Monday, April 01, 2013

Hawaiian Planting Chant

(Hawaiian planting gourd photo by and in the collection of Stuart Shim)

Hawaiian Gourd (Pumpkin) Planting Chant and Ceremony

Aloha, Growers!

Due to tremendous interest and demand, I am happy to post the Hawaiian gourd planting chant and ceremony details, from the classic work by Ernest S. Dodge, Hawaiian And Other Polynesian Gourds, Ku Pa'a Publishing Incorporated, Honolulu, Hawaii, ISBN 0-914916-34-3, page 15:

"It was believed that a pot-bellied man should plant gourds and that before he planted he should eat a large meal, so that his gourds would fill out like his stomach (opu). He should stoop as he carried his seed, holding his arms bowed out as though embracing a huge gourd (ipu), struggle along and puff. Coming to the hole he had dug and dropping the seed suddenly with an outward motion of his hands, palms up (not twisting and turning down the palms, which would make the gourd crooked and shriveled), he should say:

He ipu nui!

O hiki ku mauna,

O hiki kua,

Nui maoli keia ipu!


A huge gourd!
Growing like a mountain
To be carried on the back
Really huge is this gourd!

Encouraged by this little drama, the plant was certain to produce huge fruit. This rite was doubtless addressed only to the giant gourd seed (ipu nui)."

Please feel free to use or adapt this information and chant for your own planting ceremony. Costumes and dancing are always encouraged and fun for all. If you do, please send me any images that you'd like posted to this website.