NA PULE KAHIKO
Kanaloa -- god of the deep ocean -- is one of the four great male gods in traditional Hawaiian religion. According to Gutmanis, Kanaloa is the 'aumakua (guardian spirit) of the squid and octopus. He is also associated with the west (called the "much traveled road of Kanaloa"), with ocean winds, and with bananas. Additionally, he is often associated with healing.
Following are two prayers -- preceded by explanations and followed with English transations -- taken from NA PULE KAHIKO:
This prayer to Kanaloa is one used in treating a sick person. After putting the patient to bed without medicine, the treating kahuna [healer - TD] recites the following over the sick person:
E Kanaloa, ke akua ka hee!
Eia kau mai o (inoa)
E ka hee o kai uli,
Ka hee o ka lua one,
Ka hee i ka papa.
Ka hee pio!
Eia ka oukou mai, o (inoa)
He mai hoomoe ia no ka hee palaha.
O Kanaloa, god of the squid!
Here is your patient, (name)
O squid of the deep blue sea,
Squid the inhabits the coral reef,
Squid that burrows in the sand,
Squid that squirts water from its sack!
Here is a sick man for you to heal, (name)
A patient put to bed for treatment
by the squid the lies flat.
Toward morning a fisherman is sent out to catch a hee mahola, that is, an octopus which is lying on the sand, outside its hole, with its legs extended on the ocean floor. While letting down his hook and lure the fisherman prays as follows:
Eia ka leho,
He leho ula no ka heehoopai.
Eia ka kao, he laau,
He lama no ka hee-mahola, no ka hee-palaha.
E Kanaloa i ke Ku,
Kulia ke papa,
Kulia i ka papa hee!
Kulia ka hee o kai uli!
E ala, e Kanaloa!
Hoeu! hoala! e ala ka hee!
E ala ka hee-palaha! E ala ka hee-mahola!
Here is the cowry,
A red cowry to attract the squid to his death.
Here is the spear, a mere stick,
A spear of lama wood for the squid that lies flat.
O Kanaloa of the tabu nights,
Stand upright on the solid floor!
Stand upon the floor where lies the squid!
Stand up to take the squid of the deep sea!
Rise up, O Kanaloa!
Stir up! agitate! let the squid awake!
Let the squid that lies flat awake,
the squid that lies spread out.
-- from NA PULE KAHIKO: ANCIENT HAWAIIAN PRAYERS, page 6
It's interesting that "octopus" and "squid" appear to be interchangeable in the Hawaiian language. Or, perhaps, "octopus" is referred to as "the squid that lies flat." Not having studied Hawaiian language -- though it's one of my dreams to do so someday! -- I don't know if this is correct. Perhaps one of our New Xenaland contingent may know enough Maori to solve this for us (since I believe all Polynesian languages are strongly related).
TANGAROA: (Maori; Kanaloa, Hawaiian; Tangaloa, Tongan; Tagaloa, Samoan; Ta'aroa, Tahitian) The Polynesian God of the Ocean, the Polynesian Poseidon, son of the Earth-Goddess Papa, who had so much water in her body that it swelled up one day and burst forth, becoming the ocean. Tangaroa breathes only twice in 24 hours, so huge is he. We call that the tidal movement. His brother is Rongo, who was, according to some myths, the same as Maui, the Fisher of Islands, the inventor of sail-ships.
Tangaroa is shown in some famous sculptures as the Creator, out of whose body the creatures emerge, including human beings. The Indian god Brahma created nature in a similar fashion. The myth of the Ocean-God as the Creator is explained by the myth of Ika-Tere, the Fish-God, some of whose children were partly human, like mermaids and mermen, although often the right side was fish while the left side was human. Gradually they became all-human.
In Tahuata (the Marquesas), Tangaroa is known as Tanaoa, the God of the Primeval Darkness (like Chaos, one of the oldest gods, according to Hesiod). At a given morning a new god, Atea, "Space," emerged, freeing himself so that there was room for Atanua, "Dawn," to arise. She married Atea, since light can only exist in, or together with, space. Their child was Tu-Mea, the first man. Tanaoa was confined to the depths of the ocean, where darkness and silence still reign.