Pōhaku Kulaʻilaʻi.

12x16in.  Transparent watercolor. $500
This is a rock that is sometimes called the pohaku of Kula’ila’i, a mo’o known to be a guardian of the stream leading to the ocean. Mo’o are magical beings that can appear as a lizard or a beautiful woman. All cultures have these types of creatures, that can shift shapes, are to be respected and, if you don’t follow the rules, to be feared.

Kumu Kila told a story about how when the water was green, it was kapu to swim in the water because the mo’o was there. He thought it was a wise way for kupuna to teach keiki what not to do in order to keep them safe because green water meant algae and other pollutants in the fresh water while clear or blue water would have meant clean water.

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