Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. While the exotic, brightly attractive reptiles are slowly expanding their territory on the islands, it is all too easy to forget about the importance of the original, little lively lizards. They are modest representatives of the great magical lizard, the powerful mo'o. They are guardians, not just against bugs. The mo'o is an ancient mythological being which appears in legends throughout Polynesia. For the Polynesians, geckos were perfect mirror images of this dragon-like monster. It was believed that the great mo'o could simply use the body of the gecko for one of its many manifestations. Naturally the gentle, little geckos were deeply respected. They were sacred. The vigilant geckos, with their ability to change colors and to drop wiggling tails when threatened, resembled the mo'o and filled a crucial role in Hawaiian religion.
The mo'o was part of an intricate communication system with the gods. The Hawaiians, like many cultures, depended on sorcery as a means of mediation between divine and human worlds. They needed symbols which showed the effectiveness of their prayers and their rituals. They needed images to which they could adhere magical powers.
Magical powers or not, these guys sure are cute!! Here's some of their antics that can be seen daily while visiting the Big Island or Maui!! We even show our ALOHA to these little guys and are happy to share our homes and condos with them!