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Pū is the Hawaiian Name for Conch Shell. A gift from the Ocean, the Pū comes out of the life giving waters with a sound that flows across the 'Aina ( land ).
The blowing of the Pu, a deep part of the Hawaiian culture, has multiple uses and communicates various meanings in both Religious and secular traditions.
Blowing the Pū is sometimes used before a ceremony to mark the official beginning.
To blow the Pū is a call to the divine. The blowing of the Pū should always be accompanied by Hawaiian protocol.
Hawaiian Ceremonial Pū shell horns are the traditional Royal fanfare trumpet of the Pacific Islands.
They are actually large seashells. Triton and Cassis Cornuta and Queen pink Conch are used.
They are capable of emitting a loud very beautiful sound carrying as far as two miles.
The volume depends on the style of blowing rather than breath volume capacity
Since ancient times the Pū has been used to announce the beginning of a ceremony such as a wedding .
The Pū have also been used to honour royalty and celebrity .
Many Island weddings are celebrated with the blowing of Conch (pronounced conk) and Triton Shell horns and often they are blown to the North, South, East and West signifying the gathering of all powers.
The conch shell has long been used in rituals by Tibetan Buddhists, who will blow a conch shell to call worshippers to a religious assembly. Conch shells also are used by Buddhists as receptacles for holy water and as an instrument in the performance of religious music. The conch shell's use in Tibetan Buddhism originates with the significance these shells held in India's Vajrayana Buddhism. Beforehand, the conch was a highly significant symbol in ancient Hinduism. In modern Buddhism, the conch shell represents the voice of Buddha. Adherents believe its sound can awaken a person from ignorance.
In ancient Indian mythology, the God Vishnu blew into a conch shell and made the first sound in all creation, a sacred sound known as "aum." In Hinduism, the conch shell represents the five elements--earth, water, fire, air and space. In modern India, the conch shell is blown at the beginning of sacred rituals because of the belief that the vibrations emitted from the conch shell will dispel negative energy and purify the environment.
In Islam, the conch shell represents hearing the divine word, while ancient Greeks and Romans used the conch shell to symbolize their respective sea deities. The conch shell was even part of the belief system of the ancient Mayans, who believed its spiral shape represented infinity. Information source: Wikipedia and other resources available . .
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May 31st, 2012
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