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Kopaka's Shield and the Eye of Kanaloa


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I happened to notice the similarities in design between the Toa of Ice's shield and this symbol derived from New Age Hawaiian mysticism. 
Lego Dish 6 x 6 Inverted (Radar) Webbed - Type 2 (underside attachment positions at 90 degrees)image.jpeg.c12f1d53417fd1ee093496ed5b09eda1.jpeg

Of course, this LEGO element existed long before BIONICLE was even conceived, and I doubt the designers intended such a reference. It's fairly well known that Hawaiian, Maori, Fijian, and other Pacific Island vocabulary were used as inspiration for the Bionicle universe. Just thought it was interesting to note the coincidences between the symbol and the Kanohi Akaku, as well as some terms and ideas that seem to describe other characters, items and events in the story. 


In the mythology of old Hawaii, Kanaloa was the god of the ocean, a healer god, and the close companion of Kane, the god of creation. They would journey together, share the sacred drink of 'awa, and use their staves to strike the ground and cause springs of fresh water to burst forth. Rare statues of Kanaloa feature him with round eyes, unlike those of any other representations of the gods. According to a Kauai tradition, if you could look into the eye of Kanaloa you would see the pattern above . In the Hawaiian language, "kanaloa" is also used as a word that means "a sea shell; the young stage of a certain fish; an alternate name for Kaho'olawe Island; and secure, firm, immovable, established, unconquerable." A root translation of the word, ka-na-loa, means "the great peace, or the great stillness." The word also has the connotation of total confidence. In the esoteric tradition of Huna Kupua, Kanaloa represents the Core Self, or the center of the universe within oneself.


As a whole, the pattern represents the Aka Web, or The Web of Life, the symbolic connection of all things to each other. In this aspect, the star at the center is the spider/shaman, or the individual who is aware of being the weaver of his or her own life, a dreamweaver.

In another aspect, the eight lines represent "mana", or spiritual power, because another meaning of "mana" is "branching lines" and the number eight in Hawaiian tradition is symbolic of great power. The four circles represent "aloha", or love, because the "lei" or garland, a symbol of love, is circular and is used figuratively in Hawaiian to mean a circle (as in "Hanalei - Circular bay"), and because the word "ha" is a part of the word "aloha" and also means "life" and the number four. Together the circles and lines represent the harmony of Love and Power as an ideal to develop.

The star pattern is composed of a dot in the center representing the Aumakua, or Higher Self; a ring representing Lono, or the Mental Self; the seven limbs of the star representing the Seven Principles of Huna; and the ring around the star representing Ku, the Physical or Subconscious Self. One point of the star is always down, aligned with a straight line of the web, representing the connection of the inner with the outer.




Edited by chuckschwa
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It sounds crazy that Lego would base Toa off of Hawaiian gods, but there are so many coincidences! You just might be onto something.

GENERATION 4: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

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“Huna,” eh? They may not have gotten that term specifically from Hawaiian, though. I suspect it exists in several different languages both in and out of the Pacific region.

By the way, has anyone else ever thought that Kopaka’s original shield does a pretty poor job protecting him? I mean, it’s full of holes! I don’t even think the piece was originally meant to be a shield. Years before I got Kopaka, I think I had this piece in a Star Wars Echo Base set as an antenna dish.

Edit: Oh yeah, here it is, the Snowspeeder set:



Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese

My friend went to Po-Wahi and all I got was this lousy rock.


Blue sea...a Ruki leaps...the sound of water

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Huna is apparently a New Age belief system that claims to be based off of Hawaiian beliefs, so "Huna" in the New Age-y context would be taken from Hawaiian, but the origin of Kanohi "Huna" would still be up for debate.

I also think it's interesting how the symbol looks like the eight-spoked Buddhist wheel symbol. If there's any connection at all, my theory would be:

  1. The guy who came up with the Eye of Kanaloa symbol took some influence from the Buddhist wheel (perhaps without being completely transparent about it).
  2. Lego developed the part as a satellite dish, without intending any spiritual meaning.
  3. Someone doing research for Bionicle decided to base Kopaka after Kanaloa, and then came across the Eye of Kanaloa symbol.
  4. The researcher noticed a similarity between the Eye of Kanaloa and the satellite dish piece, so it was decided to use it for Kopaka.

GENERATION 4: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

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