About lā’au piko
Born into a Hawaiian family on the windward side of O’ahu, the region known as Ko’olaupoko in the ahupua’a (Land division usually extending from the uplands to the sea) of Waimānalo my family saw my natural gift for lomilomi (massage) and began nurturing my love for touch.My mother moved us to middle America when I was five and this developed a misconception of my homeland growing up. My perception was clouded by the tiki culture embraced and perpetuated by the tourist industry, absent of the integrity of the richness of the true native culture. I knew I was Hawaiian but was unsure what that meant because this restricted my connection to my ancestors.
When my mother told me she was going home to visit, I couldn’t get Hawaiʻi and my grandmother out of my mind. My dreams returned, more intensely. I had to go too, who else better than mom to show me! She was one of 12, a small Hawaiian family and I was the first born mo’opuna (grandchild). Mother’s trip was ending as I arrived. Family gathered to say aloha to her and greeted my arrival. For two weeks my family took turns hosting my visit. My senses became overwhelmed, I felt de ja vu everywhere we went! I knew I must return home!
The seeds planted by my ancestors and culture were nurtured through art and my natural ability in lomilomi (massage). The lā’au found its way to me. After spending 3 years studying with Kumu ‘Ohai, at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, my grandfather from Molokaʻi passed away. There I met uncle Parker Kaipo Kaneakua Sr, moms elder cousin raised by my great grandmother Elizabeth Kailiponi Kahue Barthaloma. He is our alaka’i (leader) for Lomilomi (massage) and lā’au lapa’au (Hawaiian herbal medicine), who offered to further train me from knowledge passed down from our family line. I then left the University setting to begin training under our family Kahuna Lāʻau lapa’au.
I found Moloka’i home as I entered advance independent training. For me it started with mahi’ai (farming). Gathering many other mentors before I moved to Moloka’i gave me intimate knowledge in caring for ‘āina (land), I needed to gain more experience and wisdom only the creator could offer through living lā’au and Moloka’i was the center of it all.
Tapping into my roots in lā’au lapaʻau developed and awoke a means to bless and perpetuate the land in righteousness as my ancestors did for hundreds of years prior. Aloha is love and our aloha to the world is Lāʻau Piko.