The Kumulipo is the Genesis story of the Hawaiian islands. Like ours, it tells a detailed story of the creation of he world. Like Hesiod's Theogony, it describes the pantheon of an rich mythology. Its verses sing the origin of these islands which, born of Fire and Earth, arose suddenly from the deep, dark depths.
This poetic description is not very different from the one now offered by modern science: The Hawai'ian Islands arose from the incandescent planetary mantel, beyond the Mohorovicic Discontinuity. They emerged - and continue emerging - along the Pacific tectonic plate, creating a gigantic submarine cordillera. Because this plate slips in a northeasterly direction, the archipelago "emerged from the great, dark depths," forming a long chain of islands towards the southeast, crossing the Tropic of Cancer.
Hawaii, the only solid land in the midst of the immense Pacific Ocean, has been crucial to the development of the Soul of the World. Its special position determined the location of the third Vertex, thus providing the exact position of that Cube drawn within the Sphere of Earth. The specific location of this Vertex is to be found at a still undetermined point on the Island of Molokai.
The geographical coordinates of this Island are 21º 10' N 157º 03' W. Its unique topography was forged by three volcanoes. The first was Mauna Loa, which created the western part of Molokai. This was followed in the east by the eruptions of Mauna Kamakou. And finally, the lava flowing from Kauhako created the northern peninsula of Kalaupapa, considered by many to be the most beautiful place in the Hawaiian Islands. This was the peninsula that was the location of that terrible, famous colony of lepers that Father Damian came to help. A few years later, he himself would die of the terrible disease, becoming the most beloved hero of these islands.
East of Makana Lua, protected from the tsunamis by its high coasts, are the valleys of Kalawa. It was apparently here that the first settlers of these islands, coming from the Marquesas Islands, established themselves in the 7th Century. They were expert Polynesian navigators who knew the stars and in their maritime travels followed the incredible migratory route of the little Kolea, or Pacific golden plover. As on other islands, a magnificent and isolated culture developed over the centuries. Many years later, Spanish sailors found these islands. They left little trace of their presence, but drew a multitude of maps and portolans on which the Hawaiian Islands appeared with a number of very evocative names, such as a La Desgraciada (Unlucky), La Vecina (Neighbor), Los Bolcanes (Volcanoes), Los Monges (The Monks). But it was not until two centuries later, after the ill-starred visit of Cook, that the modern world finally made contact with these islands, triggering a painful process of change and immigration.
Famous travelers such as Conrad, Stevenson or Mark Twain visited Molokai and praised the rich natural life of the island, which ranged from the majestic volcanoes of Mauna Loa, where the goddess Laka revealed the hula to mortal mankind, to the dizzying waterfalls of Moaula, whose pools were inhabited by a fierce dragon; and from the white dunes and coral reefs of the south to the high, fragrant mountains where the sandalwood grows. Around that time, Kamehameha V, king of the 19th century Hawaiian monarchy, built his summer palace next to Kaunakakai. He had a deep love for Molokai and personally planted the sacred grove of Kapuaiwa.
After a century and a half of mixed fortunes, stability was finally reached and tranquillity returned to paradise. Shortly after World War II, the Hawaiian Islands became the 50th state of the United States of America. Against the background of ancient traditions, the lives of the many different people from both shores of the Pacific are entwined together. Languages, music and foods from many different parts of the world are scattered throughout the islands. There are some people who foresee the society of the future as very much like Hawaiian society of today. However, in recent years there has been growing anxiety and concern for its fragile original culture.
Among the big islands, Molokai is the one that has best been able to hold onto its original character. Visitors come from all over the world, attracted by its climate, landscape, folklore or huge waves, but unlike the other islands, Molokai never receives more than ten thousand visitors a year. Sparsely inhabited, it has the highest proportion of "keiki aina." There are also people of Filipino, Caucasian or Japanese extraction, but the total number of inhabitants of Molokai is under seven thousand. The descendants of the first settlers, the "keiki aina" or children of the Earth, are fighting to retain their language, music and their delicate ornamental arts, which are inspired by the abundance of flowers and bird life and which they have never abandoned. The making of leis, wreaths with a complex significance, is an art as refined and complex as the Japanese art of ikebana. Each island has its characteristic flower. The brilliant "kukui" is the one that symbolizes Molokai.
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