p.2 Io the supreme god of Polynesia and Hawaii is NOT the God of the Hebrews, the God of the Bible
It is the Lord that should be consulted to settle a matter, the Bible is the authority of truth for all believers and the word should be handled with care, as we cut away anything that is not of the truth.
Daniel Kikawa calls “Mighty 'Io the Creator of All Things.” “Io the Eternal.” Io he claims is Yahweh and yet he writes “At one time The Hawaiians believed and worshipped one God comprised of three equal beings in nature. These three gods were called Kane, Ku, Lono.” (p.27 Perpetuated in Righteousness 2nd ed.)
He claims the Hawaiians worshiped God correctly before the gospel arrived which goes directly against the plain teaching of the Scripture. No one seems to notice that Kikawa calls them three gods -plural, not one God - singular. In other words this is not monotheism but tritheism, and the researchers he quotes speak of them as gods (plural) as well. Also we should not overlook that for one to actually have a triunity it shows a Christian influence was already present from missionaries.
Kikawa chooses the quotes from the books to solve his cultural puzzle. The ends justifies the means as he selectively quotes pieces in the books and ignores the other parts the authors say the opposite of what he wants. This is not being honest with history. It is done to Christianize the ancient cultures gods and he is not the only one doing this.
He has been on a mission to change the way the church does mission work. He wants to bring us back into the past, using the supreme god of the culture before Christianity came. He validates this god as being the same god as the Bible. He did this with Hawaiian history and he is now doing this with various other cultures. But lets first concentrate on what he has done with the hidden god Io.
These are the sources referenced more than any other: Abraham Fornander 45 times (Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 1) Beckwith, The Kumulipo, 20 times; Buck 16 times, (Vikings of the Pacific, Vikings of the Sunrise); Handy 11 times (The Polynesian Religion); Eldson Best 7 times (The Maori As He Was; Maori Religion and Mythology) Watahoro 6 times (Mem., vol. III); Malo 6 times; Renan 3 times (History of the People of lsrael).
Some of these books are fascinating on Polynesian history, but they do not support his theory.It’s important to know whom he is quoting from, not just see all the footnotes. Primary sources are important and one needs to know the trustworthiness of the authors.
Besides Beckwith, Abraham Fornander, and Peter Buck are the most quoted sources in “Perpetuated in Righteousness.” There are numerous sources he wants people to believe he bases his theory on. These men are not all scholars, but they meticulously researched the ancient gods of the Polynesians, and are more accurate in their research and writing ability than any researchers of today. There is a revision taking place as people base a completely different history on Kikawa’s research that is dependent on these historians and scholars. The problem is that they are not saying what Kikawa says they saying; His theory has more holes than swiss cheese, it is basically hearsay.
How the church ignores such a serious trespass is beyond me? Because this is basically halting true evangelism.
As he has stated ... “Christians should cease representing Jesus as the Son of the foreign God of a foreign people, ... We should instead introduce Jesus as the Son of their creator God.’ (p.27) Did not Paul present Jesus as the unknown God in his day to the Athenians (Acts 17)? Kikawa on the other hand wants us to present Jesus as the god they already know.
In his book “Perpetuated in Righteousness” Handy is quoted11 times by Kikawa. He wrote:
“Two instances of the existence of Io as a name invoked in important ritual in Hawaii were noted in my study of Polynesian Religion (p. 97) published by the Bishop Museum in 1927. In 1931 Mrs. Emma Ahuena Taylor published in the Paradise of the Pacific in Honolulu an article on Io-lani as a divinity of great sanctity, mentioning prayers handed down from a priestly ancestor who was tutor of the great Kamehameha in Kohala on the island of Hawaii. In 1932 Ahuena (Mrs. Taylor) and her mother, through whom the prayers were inherited, permitted Miss Stella M. Jones, then working at the Bishop Museum as my field assistant, to copy from their private manuscript book three prayers referred to but not printed in Ahuena's article. These I carefully studied with Ahuena at the Bishop Museum that same year and shortly thereafter practically the same invocations were presented to Dr. Buck at the Museum by a student of native lore who received them from a local Hawaiian scholar belonging to the same royal line of descent as Ahuena. This scholar stipulated that the prayers should not be published during his life time. Ahuena, on the other hand, felt the time had come to reveal this Hawaiian cult, which she believed to be akin to the Io worship of the Maori.”
