Culture

We are Race. We are Introduction. We are Aloha.

Ikuna Koa is a competitive outrigger canoe club that trains in San Diego, California and races in California, Arizona and Hawaii. It is also so much more. Cultural enrichment and community service are the focus of many our off-the-water activities including involvement with such events and organizations as:

  • Row for the Cure
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • Blind Ski
  • Wounded Warriors / Adaptive Paddling
  • Lu'au
  • Lei Making and other Cultural Crafts

We are proud to incorporate traditional Hawaiian protocol in our paddle culture. While on land (aina) and sea (moana). Below are some of the chants and songs we often times will perform before we go for our paddle.

Songs | Chants

Songs

HAWAIIAN DOXOLOGY
"Ka Mele Ho'omaika'i"

Hoʻonani i ka Makua mau,

Ke Keiki me ka ʻUhane nō,

Ke Akua mau hoʻomaikaʻi pū,

Ko kēia ao, ko kēlā ao.

ʻĀmene.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly host,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen.

 

Words: Thomas Ken, 1674; translated from English to Hawaiian by Hiram Bingham (1789-1869).
Music: "Old 100th," Genevan Psalter, 1551 (MIDI, score); attributed to Louis Bourgeois.

Today, Ikuna Koa sings or recites this pule before each canoe launch and at other appropriate time.

HAWAI'I ALOHA
"Ku'u One Hanau"

E Hawai'i e ku'u one hanau e

Ku'u home kulaiwi nei

'Oli no au i na pono lani ou

E Hawai'i, aloha e

(Hui)

E hau'oli na 'opio o Hawai'i nei

'Oli e! 'Oli e!

Mai na aheahe makani e pa mai nei

Mau ke aloha, no Hawai'i.

O Hawaii, O sands of my birth

My native home

I rejoice in the blessings of heaven

O Hawaii, aloha.

(Chorus)

Happy youth of Hawaii

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Gentle breezes blow

Love always for Hawaii.

Words: Reverend Lorenzo Lyons
Music: James McGranahan (a hymn writer) – composed in 1840s
The music used for Hawai'i Aloha was taken from a Christian hymn ("I Left it All with Jesus") which was written in the 1840 by James McGranahan. King Kamehameha IV loved the hymn so much that he asked missionary, Rev. Lyons, to rewrite the words as a new Hawaiian hymn. Rev. Lyons served as a missionary on the Big Island for many years and wrote several other songs. This is the first of several verses.

Ikuna Koa often includes this song as part of club events such as the End of Season Lu'au.

Chants

I KU MAU MAU!

ONE: I KU MAU MAU!

ALL: I KU WA!

ONE: I KU MAU MAU I KU HULU HULU I KA LANAWAO!

ALL: I KU WA!

ONE: I KU LANAWAO!

ALL: I KU WA!
I KU WA HUKI!
I KU WA KO!
I KU WA A MAU!
A MAU KA EULU!
E HUKI E!
KULIA!

ONE: Stand together!

ALL: Shout!

ONE: Stand together! Haul with all your might! Under the mighty trees!

ALL: Shout!

ONE: Under the tall trees!

ALL: Shout!
Shout! Pull!
Shout! Push!
Shout! Snagged ... !
Snagged is the tree top!
PULL!
STRIVE!

This chant was used by ancient Hawaiians and expresses express "tumultuous joy" as when a multitude of people performed a task together – such as bringing down a tree from the mountains (e.g. a koa tree to build a canoe).

Today, Ikuna Koa celebrates the ancient traditions, honors this mana-filled up-lifting ritual, and chants I KU MAU MAU with an understanding of kaona (hidden, double meaning) ... that is, though we are not ancient Hawaiians in the upland forests working together, this chant calls us to be united and to work together to accomplish our goals.

IA WA'A NU

Ia wa'a nui

Ia wa'a kioloa

Ia wa'a peleleu

A lele mamala

A manu a uka

A manu a kai

'I'iwi polena

A kau ka hoku

A kau i ka malama

A pae i kula

'Amama, ua noa

That large canoe

That long (shapely) canoe

That broad canoe

Let chips fly

The bird of the upland (mountain)

The bird of the lowland (sea)

The red Honeycreeper *

The stars hang above

The daylight arrives

Bring [the canoe] ashore

'Amama – the kapu (taboo) is lifted

This traditional chant was used at the launching of Hokule'a on March 8, 1975. After the canoe was launched, it was paddled out, then back to shore. As the canoe approached shore, the crew paddled to the chant.

The chant is slow – the paddle is struck a little in front of the paddler on the return stroke. The timing is: Ia wa'a [thump] nui [thump]; ia wa'a [thump] kioloa [thump], ia wa'a [thump] peleleu [thump].

... And, after the canoe landed and the kapu on it was lifted, the kahuna asked: "Pehea ka wa'a, pono anei?" ("How is the canoe? Is it good?") ... And the paddlers responded, " 'Ae, maika'I loa ka wa'a Hokule'a." ("Yes, the canoe is very good indeed!"

Today, Ikuna Koa celebrates this ancient tradition, and chants IA WA'A NUI during canoe blessings and other appropriate wa'a ceremonies.

* The red Honeycreeper is a native Hawaiian bird ... as a juvenile, it is polena (yellowish).


E HO MAI

E hō mai (i) ka 'ike mai luna mai ē

'O nā mea huna no'eau o nā mele ē

E hō mai, e hō mai, e hō mai ē (a)

Give forth knowledge from above

Every little bit of wisdom contained in song

Give forth, give forth, oh give forth