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Hawaiians loved their children, but had a different view from whites in raising them.
Hawaiians believed children were given for enjoyment, and they allowed them all the freedom of action which the adults wanted for themselves.
The claim of the grandparents upon their grandchildren took precedence over the claim of the parents who bore them.
The parents could not keep the child without the grandparents' permission.
If the child were not offered, the grandparents would ask for the hanai privilege; they could not be refused.
This practice extended into the community so that if the biological parents were unable to adequately provide for the needs of the child, someone else would be chosen to be the hanai parents.
In ancient Hawaii, marriage between a man and a woman, called ho'ao pa'a, was a lasting relationship.
Parents would offer their children out of respect, as a gift of the greatest possible value.
Likewise the girl's parents sent similar gifts to the boy and his parents.
These gifts were called lou (hooks) or lou 'ulu (breadfruit hooks), which symbolized a binding marriage.
Sometimes marriages were arranged for a boy and a girl who lived in different places.
Gifts of feathers, ivory, pearls or other valuable gifts were sent to the girl and her parents by the boy's parents.