'Āweoweo | Blazer
100% cotton | 2 pockets | ʻĀina-friendly dye methods | Designed in Hawaiʻi | Made in the USA
*'Āweoweo pattern on back panel
Ua makemake ʻia ke kū nui mai o ka iʻa? Ka heleleʻi ʻana mai paha o ka ua ma ka ʻāina maloʻo? Ua inaina ka ʻaumakua i kona kahu? Ua maʻi paha kekahi lālā ʻohana? ʻO ka iʻa ʻula kekahi mea kūpono i mōhai “i ʻoluʻolu mai ka ʻaumakua” a me ke akua ke hahau pū ʻia aku me ka pule. ʻO ka ʻāweoweo paha kekahi o nā iʻa ʻula a nā kūpuna i hāʻawi aku ai ma ia ʻano hana. Kau ka manaʻo i ke akua wahine, iā Pele, ke noʻonoʻo ʻia ka inoa ʻo Mokuʻāweoweo, kahi o kona ahi ʻenaʻena e ʻā mai ai. Wahi a Pukui, ua pili ia inoa i ua iʻa nei, a hoʻohālike ʻia aku kona ʻula i ko ke ahi hāweo lā a ka wahine. I ke kaua ʻana o Kamehameha me Kīwalaʻō ma laila, ua kapa hou ʻia mai ka inoa o kekahi ʻano kō no ka ʻāweoweo: “No ka nui o nā kānaka a me ka nui o nā make, ua pōloli lākou i ka ʻai a me ka make hoʻi i ka wai, akā i ka hele ʻana aku hoʻi ʻo Pōhina me ka pūʻā kō, nīnau maila ʻo Kīwalaʻō iā Pōhina, ʻHe aha ka inoa o kēia kō?’ Haʻi akula ʻo Pōhina, ʻHe ʻōhiʻa ka inoa o kēia kō.’ ʻŌlelo hou maila ʻo Kīwalaʻō, ‘E aho e kapa ʻia ka inoa o kēia kō he ʻāweoweo.’” Wahi a D. Kahāʻulelio, he loaʻa aku nō ua iʻa maka nunui nei ma nā pō “ʻāweoweo a ka launa ʻole ke lawaiʻa,” ʻo ia hoʻi nā Kū, nā Lāʻau, ʻo Mōhalu, Hoku, Akua, a me Mahealani. Ma ka paeaea nō e loaʻa aku ai. He ʻeono anana ka lōʻihi o ke aho e pono ai, a he pāoʻo ka maunu. Aia ma Honomāʻele, Hāna, kahi a Aiai, keiki a Hina lāua ʻo Kūʻula, i kau aku ai i ʻekolu ʻiliʻili ma waho o ke kua nalu, a laila ʻākoakoa maila nā pōhaku ʻē aʻe ma ia wahi like a lilo aʻela i koʻa ʻāweoweo kaulana.
In Hawaiʻi, red was and still is synonymous with sacredness. The first and most sacred red is the essence of life, the very blood that flows through our veins and out on the monthly tides of wahine, ensuring the continuity of generations. As embodiments of akua, aliʻi were considered sacred and red objects were often reserved for them, such as ʻahuʻula (feather capes, lit. “red garment”) and the choicest red kapa dyed with the bark of noni roots (the most stunning and permanent red of all our dye plants). Offerings to akua and ʻaumākua often included red fish, such as the one being honored here: ʻāweoweo (Priacanthus meeki). Its bright red color lives up to its name, which denotes the blazing red of Pele’s fires in her caldera atop Mauna Loa. Not only is this fish’s color stunning, but its scales form a pleasing pattern, repeating in a soothing rhythm that recalls the nao hoʻōki (watermarks) found on iʻe kuku (square wooden kapa beaters) and beaten into kapa in the final stages of its manufacture. ʻĀweoweo cruise in crevices and under reef ledges by day and come out at night to feed on plankton. Endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago, populations of this fish are beginning to decline on Oʻahu and Maui. They are abundant in Papahānaumokuākea, which is likely an important seed source for our local waters. Historically, large runs of ʻalalauā, or young ʻāweoweo fish, were a hōʻailona (sign) that portended the passing of an aliʻi.