Kikawa says he knows of a Hawaiian woman who claims her family was the guardian of the knowledge of 'Io. that 'Io was the one True God." the endnote is, "Oral to Tomas Watene Rosser." It’s from another source and never spoke with her personally. Its the same with Taylor, who died in 1937, there is no provable connection.
On p. 58 Kikawa writes, “The most detailed knowledge of 'Io in Hawaii was revealed by Emma Ahuena Taylor, a descendant of one of the priesthoods of Io, in 1931. Stating what she had was “limited and only broken fragments remained."
It needs to be mentioned what Kenneth Emory wrote: “While Handy has demonstrated that 'Io is not Io of the Maoris, yet through his acceptance of many unsupported statements from Mrs. Ahuena Taylor who believed that 'Io and Io were the same, Handy emerges with a god who has much of the Maori Io. This largely disappears when Mrs. Taylor is dropped as an informant” (p.207 The Hawaiian God 'IO, By Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.)
In other words she was not a reputable source.
Emory is known as the father of modern Polynesian studies whose works span all four major fields of anthropology: archaeology, physical anthropology, ethnography and linguistics. He became the first chairman of anthropology at Bishop Museum, so his opinion matters. (http://has.bishopmuseum.org/index.asp)
“We can be fairly certain that there existed in Hawaii a god who was addressed 'Io (Hawk), but we can not be at all sure that there was a god whose true name was 'Io. The evidence points to Uli as the god or goddess addressed as 'Io.”(ibid.) This Uli we will look into as well.
Handy nearly 10 years later, IN THE September, 1941, issue of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, Dr. E. S. C. Handy puts before us the main results of his search to discover the nature of a Hawaiian god named 'Io, in an article: The Hawaiian Cult of Io (6, pp.134–159) [.citing Beckwith, Martha W., Hawaiian Mythology, New Haven, 1940]. In preparing his study of Polynesian religion, published in 1927, Handy had come across one indisputable record of an Io, in the form of Io-uli, as the name of a god in Hawaii, in a chant delivered when the image of the war-god Ku was invested with a girdle of tapa cloth (5, p.97). The second of Handy's conclusions, that 'Io and Uli are one, is speculative and based mainly on a modern, unauthoritative source.
“... I do not know how long Mrs. Taylor and her mother were acquainted with the Maori cult of Io, but I suspect it goes back to 1920, when Maori Mormons first began coming from New Zealand to visit the Mormon Temple at Laie, Oahu. In the Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society for 1920, it is worth noting the following (7, p.7):
“A number of Maoris from New Zealand were in Honolulu last Spring. It was interesting to watch some of the Hawaiians trace the p.202 race connection between themselves and the Maoris, and also to note the confidence with which the Maoris confused the ancient Hawaiki of Asia with the Hawaiian islands” (Emerson, J. S., Selections from a Kahuna's Book of Prayers: 26th Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Soc. for the year 1917, Honolulu, 1918).
He goes on: “I have learned from members of the Sons and Daughters of Hawaiian Warriors, a society of which Mrs. Taylor was president for years, that the Maoris who visited Hawaii were lavishly entertained by them. Mrs. Taylor's article which appeared in 1931 reflects her conviction that the Maori Io and the Hawaiian 'Io were one, though of course, a critical student would realize that to be the same name, the Maori would have to be Kio.
