December 17, 2016
The Makahiki Challenge is a 3+ mile journey through tireless hills, obstacles, and mud. Designed to test your physical endurance and mental toughness.
Makahiki literally translates to yearly or annual. Makahiki Challenge is meant to be an annual challenge for the people of Hawaii and its visitors. It is our chance to compete, challenge ourselves, celebrate, enjoy, and respect this beautiful island that has continued to provide for us.
The word Makahiki is commonly associated with the ancient Makahiki festival. In ancient Hawaii, Makahiki was a festival beginning about the middle of October and lasting roughly four months. It was filled with sports and religious festivities, and at this time war was kapu (prohibited.) Makahiki celebrated harvest and the Hawaiian god associated with rain, lono. The mark of the beginning of Makahiki was the site of the Pleiades constellation seen in late October or early November.
During Makahiki, the people paid taxes to the chiefs. The symbol still associated with Makahiki, observed as the lono figure, is a staff with a crossbar that held a white sheet of kapa (Hawaiian cloth). It was carried around the island and stopped at each ahupua’a (land division) to collect the taxes of the people. After this process was complete, the community gathered to celebrate. Farming stopped and feasting and competitive games began. Athletes, chiefs, and commoners competed in games that included boxing, ‘ulu maika (similar to bowling), foot races, javelin throwing, and other contests including intellectual challenges.