Awa answered to the needs of the ancients for respite from the cares of the world… and earned a modern following among those who know.
At the end of the day, the reward and release of kings and commoners alike was their draught of awa. If the farmer had bartered poi for some fish that day, he took from the underground oven the head of the jack fish, the bundle of mullet flesh wrapped in ti, a hand of ripe bananas, and a deep red sweet potato. He thanked the gods for their generosity. He gulped down the awa, then followed it with a mouthful of fish, a piece of banana, a section of sugar cane to chew, a bite of sweet potato, the fatty eyeball of the fish, perhaps some pork in taro leaf. The candlenut lamp would glow as he listened to the inner sounds of whistling shells and chirping crickets, and of wind flowing in the trees. He would slip into reverie and contentment, and all of his pains would be forgotten as he lit up his inner lamp of contemplation and summoned the evening breeze that sighed through island forests primeval and the chambers of his heart. Ah yes… awa.
ʻAʻohe mea make i ka hewa; make nō i ka mihi ʻole. – No one has ever died for mistakes made, only because they did not repent.
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