Question #3: When you see a rainbow, what does that mean?
Rainbow in the Hawaiian language is called Ānuenue. The hō`ailona (natures omen) pertaining to rainbows will vary on each island, class system and with each family. In ancient Hawai`i, the rainbow is a hō`ailona marking the birth of an ali`i. People from around the ahupua`a would see the rainbow and know that an ali`i was born.
In the ahupua`a of Mānoa, there lived a beautiful ali`i by the name of Kahalaopuna, who lived with a very jealous abusive husband. The abuse led to her death. Kahalaopuna was buried in a secret location, but was found by her ‘Aumakua (family guardian) in a form of a Pueo (owl) who brought her back to life. The owl followed a rainbow to Kahalaopuna’s burial spot. The story goes on and on, however that is the mo`olelo that explains why Mānoa has so many rainbows, it’s Kahalaopuna’s spirit moving from place to place hoping that her ‘aumakua will find her spirit again. If you experienced a rainbow and it coincided with a family occurrence, perhaps it was an `ohana member communicating with you.
Question #4: Is there a proper protocol when someone dies?
This is a sensitive topic. There is no set protocol. Ali`i had their own rites and rituals, Maka`ainānā had their own customs and Kahuna of their special customary practices had their own traditions as well. In modern times we simply say… “Ua Hala O`ia” which means, he/she has passed. This saying is polite and more respectful when informing someone of a dearly departed loved one.
Make, pronounced “Mah-Kay” means dead or die. It does not pertain to kanaka (humans). Pull a fish out of the water it will make, go hunting for a pig, it will make, pull kalo out of the lo`i and left to dry, it will make. War among Hawaiian ali`i during the time of Kamehameha they would chant and use the word make to give the visual representation of their opponent to be left in the sun and his corpse to rot like an animal, therefore make was used. For compassionate heartfelt condolences, we say “Ua Hala O`ia”. Other traditions of Mele Kanikau and Ho`o`uwe`uwe is described as whaling or a haunting cry that is normally done with the passing of an ali`i or loved on of high honor.