A wave of women in Hawaii have joined forces to wear the Hawaiian knot around their necks, and they are doing so with a message of empowerment.
The women wore a series of necklaces on their wrists and necklines to celebrate a national day of honoring the Hawaiian tradition of honoring a woman’s sacrifice for the family.
“When I was a little girl, I was very concerned about who was going to get a fair share of the Hawaiian Knot, because there’s not a lot of women who do it,” said Karla DeBakey, a 28-year-old who lives in Kauai.
“The Mute, as we call it, is a symbol of what it means to be a warrior.
It’s the symbol of a woman who takes care of her children and she cares about her community.
And it’s something that we all feel strongly about.
It means a lot to me and to my family.”
DeBakeies mother, Kim, is also a warrior and believes the mauka kameha, a Hawaiian word for “mother,” is a powerful symbol.
“I think the mahi kamehameha is so important to our people, it means we care for the land, the oceans, and our future generations,” Kim said.
“We care about our health and our families.
We are so blessed to be able to have a family, and we care about each other.”
The Hawaiian Knot was created in the mid-1800s by a man named William L. O’Neal and was named for his wife, a member of the Lakota people.
The knots are made of white cord, black thread, and yellow or white beads.
It is woven into a knot with a string tied through it.
It was first worn by women in 1893 to commemorate the end of the First World War.
It has become a symbol for many in Hawaii, and is worn around the neck of men and women alike.
The women in the Hawaii maukamau ceremony also wore bracelets with a yellow knot that represents the Māori word for warrior.
The bracelets were created by the Hawaii Mānuahua tribe.
“When we started to wear them, it was very exciting because we started seeing a lot more women wear them,” DeBakes mom said.
The tradition of wearing the mae kamekah, or the mother’s knot, was born in the 1840s when the mother of the family, the māmua, died and she was left to take care of the children, who included her two sons.
The Māmāna women, who lived on the west side of the island, gathered around the makai and gave each other orders to make sure the children received food and clothing.
“They had a responsibility,” said Kaho’i Hinault, a 30-year old who lives near Kauai, the capital of Hawaii.
“It was a time when women were empowered.
We were told to take responsibility for our children and the care of them.
They had to do everything.
That was how we learned to look after each other,” Hinaults mother said.”
As women we were told that we could not just sit around and have babies and do nothing,” Hinoa Hia, who also lives in Hawaii said.
The mae-kamekai symbolizes the mua’a mā, a symbol that represents all women.
Hinaults mother also wears a maua-mai, a white-bearded, red-eyed, kiawahua-like traditional Hawaiian headdress.
“The mau’a-Mai means warrior, and it’s a traditional headdress for women, which means that we are the mothers of our children,” Hineult said.