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Kumulipo

In Huna, the ancient Hawaiian religion, the Kumulipo is an epic poem, over two thousand lines long, that was recited from memory by kahunas at important ceremonies and festivals. The Wharewananga[?] of the Maori is very similar, as are poems from Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu[?] and Rapa Nui.

The first part of the Kumulipo is po, the age of spirit. The Earth may or may not exist, but the events described do not take place in a physical universe. The words show the development of life as it goes through similar stages as a human child. Eventually, it leads to early mammals.

The second part is ao and is signalled by the arrival of light and the gods, who watch over the changing of animals into the first humans. After that is a long and complex genealogy that goes all the way to the late 1700s, when the Kumulipo was last recited in honor of Captain Cook[?] (1789).



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