Moanalua Gardens Foundation
Cultural and Environmental Education in Hawaii
1352 Pineapple Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819-1754
Phone: (808) 839-5334; Fax (808) 839-3658
What is Hana Kupono (Hawaiian Protocol)?
It is the right behavior,
Protocol almost always involves words, presented usually in the form of oli, or chant. Chant takes the power of words, themselves recognized as highly significant in Hawaiian and in many other cultures, and extends that power of words to a higher level that fulfills several functions:
Protocol suggests that training and practice is involved, and indeed this is so. The practice is a traditional and oral one, with teachers passing the proper and expected behaviors to their students. Students and teachers in turn practice protocol with each other and develop comfort at conducting themselves in very specific ways that often demand exactly the right words and actions in a prescribed sequence. Proper behavior and words are highly dependent on the situation. For example, the protocol for greeting a person of significance is different from the protocol of entry to a significant site, and different from the protocol for presentation of an offering or gift.
Whatever the situation, protocol is based on a foundation of values that are important to everyone, regardless of their ancestry or upbringing. These are fundamentals such as respect for others and for the land, an attitude of sharing and responsibility for maintaining a balance between self and society and between human beings and the rest of the universe.
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revised 25 June 2007
|Hawaiian diacriticals have been intentionally omitted.|