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Hawaiʻi Life Styles - Piko Ceremony

photo of model home dedication and ceremeony

Moku ka Piko

Moku ka Piko, or the cutting of the umbilical cord is a ceremony performed to initiate a new home. Using the cutting of the umbilical cord as a metaphor, ka ʻoki ʻana o ka piko o ka hale, or the cutting of the navel string of the house is performed only after the house was completed and ready for its inhabitants. A symbolic piko made of plants materials are weaved together, each plant possessing a specific reason for its use in the piko. Some of the plants used are, liko, representing new growth, koa to represent strength, kupukupu represents growth, kukui to provide enlightenment, and la’i or ti leaf to provide blessings and good health. Others are used as well depending upon what the new owner intends to associate with his/her new home. This piko takes time to create, one that can take weeks from gathering to weaving, it is definitely a beautiful piece of work.

Using a koʻi or adze, the person leading the ceremony chants and proceeds to cut through the piko. Once this is done the house is then blessed with paʻakai or salt to purify both the inside and outside of the house. Once the ceremony is complete it is a time for a community feast and all are invited to partake in the joyous occasion.

The Hawaiʻi Life Styles program has officiated over several house blessings over the years.