The allocation to the Hawaiian 'Io of the position of Jehovah and the ascription to the name of such sacredness that neither “chieftains nor priests dared utter the word Io”, suggests that Mrs. Taylor's mother, Mrs. Mary J. Montano, before writing what her daughter quotes from her private papers (13, p.78), had allowed her conception of the Hawaiian 'Io to be colored by her knowledge of the Maori Io. (Mrs. Montano was living at the time her daughter wrote the article on 'Io). (The Hawaiian God 'IO, By Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.)
So much more is said by Handy “The worship of Io in Hawaii is specifically the veneration of Buteo solitarius, the Hawaiian hawk. This bird is called the io (o), because “it makes a chirping sound, like a little chick” (10). It will be well to describe the hawk as bird before considering it as a god. When we come to the prayers addressed to Io, and to alternative names for the god, it will be evident that terms, phrases, and names refer to the bird. …. But the essential point that needs to be stressed at the outset of this article is that the cult of Io in Hawaii is not the veneration of an abstract concept but specifically the worship of the hawk. Hawaiian Io-worship is a bird-cult” (Volume 50 1941, Volume 50, No. 199 The Hawaiian cult of Io, by E. S. Craighill Handy, p 134-159)
How Kikawa can use this mans research as support is beyond me. Handy is saying the opposite of Kikawa. Handy who wrote Polynesian Religion and the Hawaiian cult of ‘Io investigated Matarohanga’s account of the name Io in some Hawaiian charts. He found that the name Io was applied to the Hawaiian Hawk because it cries with the sound ioio.
Kepelino, writing in 1859 (10, p.2G5) says of the hawk, “It is named for its cry.” The hawk, then, which does not occur elsewhere in tropical Polynesia, was named for its cry, and not for a god named 'Io. (Journal of the Polynesian Society, The Hawaiian God Io by Kenneth P. Emory)
Kenneth P. Emory, “At that time Handy pointed out that the combination of Io and Uli, in the name lo-uli, suggested a relationship between lo and Uli, "patron god of the priesthood of Hawaii." While then expressing the opinion that the Maori cult of a supreme being, Io, was "truly an ancient feature of Polynesian religion" he cautioned that proof was lacking that this reference to Io in Hawaii was to a supreme being (5, p.97). Now, after his later findings which include several Hawaiian prayers in which 'Io is mentioned, he concludes that "the worship of 'lo in Hawaii is specifically the veneration of Buteo solitarius, the Hawaiian hawk [`io], and that 'Io and Uli are one and the same god, 'Io being his esoteric name.
“I had come to the conclusion that 'Io (Hawk), would be a hawk-god as a result of perusing much of the same material. It seemed obvious that the hawk was named for its note: `io'io in Hawaii, and ciolcio in the Tuamotus and the, Cook islands, means to chirp like a chick. Kepelino, writing in 1859 (10, p.2G5) says of the hawk, "It is named for its cry." The hawk, then, which does not occur elsewhere in tropical Polynesia, was named for its cry, and not for a god named Io.”
While then expressing the opinion that the Maori cult of a supreme being, Io, was “truly an ancient feature of Polynesian religion” he cautioned that proof was lacking that this reference to Io in Hawaii was to a supreme being (p.97). (Journal of the Polynesian Society vol.51 The Hawaiian God `IO. Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.
Peter Buck (who Kikawa quote 16 times in his book) to support his universal supreme God theory said of “Emory (37, p. 200) stressed the fact that the hawk, which does not occur elsewhere in tropical Polynesia, was named because of its cry and not after a god named Io. He showed that the name should be written with the hamza as 'Io, which in the New Zealand dialect would be Kio. Hence, there was no linguistic connection between the Hawaiian 'Io (=Kio) and the Maori Io.” (P.535 Peter Buck, the Coming of the Maori).
Peter Buck, his Maori name Te Rangi Hiroa, was a talented man having many vocations anthropologist between 1922 and 1927 Buck published a series of scientific papers on Maori life, and in 1927 director of the Bishop Museum and visiting professor of anthropology at Yale University (1932–34, 1936, 1939). A researcher in Polynesian ethnology for the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. He spent 25 years studying and writing about the native Polynesian cultures, His books documenting the Maori life include Vikings of the Sunrise (1938), and The Coming of the Maori (1947). Read more on this fascinating man.
