“All over the South Pacific, ancient traditions woven into songs and stories speak of gods who had the strengths and weaknesses of men and controlled nature’s forces,” wrote Rene Thompson, a lover of tikis, Hawaiian and Polynesian culture.
In Hawaii, ancient myths often feature four great tiki gods as follows:
Kane – ancient tiki god of light and life
It is said that Kane was the father of tiki gods and that he delegated responsibility for the seas to Kanaloa, the forests to Ku and the food plants to Lono.
Lono – ancient tiki god of fertility & peace
Can you imagine traveling to Earth on a rainbow? Hawaiian mythology says this is how Lono descended to the planet. The god of fertility, music, rain and peace, it is said that he is one of 4 gods who existed before the world was created. Other sources say that as the god of fertility, Lono was celebrated in the Makahiki festival held during the rainy season of the year.
Kanaloa - ancient tiki god of the sea
In many chants, Kane is paired with the god Kanaloa. In Hawaiian tradition, Kanaloa is the god of the seas. He was also considered the creator of land, and a teacher of magic. Legends state that he became the leader of the first group of spirits "spit out" by the gods. According to other traditions Kanaloa also stands for fishing, abundance, and love.
Ku – ancient tiki god of war
Ku means “to stand” or “to strike,” which is why he was named the god of war in Hawaii. Here at the Hanalei Colony Resort, Ku overlooks the koi pond. Hand-carved, Ku’s creation was a labor of love by Kauai native, Keoni Durant, who has been carving since he was 7 years old.
He had a vision and, as you'll see in the photo above, he transformed a tree trunk by the Resort’s pool into an intricate sculpture for all our guests to enjoy. In an interview with Midweek Kauai, Keoni explained that, although Ku “is known as the god of war, he is only at war with those who interfere with love.” Click here to view more of Keoni's hand-carved Hawaiian tikis.
When you’re staying with us at the Hanalei Colony Resort, visit the pool area where you’ll find Ku overlooking the koi pond. Pull up a chair, listen to the waterfall and relax.