In traditional Hawai’ian culture, when a child is born, the parents carve a small crater into the ground and place the child’s umbilical cord into the crater as a way of connecting the child to the land. The term Kama’aina literally means “child of the land”. Kama’aina is currently used to denote any person living in Hawai’I, but its original use speaks to the deep connection between people and the land. Hawai’ian culture speaks of people being not just stewards of the land, but servants to it. Interestingly, the Hawai’ian word for umbilical cord, Piko, also may be used for crater, portal, and belly button.
Craters are a connection to the heart of the planet. And, in a way, every mountain is connected together- formed by similar subterranean activities. Every person is connected to the earth as well, though we too rarely consider it. Our Belly buttons are individualized Pu’u - evidence of a transfer of liquid long ago that played a large part in our existence. This is our common connection to each other and the land.