Buck says of Handy: “The interest aroused in Io led Handy (49, p. 134) to investigate the occurrence of the name Io in some of the Hawaiian chants. He pointed out that the name Io was applied to the Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) because of its cry of ioio. He concluded that Io worship in Hawaii was specifically a bird cult, primarily for the hawk (io) and secondarily for the owl (pueo). He identified Io with Uli, who was a sorcerer's god and more frequently mentioned in chants. Handy warned against trying to establish Io as the Supreme Being in Hawaii, for the evidence proved only that he was a protective deity in some of the rituals of certain chiefly and priestly lines.” (p.535 Peter Buck, The Coming of the Maori)
“The noted part-Maori scholar-sir `Peter-Buck (te Rangi-Hiroa) was-among those who found-the Io cult impossible to accept in its entirety.”“Buck himself concluded that no authentic proof existed for the concept of a supreme creator named lo, Kio or Kiho in Eastern Polynesia before `dispersal to the various island groups took place.”(p.252 The Lost Caravel by Robert Langdon) [emphasis mine]
Langdon states of Buck: “Moreover, he and other scholars were suspicious of the fact that both Te Matorohanga and his scribe Te Whatahoro had become Christians before details of the Io cult were written down. Buck himself concluded that no authentic proof existed for the concept of a supreme creator named lo, Kio or Kiho in Eastern Polynesia before `dispersal to the various island groups took place” (p.252 The Lost Caravel by Robert Langdon) [emphasis mine]
Elsdon Best’s sources on the Maori religion were the writings of H. T. Whatahoro. Watahoro in The Lore of the Whare-wananga; (who Kikawa quotes at least 6 times in his book discriminately) we read O Io-the-learned! O Io-the-determined! O Io-the-self-created!” (p.92 The Lore of the Whare-wananga; Teachings of the Maori College On Religion, Cosmogony, and History Written down by H. T. Whatahoro translated by S. Percy Smith)
Io was said to be self created, not self existing. This is no minor difference. Self created is the opposite of always existing. Io the parentless is also named the self-created. All the other gods were created by another, he created himself. This is why He is parentless. If this supreme god did not exist at a time in the past this means he is not the eternal god that always existed, before he created a thing. The God of the Bible was not self created therefore this god may be supreme but not the same as the God of the Bible.
In his book “The Coming of the Maori,” Buck explains, “Kanaloa was part of the original 4 (not 3) and was subtracted so there would be 3 …. He also writes neither Io of New Zealand nor Toaroa of Tahiti had a father or mother, so they had to create themselves by what might be termed auto deification, it was an easy matter for them to create or conjure forth other gods. (The Coming of the Maori, Buck p.435)
Robert Langdon in the book The Lost Caravel writes, “ …the only detailed account of Io is that contained in a manuscript dictated by a Maori named Te Matorohanga and taken down by another, Te Whatahoro. The manuscript, with English translations, appeared in print in 1913 as The Lore of the Whare-wanaga.
Eric Schwimmer, in the book World of the Maori, says: “Matarohanga freely admits that he did NOT transmit traditions in their pure form but that much of the knowledge is lost and that he made changes and innovations.” (World of the Maori, p.114)
“This exalted personage was Io, who created all the processes of nature and caused the ahead existing gods to be. He was given various titles of which Io-matua-kore (Io-the-parentless) indicates that he himself was the very beginning. The old theology had a sky of ten successive levels, but the new version added two more and placed Io in residence in the highest heaven.”(P.274 Vikings of the Pacific by Peter Buck)
There were twelve heavens according to the researchers, Io lived in the twelfth. The bible says there’s 3; that’s 9 more heavens to get to where Io lives.
