Maui "The Hawaiian Superman"

The legends of Maui and his strifes were told in variation all throughout Polyinesia. The son of Hina was introduced into the world under a cloud of suspicion and jealousy wrought by his uncles and brothers, mainly because of his strange birth.

Hina was harvesting seaweed on the reef and came into contact with a malo (loin cloth) that was floating in the water and thus conceived the child. The origin of Maui's father was never clearly determined and therefore his brothers and uncles believed he did not deserve a place in their home. The cruelty of his family, save that of his mother, forged an unstoppable determination and fierce competitive nature in the boy who would later be revered as the demi-god Maui.

The strifes of Maui are listed as such: won a place for himself in the house-- his strange birth, pushing up the sky, fishing up the island,won fire for men, over coming kuna loa the long eel, finding his sister hina of the sea, winning immortality for men and,

Snaring The sun

Maui watched his mother Hina working at her kapa making, which was an arduous task, it required much hard labor: breaking the branches from the ma ma ka trees and the wau ka trees, soaking them in water; stripping the outer bark off to get to the inner bark, which would be pounded (while still wet) on the kapa board with a mallet. Making kapa was a long process and the day was short because the sun traveled so quickly through the sky. Hina would finish pounding out her kapa and hang it up to dry only to find that the sun had finished it's journey across the world.

The warmth and light of the day was quickly enveloped by darkest night and Hina's kapa would still be wet in the morning. Maui watched the sun as it traveled over the mountains. He saw it's path through a great chasm on Haleakala and decided he would ask the sun to slow its pace and be more considerate of man kind. The Sun god La arrogantly refused. Maui sought out his grandmother, who lived on the side of Haleakala and asked for her counsel. She told him to set some snares that would be anchored to the wiliwili trees and as the Sun made his journey through the mountain pass it would catch it's rays in the ropes and be held fast.

The scheme worked and the Sun struggled to free himself by retreating back to the sea. The Sun lashed out at Maui attempting to scorch him but failed. At last La made a deal: During the Winter he would move through the sky at his regular quick pace but in the summer he would move more slowly so that man would have time to grow and harvest his gardens and Hina could dry her kapa cloths. Maui left his snares unrigged but still in place so that the Sun would be reminded of this bargain.

Kaua’i, Hawai’i 96716


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