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Gods are represented in Hawaiian story as chiefs dwelling in far lands or in the heavens and coming as visitors or immigrants to some special locality in the group sacred to their worship. The four great gods worshiped throughout Polynesia were Kāne, Kanaloa, Kū and Lono.

When Hawaiians prayed, in order to include all aspects of God (not to omit or offend any of the akua,) they added to the prayer the words, “E Hoʻoulu ana I kini o ke akua, ka lehu o ke akua, na mano o ke akua” (Invoke we now the 40,000 gods, the 400,000 gods, the 4,000 gods.) (Beckwith)

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