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The kahuna dedicated their lives to their culture. Beliefs that sometimes when they passed away; they would be buried in the foundation of their temples. Ki‘i (statues of Gods) would be placed in and around the temple walls. The facial expressions and stature of the deities were believed to bring fear to people and evil spirits who trespassed on the sacred grounds.


For Hawaiians, the ki‘i (statues) were sculpted by skilled artisans to represent the Gods of the kahuna. When it was time to worship, ki‘i were erected and displayed before the people who prayed. The ki’i of the temple were viewed by the people, not as Gods themselves, but as vessels that the Hawaiian Gods would occupy. Ki‘i could also hold power. Often, during a dedication ceremony of a new luakini, a human sacrifice would be placed at the bottom of a post hole, which was covered by a wooden ki‘i. The mana (power of the person) would remain within the ki‘i. The kahuna would also use the ki‘i to have direct communication with the supernatural world.

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