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Ikaika Dombrigues: Perpetuating Sacred Hawaiian Knowledge

Kahuna Ikaika explains the multi-layered symbolism of his pendant on Mokuola. picture courtesy of Barbara Garcia

By Mālielani Larish

Sporting a black hat brimmed by an excellent crimson feather hakupapa (hat band), Kahuna Nui O Pali Tu Po Paki O Lono Ikaika Dombrigues is as calm as Hiloʻs Mokuola (Coconut Island) on which he sits.

Ikaika is a excessive priest of the order of Lono and in addition a descendant of Lono (the Hawaiian god of peace, agriculture, rain, and therapeutic). The interior energy that Kahuna Ikaika embodies comes from his deep connection to the non secular teachings of his ancestors, who’ve guided him to grasp the therapeutic arts of Ho‘omana (pre-contact Hawaiian faith and beliefs). Because the monks of historical Hawai‘i, kahuna have been revered for his or her intimate data of the spirit world and nature. Though the phrase kahuna in Hawaiian can be utilized to indicate an skilled in any occupation, based on Kahuna Ikaika, the title means “keepers of the huna mana [secret energy]” when utilized to Hawaiian monks.

Ikaika’s mission is to protect, shield, and perpetuate the sacredness of the teachings of the kahuna, serving to information people of all backgrounds, and native Hawaiians particularly, in direction of therapeutic and wholeness.

The True Supply of Therapeutic

Click on the quilt to see this story in our digital journal.

Although he has reached the very best kahuna rating, Ikaika stays humble as a result of he’s conscious that the Creator is the true supply of all energy and talent.

“I don’t use the phrase ‘healer’ as a result of the supply is the healer. I’m only a vessel,” he says.

Ikaika is aware of that spirituality could be a complicated subject, stuffed not solely with landmines of cross-cultural misunderstanding and historic layers of suppression and abuse, but additionally with private experiences of doubt and diminished religion. When somebody involves him, he tries to take a look at what triggered the individual to neglect their true identification. He asks, “What separated them—what separated their non secular aspect from their bodily aspect?” Fearless and direct, he helps folks confront the large questions: “Who’re you? Why are you right here? I’m serving to you to develop into who you might be,” he says.

Pule (prayer) is on the coronary heart of his work. “I don’t know all of the solutions, however I’m going to ask to get the solutions, and the place do I get the solutions?” He raises his eyes, factors to heaven and says, “Up there.”

Earlier than somebody meets Ikaika in individual, the ancestral spirits that information him will speak to the guardian spirits of the one who he’s going to fulfill. On this means, Ikaika already has insights into the power of the forthcoming assembly, and he intuits the knowledge that the individual wants to listen to.

Kahuna Ikaika, who emphasizes the significance of spending time in nature, acknowledges the weather in a local rainforest. picture courtesy of Ikaika Dombrigues

Ikaika has been skilled to know the distinction between optimistic and detrimental energies. Happily, there’s loads of assistance on his aspect. As soon as, when he met a Cherokee elder from Arizona at a convention, she regarded in his eyes and stated, “You stroll with 1000’s.”

Ikaika teaches that now we have the facility to flip the change and flood our life with positivity. He observes that these days, there’s a lot negativity on the planet that having this software is important to convey us to an area of readability.

Folks from throughout search Ikaika out, however he could be elusive. He laughs when he says that he’s busier now that he’s retired than when he was on the clock. In 1986, even whereas he was working full-time, Ikaika started conducting lessons and workshops on conventional Hawaiian therapeutic on all the foremost islands. Right this moment he teaches workshops by means of Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi, Hawai‘i Islandʻs Native Hawaiian well being care system. He additionally offers non-public consultations and serves as Po‘okela of Hawai‘i Island and as a chair of the Native Hawaiian Therapeutic Kupuna Council below Papa Ola Lokahi.

Since Mokuola has been a therapeutic pu‘uhonua (place of refuge) for 1000’s of years, it’s the good place for Ikaika to fulfill with folks. In historical instances, it was graced by an impressive heiau (temple) complicated, and Hawaiians got here to the island for therapeutic, ceremonies, and forgiveness of transgressions of the kapu (prohibition) system. With a view to earn the permission to step foot on the island, Hawaiians needed to swim round it first. Ikaika observes that the kapu which protected the island as a sacred place was damaged when a bridge was constructed to attach Mokuola with the primary island. This bridge has been worn out a number of instances by a number of tsunamis over the a long time because it was first constructed.

Chosen by the Ancestors

Changing into a kahuna will not be merely a matter of inheritance and coaching; the ancestors and the gods select you and clearly present you that that is your future. You have to be native Hawaiian and born in Hawai‘i. The Kahuna order could be very strict and stuffed with rituals, kapu, and protocol.