Best, who basically takes the position of Renan, states in his book: “The Maori as He Was”: “In regard to the superior cult of Io, the Supreme Being, its ritual was resorted to, or practised, only in connection with what were considered highly important matters. It never became known to the many, but was jealously conserved and retained by the few, hence it was not affected by degeneration as were similar concepts in other lands. The Maori preserved the purity of his conception of the Supreme Being by means of withholding it from the bulk of the people, hence Io was never degraded to the level of a tribal war-god, as was the case with Jahweh. To force monotheism on a barbaric people must necessarily result in a form of degeneration of a superior concept.” (The Maori as He Was by Best, p.70). [emphasis mine]
His statement has Io not part of a monotheistic belief system. Certainly this proves that Best did not consider Io the same God of the Bible who is Jahweh. For he also stated
In other words, he did not see them as the same: “Nor is there any resemblance between the Io of Maori myth and the somewhat truculent Jehovah of the Old Testament” (Maori Religion and Mythology by Peter Best p.47). Truculent means hostile, factious, in other words he considered Jehovah defiant.
Eldson Best is quoted in Kikawa’s book but he did not include all that he said on Io in ancient times. “The Io of Grecian mythology was the personified form of the moon, but was changed into a cow. She is the same as Isis of Egyptians myth. The Manual of Mythology tells us that Ioh was an early Egyptian moon-god; but this to is equivalent to Hina and Sina, the personified form of the moon, in Polynesia and New Zealand, and not to Io the supreme god.” (p.49 God’s of the Maori by Best).
“The Io of Grecian mythology was the personified form of the moon, but was changed into a cow. She is the same as Isis of Egyptians myth. The Manual of Mythology tells us that Ioh was an early Egyptian moon-god; but this to is equivalent to Hina and Sina, the personified form of the moon, in Polynesia and New Zealand, and not to Io the supreme god” (p.49 God’s of the Maori by Eldson Best)
The evolutionary pattern described is simple and straightforward. It appears to have been the version evolved by the priests at the religious seminary at Opoa in Ra'iatea at the time that the Maori ancestors left the central area. But, just as the priests of Opoa later changed their theology to make T'a'aroa the Creator, so some of the schools in New Zealand also elaborated their beliefs to include a creator of all things. This exalted personage was Io, who created all the processes of nature and caused the ahead existing gods to be. He was given various titles of which Io-matua-kore (Io-the-parentless) indicates that he himself was the very beginning. The old theology had a sky of ten successive levels, but the new version added two more and placed Io in residence in the highest heaven. He was provided with a house named Rangiatea, and the assembly place before it was named Te Rauroha. A staff of Celestial Maids (Mareikura) was provided, and Guardians (Pou-tiriao) were appointed to the different floors which were given individual names. Messengers were engaged to carry on communication between the upper sphere and the major gods. (P.274 Vikings of the Pacific Peter Buck)
‘Io, or Uli
I have learned from members of the Sons and Daughters of Hawaiian Warriors, a society of which Mrs. Taylor was president for years, that the Maoris who visited Hawaii were lavishly entertained by them. Mrs. Taylor's article which appeared in 1931 reflects her conviction that the Maori Io and the Hawaiian 'Io were one, though of course, a critical student would realize that to be the same name, the Maori would have to be Kio.
The allocation to the Hawaiian 'Io of the position of Jehovah and the ascription to the name of such sacredness that neither “chieftains nor priests dared utter the word Io”, suggests that Mrs. Taylor's mother, Mrs. Mary J. Montano, before writing what her daughter quotes from her private papers (13, p.78), had allowed her conception of the Hawaiian 'Io to be colored by her knowledge of the Maori Io. (Mrs. Montano was living at the time her daughter wrote the article on 'Io).
