Mai ka lā hiki a ka lā kau – from the rising to the setting of its golden rays, KANEHOALANI is the shining symbolism of the sun. Like other ancient civilizations, the Lā (sun) represents the presence of enlightenment and godlike immortality. Each day as KANEHOALANI rises, we chant; welcoming the Lā life giving heat as it bursts forth at the eastern gates of Kumukahi at Haʻehaʻe and we acknowledge the setting into the horizon as it bathes in the seas to the west. Like our ancestors, we give praise and thanks to the sun cycle, acknowledging its place in the universe, keeping the balance of night and day.  

In the Fire mythologies, Kanehoalani is known as the father alongside his wife Haumea (Mother Earth) to Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanic activity. Kane- Ho’a-Lani or Kane who ignites the heavens; Hōʻā (to burn, to ignite) references his connection to the Fire element and Lani (Heaven) his placement in the universe.  As a loina Kane (male principal) Kanehoalani pierces mother earth with his golden rays giving life to all vegetation. His heat permeates onto the land causing moisture to rise from the earth’s surface moving the element of water through its cycles while feeding the earth with energy rich nutrients.  

Designer Manaola’s depiction of Kanehoalani pays homage to traditional sacred geometry. The radial pattern represents an overhead view of the sun’s rays at kau ka lā (twelve noon), a time of great spiritual significance. Circular shadows in the center of the design reflects our aka, or shadow body. A wise saying goes:

 “Kau ka lā i ka lolo, a hoʻi ke aka i ke kino” 

When the sun rests on the brain, the shadow retreats entering the body” a time of great mana when we are at our fullest potential. Special cultural ceremonies are still held today at this auspicious time because of this reason. 

Manaola’s Kaneholani motif shares our connectivity to the warmth of the sun as we receive its energy. Today as the sun follows along its ecliptic path, we gaze into its brilliance, setting our intentions of our greater life purpose, following the path of its golden rays, a symbol of enlightenment and the light of the future.