Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kalā (the Sun) v. Māui - Facts

Kalā (the Sun) v. Māui (the Hawaiian Sup’pa Man)

Māui’s mother, Hina-a-keahi (Hina), was well known throughout Hawai‘i for making kapa or cloth. In making kapa, mulberry bark is soaked and pounded. Then the kapa must dry in the sun before it can be worn.

But during these times the days were short, only a few hours, because the Sun raced across the sky. The people barely had enough time to do their work before the Sun was gone. This meant that Hina’s kapa did not dry in time for use. This also meant that the farmers were having difficulties growing their kalo and breadfruit and that the fishermen had little sunlight for fishing.

Hearing the cries from the farmers and fishermen, Hina decided that something needed to be done. So she asked Māui to do something about it.

Māui climbed the summit of Haleakalā, the house of the Sun, to see his Tūtū and ask for advice. Tūtū told Māui to hide in the roots of an old tree that grew near her house, and to lasso Kalā’s legs as soon as he appeared on the eastern rim of the crater.

Māui hid in the roots of the tree. As soon as he saw Kalā coming up over the edge of the crater, Māui leaped up and threw his rope over Kalā, capturing all of his rays.

“Auē!” cried Kalā, “What are you doing, why are you stopping me?”

“Aloha nui, e Kalā,” replied Māui. “Forgive me for lasso’ing you, but this was the only way I could stop you. I beg you to slow down, do not run across the sky – humans are suffering, they cannot work, and they cannot grow food or dry kapa. Will you slow down?”

Māui released Kalā from the rope and they continued to talk. Finally, they reached an agreement. Kalā promised to go slowly across the sky in the Summer but in return Kalā would get to race faster across the sky in Winter. Māui was satisfied with this agreement. Māui bid Kalā a friendly aloha as Kalā moved slowly across the sky.

Lawsuit: Kalā has brought a lawsuit against Māui because he believes that he shouldn’t have to keep his promise to go slowly across the sky. Kalā says that he only promised to slow down because Māui lasso’d him.

Issue: Should Kalā be released from his promise to slow down and not race across the sky?

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