Weaving Tradition into Government with Aha Moku Council

December 11, 2010, 7:50 PM HST · Updated December 12, 12:30 AM
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By Wendy Osher 

LAHAINA, Maui–In old Hawaii, ‘oli or chant was a part of everyday life.  It was used as a greeting, in prayer, in gratitude and remorse.  Today, several of those feelings came into play when Ke’eaumoku Kapu, a Lahaina resident and traditional Hawaiian practitioner, raised his voice in chant at the Maui confirmation ceremony for Hawaii’s new leadership team.  

Ke'eaumoku Kapu (right) leans in to describe the items he presented to Gov. Neil Abercrombie (left) from the 'Aha Moku Council. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Kapu, who stood at the conclusion of the blessing and speech portion of the event, said the chant was intended to welcome Governor Neil Abercrombie, and formally present him with a final report prepared by the ‘Aha Moku Council.  

The group was established in 2007 with the passage of Act 212, as a way to bridge traditional concepts and practices with legislative priorities.  The advisory committee is made up of eight members, one from each major Hawaiian Island, who represent some 200 members statewide.  

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Kapu said the group hopes Hawaii lawmakers will look at the traditional management of yesterday when establishing their policies today.  Such an approach, he said, would help in addressing problems with the environment, land and ocean resources, and development.  

“We need to move ahead, but without moving ahead with the traditions of our past, there’s an emptiness inside,” said Kapu. 

The event took place at the Lahianaluna High School Gym, and was held in honor of the recently confirmed Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.   

*** If you enjoyed this story, check out our coverage of the December 11, 2010 Maui Confirmation Ceremony for Abercrombie and Schatz.

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