Hawaiian Sacred Sex, Part I
Restoration. Sovereignty. I strongly associate these words with sexual healing. But these words also ripple through me today in a special way. Today, July 31st, is Restoration Day in Hawai’i, properly known as La Ho’iho’i Ea. People I cherish will be celebrating at Thomas Square in Honolulu today. Six years ago I celebrated La Ho’iho’i Ea on the summit of Mauna Kea with a group of activists, reclaiming the highest ground by flying the Kingdom’s flags at the lele (altar).
La Ho’iho’i Ea celebrates the restoration of the Kingdom of Hawai’i’s sovereignty after six months of English occupation, caused by an ambitious but stupid naval captain in 1843. Admiral Thomas had to undo the damage and restore King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) to his throne. When a similarly unauthorized grab was led by the American Minister to Hawai’i, with the help of one U.S. Navy ship in 1893, Hawaiian nationals were at first optimistic. Surely the US, which had a treaty relationship with the kingdom, would swiftly right this wrong. Uh, well, Hawaiian nationals are still waiting on that one!
More I could say, but I’ll just remind my readers that the status of Hawai’i as “illegally occupied” was confirmed at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands in 2001. See the website of Dr. David Keanu Sai, lead agent in the case, for more details. As a Hawaiian national, Dr. Sai just filed a lawsuit against President Obama, et al., a case which should yield some intriguing results.
Restoration. Sovereignty. Anything I write about Hawai’i, including what I write about the old sexual traditions, has to be deeply grounded in acknowledgment of the true historic and political state of affairs. Otherwise I will be just one more foreign person kicking “America’s Tibet” when it’s down, picking through the remains of a truly great culture for my own purposes.
Sexual Healing, Cultural Wholeness
Today I am also pondering my own recent and unexpected sexual healing on Hawai’i island last week. This took place during a tender, personal exchange, and resulted in permanent banishment of the ghostly “man with the mustache” who first violated me so long ago. If you are a survivor, you know about those ghosts, how they can make their sticky, sickly presence known to you even as you experience ecstasies with the one(s) you love. For the first time in many decades I feel restored, sovereign. Whole. Mahalo nui. I am blessed.
And so it feels like a good day to pick up a few more of the cultural fragments I’ve found, like shells and stones scattered on the beach, and show them to you, perhaps rebuilding a platform of sacred regard as we respectfully touch these precious remnants of yet another tradition of most sacred sexuality. I’ve offered some of these remnants before, in "Skydancers & Lizard Women: Mo’o & Dakini."