This influence of the Maori belief in Io is further borne out by Mrs. Taylor's attribution of the extinction of the Kamehameha dynasty to the sacrilege of conferring the esoteric name 'Io-lani [Regal Hawk] to Kamehameha 2 and Kamehameha 4 (13, p.78). Lahilahi Webb of the Bishop Museum, now (1942) in her 79th year, and well versed in ancient Hawaiian lore, smiled at this story, and merely remarked, “You know, Mrs. Taylor often over-did things.” According to Kawena Puku'i of the Bishop Museum staff, the accepted cause of the extinction of the Kamehameha line, was the moving of the capital of the kingdom from Lahaina to Honolulu, and the establishment of a royal residence at Ke-one-'ai-ali'i (The-sands-which-consume-chiefs), at Waikiki. (The Hawaiian God 'IO, By Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.)
“Ahuena Taylor, a descendant of the priests of 'lo, said of the veiled names of 'Io was Uli. The Hawaiian authority, Mary Kavvena Pukui, said that `lo-uli is short for i-ke-ao-uli, meaning `loin the obscure heavens, The Hawaiian researcher, Emerson, translated an invocation to Uli. Part of this chant says:
"Uli, the active, the multiform, offshoot of Iku, Iku, king of kings in heaven, broken for others."(p.94 - 95 of Perpetuated in Righteousness)
He lifts a portion of this short chant; it also says “Burn, Uli! Burn to death.” So if Uli is Io or Iku how does this make sense? This is what Kikawa does in his research, he decides what is acceptable to fit in his theory.
Here’s what Emerson accurately said, “and the chant reveals Uli and Io-uli here as distinct gods. If they are distinct, 'Io and Uli in two chants Handy received from Mrs. Emma Ahuena Taylor (7, p.145) should not be treated as names of the same god, though it is possible that here 'Io is being likened to Uli, but more probable that Uli is being called, figuratively, a hawk. In the later case the two prayers given by Mrs. Taylor would be prayers to Uli. At the same time, there is nothing prohibiting two gods being addressed in the same prayer, one named 'lo, the other Uli”( Journal of the Polynesian society, The Hawaiian God `IO by Kenneth P. Emory, Bishop Museum, Honolulu)
The other Hawaiian legendary name for the north, just referred to, was Uli-uli. This word throughout the Poly-nesian dialects means " a dark colour, black, blue, dark- green, dusky, somber." (Fornander An Account of The Polynesian Race Its Origin and Migrations)
As Malo states, “The clouds; which are objects of importance in the sky, were named from their color or appearance. A black cloud was termed eleele, if blue-black it was called uliuli,… If the sky in the western horizon was blue-black, uli-uli.” In the Kumulipo, the word uliuli is applied to the color of deep ocean.
Fornander stated, ‘As I have found no god in the archaic Hawaiian theogonies, nor those of the other Polynesian groups, bearing the name of Uli, I am inclined to believe that it was at first a sacerdotal epithet, degenerating into a soubriquet, and finally becoming a distinct personification ; its first sense being equivalent to that of Hiwa *' sacred, dark - coloured, blue or black," and as such applied to one of the great principal gods.”( p.113, Account of the Polynesian Race, Fornander)
Fornander, referring to the ancient “Hawaiian chants and legends, with which I am best acquainted, there occur names for north and south which indicate a residence on islands or lands whose configuration and physical surroundings were different from those which they now inhabit. Thus for the north we find such names as Ulu-nui, Uli-uli, Haka- lauai, Mele-mele ; but these are known and handed down by tradition as having been names of lands as well.”
“The prayers quoted from Ahuena refer to Io and Uli as synonymous. This identification clears up for me a long-pondered problem as to the real nature of Uli. Uli now must be considered carefully for the light this name may throw on the Io cult.”
“One single reference to Io in Hawaiian lore has been known to me since my earliest study of Malo's Hawaiian Antiquities, occurring in a line in a prayer recorded by N. B. Emerson in that volume:
Honua-ku-kapu ka malo o Io-uli Decorated at its end is the malo of the bird-god Io-uli.(The Hawaiian cult of Io, by E. S. Craighill Handy)
Handy stated, 'Io and Uli in two chants Handy received from Mrs. Emma Ahuena Taylor (7, p.145) should not be treated as names of the same god, though it is possible that here 'Io is being likened to Uli, but more probable that Uli is being called, figuratively, a hawk.”
