wanted to say nice call on the Kahoʻolawe content :) --jonny-mt 14:37, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Question re Kāne Milohai[edit]

I have never seen a reference to Kāne as Kāne Milohai. Can you point me to a reference? Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 05:48, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Honestly, I simply took that name from the Wikipedia article. Feel free to correct it if you'd like--for the time being, I'm just kind of focusing on getting a bunch of content up and hitting on some ideas for further article development. Once all this is done, I'll be only too happy to join you in going back and vetting the hell out of it! --jonny-mt 07:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
The Hawaiian Dictionary gives Kānemilohaʻi as 1) the Hawaiian name for the French Frigate Shoals, and 2) the "name of Pele's brother left as an outguard on northwestern shoal as they travelled from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi". ([1]) This directly contradicts the first sentence in Kāne Milohai, which states that he was Pele's father. I have also never heard Kāne (the main god) referenced as Kāne Milohai; always as Kāne. —Kal (talk) 21:56, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Removal of the "under construction" template[edit]

I think I've finished the basic-level work that I was planning, so I'm going to take some time over the rest of the week and start working on small tweaks and gnomish stuff (like converting the references to {{cite book}}--Makana, if you'd be so kind as to provide the titles of the books you used I'd be much obliged). The next step for me after that is going back and fixing the crappy writing/unverified content/outright synthesis that I know got in there during basic construction, so if anyone wants to go ahead and make any more big expansions in the meantime, please be my guest! Otherwise, feel free to remove the {{underconstruction}} template. Mahalo! --jonny-mt 14:36, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Wow there is so much here! Thanks for putting everything up. I'd like to do some editing but it's too late for tonight. Will try to get to by end of week. Mahalo! Makana Chai (talk) 09:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I couldn't go to bed with it as is. Sorry I forgot to italicize the book titles. Will fix tomorrow. Makana Chai (talk) 10:14, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
No worries about formatting the book titles--I'm going to put them in {{cite book}} templates that will apply all the formatting automagically. The important thing was getting them so that I can be sure I'm pulling up the right info when I do so; thank you very much for your help there!
Incidentally, I saw you removed a large chunk of the content on Huna. While I certainly have no plans of replicating the main article (which needs some serious work itself) here, I think it deserves at least some explanation because it illustrates the co-opting of traditional Hawaiian religion by the New Age movement. So, any suggestions for what should go in? --jonny-mt 02:16, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I feel that at most it should get one sentence. Something like, "Contrary to claims of proponents, Huna has nothing to do with Hawaiian religion." However, until my book is published I can't give a source on it. I think we should give them as little ink as possible. Otherwise, we're just feeding into it. I also don't think Hawaiian religion is being co-opted by the New Age movement, just by Huna. I think it's important to be as specific as possible. Makana Chai (talk) 08:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, as you said Huna sees itself as being related to Hawaiian religion--since it's certainly a notable (if misguided) movement, I think this link should at least be mentioned in a neutral tone. Incidentally, I added that "New Age" mention because of things like this link.
At any rate, it's not a big concern right now--as long as there's enough information left in for that connection to be built on in the future (and don't worry about "giving them too much ink"--I'm very big on WP:UNDUE), I'm happy. --jonny-mt 09:29, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Queen Ka'ahumanu[edit]

The role of Queen Ka'ahumanu in the 'Ai Noa should be mentioned in the kapu section and her influence in "Hawaiian religion in modern times" should be described in relation to her promotion of Protestant Christianity and banning of the Roman Catholic Church. Viriditas (talk) 09:43, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Agree! Will do. Eventually. Makana Chai (talk) 09:52, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Religious sculpture[edit]

Please take a look at the further reading and resources section for two links which could be used as a starting point for additional information on Hawaiian religious sculpture. Viriditas (talk) 14:01, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

These look great. Hope you can do this one. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 09:52, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Hawaiian religion in modern times[edit]

Per WP:MOS, headings should generally not repeat the article title. "Contemporary era", "Modern era", or some variation on that title should suffice. Viriditas (talk) 15:35, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Kepelino's Traditions of Hawaii[edit]

I updated the citation to reflect the most recent publication, however the page number is probably off as a result. I doubt we even need the page number due to the general, uncontroversial nature of the statement, but I will make an effort to find the newer edition and check the page number. Viriditas (talk) 04:56, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Page number is right, thanks. Makana Chai (talk) 19:56, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Image placement[edit]

Shifting image to the right--since his arms open to the left, the eye tends to follow that way (see MOS:IMAGES)[2]

No big whoop, but I found it ironic, since the only reason I made the change was based on "Multiple images in the same article can be staggered right-and-left" from MOS:IMAGES. I was going to tease Jonny by telling him that the MOS on shifting images only pertains to images of faces, while the Navy commanders are looking right in the photo, but I thought better of it. After all, you never know what could happen if Jonny's blocking finger accidentally slipped while he was typing. :-) Viriditas (talk) 10:44, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

List of gods[edit]

Can we take this out:

Another breakdown[9] consists of three major groups:

   * the four gods, or akua: Kū, Kāne, Lono, Kanaloa
   * many lesser gods, or kupua, each associated with certain professions
   * family gods, ʻaumakua, associated with particular families

It seems to me this is just a general way of saying what is above it in the article. Makana Chai (talk) 18:16, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Worshiping or Worshipping[edit]

I had no idea that American spelling is one "p." British is two, so I changed all to the one. Makana Chai (talk) 18:24, 5 July 2008 (UTC)


Mokuʻula article is good. Not sure that I agree to add Mokuʻula to Hawaiian religion. We would go crazy adding every wahi pana to it. But it would be good to link to it. Makana Chai (talk) 01:30, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

If Mokuʻula is what its proponents claim it is—an axis mundi for the Hawaiian culture—then it may be one of the most important religious sites in the archipelago. Viriditas (talk) 02:21, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Semantic issue[edit]

Is it accurate to say the Hawaiian religion encompasses the beliefs and practices of "Native Hawaiians?" Native Hawaiians practice different religions; not just these pre-contact beliefs. Today, some native Native Hawaiians retain these beliefs, a great many are Christian, and some are irreligious. A better description is necessary. I'm not sure what it would be.—Fluous (talk) 02:35, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

It says "the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Native Hawaiians." Editor2020, Talk 00:50, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Hawaiian religion/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs rewrite and expansion, as there isn't much here. —Viriditas

Last edited at 08:44, 5 July 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 17:17, 29 April 2016 (UTC)