This ceremony used to welcome Hokulea hasn't been done in 200 ye - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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This ceremony used to welcome Hokulea hasn't been done in 200 years — until now

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
MAGIC ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Oli, makana and traditional protocol played an active part in Hokulea's homecoming at Magic Island Saturday. One ceremony in particular, involving spears hurdling towards one man, hasn't been performed publicly in nearly 200 years — until now.  

The kalii, or spear throwing ceremony, is said to symbolize a warriors worthiness of entering a new land. 

In the onshore ceremony held Saturday, Hokulea crew member Sam Kapoi acted on behalf of the crew as the warrior tasked with catching spears thrown at him by other men.

It's a dangerous rite of passage intended to challenge newcomers.

"It was done for canoes that left the realm of kanaloa basically in the hands of God," Kapoi said. "The spears show that the person catching is still a man, not a god." 

After a ha'i 'olelo, or speech was said by Kapoi, the spears were thrown.

Kapoi either caught or deflected eight different traditional style spears.

"When I was first approached about doing kalii, I thought it was going to be one spear. Then it became grander and grander," Kapoi said. "People started realizing this is not just a weekend thing. This is a three-plus year voyage... So why not make it grand?" 

On the last spear thrown, Kapoi triumphantly caught the spear, and stabbed it into the ground as a testament of his ability to not back down as a warrior.

Click here to watch the video of the ceremony on our Facebook page. 

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