Handy’s conclusion: “'Io and Uli are one and the same god, 'Io being his esoteric name…., that 'Io and Uli are one, is speculative and based mainly on a modern, unauthoritative source.”
Kenneth P. Emory writes: “We can be fairly certain that there existed in Hawaii a god who was addressed 'Io (Hawk), but we can not be at all sure that there was a god whose true name was 'Io. The evidence points to Uli as the god or goddess addressed as 'Io. We have the bare mention, once, of a god named Io-uli or 'Io-uli, who was, apparently, distinct from Uli, and perhaps from 'Io and 'Io-lani. The hawk undoubtedly fulfilled a rôle in Hawaiian worship comparable to the owl, the plover, the tropic-bird, and other birds, all of whom served at times as embodiments of various gods, but the past silence regarding the hawk in this capacity signifies that it did not figure as prominently in Hawaiian worship as the other gods. This may have been due to the fact that the range of the hawk was practically limited to the island of Hawaii, or to the restriction of the name 'Io and the venration of the hawk to members of the Kamehameha family.”
Handy also states and makes it perfectly clear- Iho in Tahiti means the core of anything. Ihoiho would signify the “core of cores” or the “very core.” The giving of this name to the preexistent Supreme Being suggests that the ancient originators of the concept had in mind the idea of the Supreme Being's existing within, at the heart of creation, rather than outside as is indicated by his being said to exist in the most distant heaven above the earth.’ (http://www.letusreason.org/Current68.htm)
That means God is in his creation and does not exist apart from it, making Him not existing before He created. In other words, this is panentheism, not describing God as transcendent outside creation.
Handy also wrote, “The Samoan and Tongan mythologies postulate the preexistence of Tangaloa, the Supreme Being and creator, as does the lore of the Society Islands that of Taaroa; but in Samoa and Tonga there is no suggestion of the name of Io or Iho. In Hawaii, on the other hand, are several instances of the occurrence of the name lo; but proof that this refers to the Supreme Being is lacking. In the Kumulipo chant is an intriguing line, the meaning of which is entirely- obscure, which reads, “Eggs and Io are life to birds” (146, p. 41). And in a prayer the name appears again, “Decorated at its ends is the malo of the bird-god Io-uli” (99, p. 248) If, as is possible, though to my mind not probable, Io here refers to a Supreme being (p.97) (http://www.letusreason.org/Current68.htm)
Here is a quote from another researcher that shows IO was a supreme god over many gods, not separated as supreme. This is what is called henotheism.
"The universe of Io is a well ordered creation. The supreme God has His home in Te-Toi-o-nga-rangi, the uppermost heaven. It is unapproachable by the messengers of the lesser gods, except by special permission, and the only door to it lies through Tawhiri-rangi.
"Only the messengers of Io, who have been purified, can survive the holiness of that heaven. At that place the whatu-kura and mareikura, the attendant of Io, have control over the other denizens of the over worlds, and on His behalf supervise the growth and order of the world. The mana-ariki (overlordship, the power of the highest chiefs) is theirs, and they go to and fro through all the heavens, the world and the underworld's. They are in effect the members of the spiritual body of Io.”(A.W. Reed. 1974. Treasury of Maori Folklore - The Maori Pantheon, p. 58.)
Kikawa writes: “Beckwith, one of the leading authorities on ancient Hawaiian history herself; says, "As Malo is our most reliable native source for ancient practices” (p.54, Perpetuated in Righteousness: is quoted 5 times in Kikawa’s book). Hawaiian Antiquities (Mo`ōlelo Hawai`i) By David Malo, Honolulu Hawaiian Translated from the Hawaiian by Dr. N. B. Emerson 1898.
