Pareu | Manini + ʻĀkoʻakoʻa - yellow
100% cotton | ʻĀina-friendly | Designed in Hawaiʻi | Made in the USA
Famous among our kūpuna for its delicious flavor, this little iʻa (fish) is still found in great abundance on our reefs today. A large school of manini feeding in an area is a beautiful sight - countless yellow-green bodies striped in black, glittering and flashing as they feast on the limu of the reef. At least five stages of this fish were named by our kūpuna (ʻōhua liko, ʻōhua kāniʻo, pala pōhaku, maninini, and manini). Keen observations over many makahiki (years) helped them to invent a myriad of brilliant fishing techniques. One of these was the building of an imu kai (also called an umu kai) - a heap of rocks stacked in a way that manini (and other small fish) could hide inside and over which a net could be easily thrown. Hō ke akamai! (So smart!). The stripes of this beautiful fish inspired someone to nickname it the "convict tang," but we donʻt find them criminal at all. Also identified by the Latin name Acanthurus triostegus, this species occurs throughout Polynesia.
Kuʻu imu ahi ʻole o ke kai - My fireless imu of the ocean. This ʻōlelo was inspired by an account of a riddling contest between two men named Okoe and Kamiki. The "imu manini" was one of several kinds of "imu" that Kamiki was challenged to figure out.
The ʻākoʻakoʻa (coral) is the very first organism born in the Kumulipo and has the ability to remain strong and steadfast in rough ocean conditions. Human activity is causing ocean temperatures to rise, compromising the health of the world's coral reefs. Coral bleaching in the reefs of the northwestern and the main Hawaiian islands is an increasing problem ("bleaching" is when the living part of the coral dies and all that is left is the calcite structure that was their home, which then turns white). Of the roughly 150 species of corals in that make up Hawaiian reefs, about 25% are endemic. The reefs formed by lobe corals and other "stony" species are home to over 9,000 species of invertebrates and more than 7,000 of these are endemic! For many lāhui, these reefs are a major part of our natural and cultural heritages. Losing corals, reefs, and the organisms in them would mean losing cultural relationships forged by our ancestors over many generations. Helping to preserve coral reefs in all their diversity will allow cultural practices to survive for generations to come.
He kani ka mua, he kūpaʻa i kai koʻo! - The first one is tough, stands strong in rough seas!