Mahalo Makana Chai for the blog post.
Auntie Mona Kahele in her book, Clouds of Memories, had the list of rules she learned from her kupuna in the 1930s and 40s:
- Remember God and prayers.
- Respect your elders and kupuna.
- Always listen and watch how things are done.
- Always speak your language, never mind the haole.
- When kupuna speak, you shut up, no questions asked.
- At all times you must learn your culture whether you like it or not.
- Watch and learn by observing.
- Make sure you finish what you start.
- Work is the main thing in life.
At a Hawaiian Lomilomi Association conference, kumu lomi Kauhi Ho’opi’i said that list reminded me of the rules he had learned from his kupuna:
- Put your love and trust in God
- Respect others
- Mastery of self
- Find “Joy” in service
- There is no room for “EGO”
- Learn to forgive yourself and others
- Always be teachable
How wonderful are all these rules, perhaps the last one especially. Though Kauhi was a featured speaker at the event, he always deferred to the kupuna, paid attention during the presentations and continued to learn. How many people do we see take a weekend lomi class and then begin teaching others, never to take a class again?
Kupuna Kaipo Kaneakua, a master teacher who is in his 70s, recently took a class. These are the best teachers – the ones who know they will never truly be masters, because there is always more to learn.