Emory writes: “Malo's marriage to a woman of noble (ali'i) blood, named A'a-lai-loa (11, p.7), and his records of rituals and prayers of the most sacred temple ceremonies prove he had access to the most sacred lore. (The Hawaiian God 'IO, By Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.)
David Malo does not mention 'Io, but his Antiquities contains the chant for the girding of the image of Ku, inserted by the editor, N. B. Emerson (11, p.247), in which Io-uli is simply mentioned as a god. (The Hawaiian God 'IO, By Kenneth P. Emory. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.)
David Malo does not mention 'Io at all is significant. In fact Kikawa himself states, “Most of the Hawaiian researchers' materials that the author has read shows that the Hawaiians had no knowledge of 'Io” (Perpetuated in Righteousness p.57)
So then how does he author make the opposite claim that they had the true god and worshiped him? Because it was hidden, a secret among a few, “Very little is known of this ancient triune God because most of the old priests were destroyed” (Perpetuated in Righteousness, p.57). Then how does he know so much when the researchers that were closer to the cultural change do not? Kikawa is claiming they had a specific knowledge of a triune God- three persons as the one God by their own oral tradition before Christianity? This is an admission it was not from the Bible, so how did they know something that the early church codified?
Again, let me repeat what the Author Daniel Kikawa says:
“Most of the Hawaiian
researchers' materials that the author has read shows that the Hawaiians had
no knowledge of 'Io” (Perpetuated
in Righteousness p.57)
Kikawa quotes Fornander to support his theory: “I learn that the ancient Hawaiians at one time believed in and worshipped one god” That “these first Hawaiians had a belief in One True God.” But if this supreme God was hidden, (secret) as Kikawa claims, then you can’t say a culture or people worshipped him.
Fornander was a Catholic revisionist, who had issues with the American Protestant missionaries and did not care for the Bible. Using Fornander as his main source (quoted 45 times) who did not believe in the Bible brings this whole matter to nothing along with the other authors that say the opposite.
Consider what Fornander said here of Genesis.
The second verse of " Genesis : " " And the earth was with- out form and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the
deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The Tahitian " Tino Taata who floated on the surface " may be the original or the copy of the Hebrew legend.” And he then quotes The Babylonian legend, according to Berosus (p. 68 The Polynesian Race).
“The Hebrew legends are more vague and indefinite as to the existence of an evil principle. The serpent of Genesis, the Satan of Job, the Hillel of Isaiah, the dragon of the Revelations all point, however, to the same underlying idea, that the first cause of sin, death, evil, and calamities was to be found in disobedience and revolt from God. They appear as disconnected scenes of a once grand drama, that in olden times riveted the attention of mankind, and
of which, strange to say, the clearest synopsis and the most coherent recollection are, so far, to be found in Polynesian traditions. …yet the differences in detail, colouring, and presentation are too great to suppose the legend borrowed by one from either of the others. It probably descended to the Chaldeans, Polynesians, and Hebrews alike from some source or people anterior to themselves, of whom history now is silent. (Ibid. p.85)
In other words, God (YHWH) did not deliver the true history, the book of Genesis to Moses. Fornander continued to consider the Bible as “Hebrew legends” equal or even less accurate than the legends in the other cultures.
“I’o is the unmanifest infinite source of creation. Before time began, I'o was. Then, Io breathed forth Mana which pervades space equally and is in every living thing. Mana gives all living creatures the power to live and be alive. Io sent the Mana across the Po (the darkness), and created Kane, the creator, and creation began.http://www.huna.com/gods_diagram.html
This is NOT a Biblical view of God, creating another God who created things, this is the kind of misunderstanding that one must question whether the author subscribes to historic Christianity. Mana is similar to the chi and Ki.
Henotheism; a main God with other deities or many sub deities. This is exactly what we found with Io from the Maori. Kikawa’s research –quoting the former researchers is flawed and clearly by the authors own quotes refute the work that he claims comes from these authors.