Ikaika’s non secular journey started as a younger boy when his ancestors guided him to fulfill his hanai (adopted) grandfather, Kahuna Nui Pali Tu Po Paki O Ta Matahiti Sam Ho‘opi‘i Lono, who was the proprietor and caretaker of Kane‘ohe Valley on O‘ahu. When Ikaika slept within the heiau of the valley, Kahuna Lono would ask him what he skilled through the evening. Ikaika shared that he had heard chanting, nostril flutes, pahu drums, and folks strolling round him. Kahuna Lono merely stated, “Good.” In time, Ikaika got here to understand that the ancestors have been displaying him that he was meant to study the traditions of the kahuna.

Kahuna Ikaika blesses the Hõkūle‘a voyaging canoe because it leaves for Miloli‘i. picture courtesy of Ikaika Dombrigues

As he continued to review below his hanai grandfather, it was at all times the ancestors who made the decision as to when Ikaika was able to advance to the following degree. It takes over 40 years to develop into a kahuna, requiring 12 years in every space of self-discipline.

After the passing of his hanai grandfather, the ancestors led him to his hanai father on Maui, Kahuna Pule Kawika Ka‘alakea, who helped him deepen his understanding of the non secular therapeutic energy of prayer. In 1974, Kahuna Pule Ka‘alakea was miraculously healed of tuberculosis that the docs deemed deadly—all because of pule.

As well as, Ikaika’s ancestors have guided him to study from Kahuna Lapa‘au Harry Mitchell of Keanae, Maui; Kupuna Anake Abbie Napeahi of Hilo; Ho‘oponopono and Anakala, Sonny Kinney of Hilo; and lots of different lecturers.

Knowledge of Ho‘omana

Ikaika’s inherent items and coaching have enabled him to study 5 therapeutic disciplines of Ho‘omana: La‘au Lapa‘au, Ho‘oponopono, La‘au Kahea, Ma‘iola, and Lomilomi Ha Ha.

Mixed with the facility of pule, these La‘au Lapa‘au instruments assist rework crops and minerals from the land and sea into medicines. picture courtesy of Ikaika Dombrigues

La‘au Lapa‘au is probably essentially the most well-known department of Hawaiian therapeutic. It combines the facility of pule with medicines constituted of crops and minerals from the land and sea. He often provides islandwide workshops on La‘au Lapa‘au in 5 ‘apanas (districts) of the island: Hilo, Waimea, Kona, Kohala, Ka‘u, and Pahoa. He tells the workshop members, “Look in your communities; there are elders that know the drugs. Go and search their data.” He guides college students to study the plant names, what they appear to be, and the place to seek out them. Then the scholars are able to study the treatments.

An added advantage of training La‘au Lapa‘au is that it encourages folks to spend time in nature, one thing that Ikaika says is essential for total wellbeing. He notes that scientific findings have supported the well being advantages of grounding to Mom Earth by means of strolling barefoot, bathing within the sea, and utilizing metals and minerals. “This island lives and breathes,” he says. “It teaches you.”

Ho‘oponopono, one other department of conventional Hawaiian therapeutic, has gained reputation all over the world. It’s a technique of reconciliation used to resolve an issue that, based on Ikaika, shouldn’t have occurred. The final three therapeutic methods that Ikaika practices are divinely bestowed items that can not be taught. La‘au Kahea is religion therapeutic, Ma‘iola is a non secular course of, and Lomilomi Ha Ha is a non secular approach that mixes Lomilomi therapeutic massage with the facility to take away inside blockages with out operation.

A Robust Basis

One of many foundations that Kahuna Ikaika repeatedly returns to is “nana i ke kumu, nana i ke kumu hana, nana i ke kumulipo,” which interprets to “look unto the Supply, look to the Supply inside you, and look to the kumulipo,” the cosmological chant written by one in all Ikaika’s ancestors. Ikaika says that from the kumulipo comes the understanding that man was made as an ideal specimen of ke akua o ka lani (god of heaven), and that our duty is to maintain the land and all the items which have been given to us for our survival and pleasure.

Ikaika wears a pendant of three white poi pounders as an emblem of this three-fold instructing. Moreover, the poi pounders characterize the life-giving power inside meals and the kahuna reward of remodeling crops and minerals into drugs.

“It’s a must to ensure that your individual basis is pono [righteous] earlier than you’ll be able to assist others,” Kahuna Ikaika says, and grounding oneself in “nana i ke kumu, nana i ke kumu hana, nana i ke kumulipo” creates that sturdy basis.

“We do have items from ke akua o ka lani. By Him, now we have the facility to assist one another and ourselves.” Certainly, on Mokuola, Kahuna Ikaika continues within the custom of the traditional kahuna who presided right here, guiding folks to look to the Supply that’s inside and with out. ❖

Kahuna Ikaika has taught lessons and workshops on conventional Hawaiian therapeutic since 1986. picture courtesy of Ikaika Dombrigues

Editor’s be aware: Kahakō (macrons) have been omitted. ‘Okina (glottal cease) within the identify Moloka‘i can also be omitted; each per Ikaika’s request.

For extra data: hmono.org/la‘au-lapa‘au/

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