"The Hand of Artakha was an ancient organization that dedicated itself to carrying out the Great Spirit's will and protecting the Matoran.[BEU, p. 43]"
Both the Hand of Artakha and Order of Mata Nui were founded prior to Mata Nui being awakened, since the Order of Mata Nui trained the Toa Mata, and the Hand of Artakha predates the Order of Mata Nui.
Were the MU inhabitants aware of Mata Nui prior to his existence, since the Hand of Artakha and Order of Mata Nui served his will, prior to Mata Nui being awakened for the first time? Also, how did they serve him before he existed?