2. vt. To raise, feed, nourish, sustain; provider, caretaker... (Hawaiian Dictionary). This design is dedicated to Hawaiʻi's fishponds and all those who and restore care for them. Fishponds were one of the main sources of food for Hawaiians and represent sustenance and sustainability. Restoration of both fishponds and loʻi (irrigated terraces for growing kalo) is a way for people in Hawaiʻi to become more self-reliant one ahupuaʻa at a time, providing clean protein and one of the most delicious and nourishing staple starches on earth. He pōhaku ka ʻai, kaʻa i ka lawa - If stones are the food, that will suffice. This ʻōlelo was inspired by "Mele ʻAi Pōhaku" (lit. "the rock-eating song" a.k.a. "Kaulana Nā Pua"), a patriotic national song of resistance to the (false) annexation of Hawaiʻi into the U.S. (no document exists to prove this merger). This metaphor of eating stones, rather than relying on government money, is contrasted here with thriving land (Ola ka ʻāina) where an abundance of food is produced in fishponds and taro patches, both built out of pōhaku. We could eat stones if we needed to, but with our expert technology we don't have to. We just have to turn our hands down toward the soil and water (hoʻohuli i ka lima i lalo) to produce our food.
This is the Hawaiian term for stingrays and spotted eagle rays. Also carrying the meaning of lavish, magnificent or elegant, these aptly named creatures are some of the most stunning organisms to frequent Hawaiian waters. Hīhīmanu are found in warm ocean areas the world over and the beautiful patterns of spots on their bodies are indicative of their birthplace. Hīhīmanu is also the name of a famous peak on the island of Kauaʻi. Hele nō ā hīhīmanu - It becomes elegant.
Hawaiian fishing methods are incredibly diverse. The use of baskets to trap fish was a popular method and often done by women. Baskets of various shapes and sizes were used to catch all kinds of fish including kala, hīnālea, palani, uhu, halahala, kūmū, ʻōpae, ʻoʻopu, and more. The aerial roots of the ʻieʻie (Freycinetia arborea) were the main material for various classes of baskets including hīnaʻi, pai (also ʻapai and ʻāpua), ʻie (ʻie palani, ʻie kala, etc.), ʻapi, and others. Small, single use baskets (hīnaʻi hoʻoluʻuluʻu, naomakalua, etc.) were woven from ʻāwikiwiki (Canavalia spp.), huehue (Cocculus ferrandianus), and other vining species. Some hīnaʻi had a rock woven onto the bottom side to weight them down to the ocean floor, others were secured by piling rocks around them. They were designed so that fish could swim in, but not back out. Various types of bait (pumpkin, ʻuala, kalo, crushed niu, wana, hāʻukeʻuke, limu, etc.) were often placed in the baskets to attract the fish. The hīnaʻi kala (also ʻie kala) was the largest of the baskets. Woven under kapu by men over 2-3 days, they were then filled with limu kala and lowered from a canoe. They were switched out with the ʻapi - open feeding baskets used beforehand to tame and fatten the fish. One haul in a hīnaʻi kala could hold up to 60 fish! Nothing short of ingenious. Ka ʻie lawe e lawa ai ka makemake - The basket that satisfies one's desires (provides what one needs).
Hidden away in small pockets of Hawaiʻi's dry forest habitats (only 4% of them remain) is the beautiful hōlei tree whose little yellow blossoms look like tiny Plumeria flowers because the two are related. As cousins, they both have milky sap, parallel leaf venation, and 5-petaled blossoms. However, the scent of the hōlei blossom far surpasses that of any Plumeria, so honi (inhale) deeply if you get the chance to meet her in person. If you love native plants like we do, it will be a memory you forever cherish. The bark and roots of this tree are pounded to produce a gorgeous yellow dye used to color some kinds of kapa, such as hōlei, wai liʻiliʻi. The first two were used for the decorative top sheet, or kilohana, in the kuʻinakapa (bed coverings). The wood of the hōlei tree is used to make moʻo (gunnels) for canoes. Once a common dry forest tree on all the main islands, the largest populations of hōlei now occur on at Auwahi (Maui) and Puʻuwaʻawaʻa (Hawaiʻi). Hawaiʻi's four endemic species of hōlei belong to the genus Ochrosia, with one being extinct and the others rare. Kaluhea wale kahi pua makaliʻi - Simply fragrant is a certain tiny flower.
History is full of unsung heroes - people who accomplished phenomenal things we don't even realize affect our lives today. So it is with Timoteo Kamalehua Haʻalilio who, along with William Richards and George Simpson, carried out the most important international mission in our history: the quest for recognition of Hawaiʻi as an Independent State. Of chiefly lineage, Haʻalilio became a companion for Kauikeaouli at 8 yrs old and lived his entire life in dedicated service to him. Highly educated, socially adept, and of sterling integrity, he was a perfectly suited as a representative of his King and people. The 3 men traveled for 16 months to arrive at the day we now celebrate as Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Independence Day), November 28, 1843. On this cold day in London, Great Britain and France signed the Anglo-France proclamation (after the initial promise of recognition by America), recognizing Hawaiʻi as an Independent State - the first non-European one to join the Family of Nations. While in London, Haʻalilio took original artwork to a professional engraver to create the coat of arms. While traveling back through America, Haʻalilio fell ill. On December 3, 1844, he died at sea on a ship bound for home. His arduous journey of more than 2 years and 4 months ended, his life a sacrifice for our sovereignty. Let us honor this man and remember his story. Let this bright beacon of the past guide us into the future. Ka Lehua ʻŌlino Mau - The ever-brilliant lehua.
A huge squall sits offshore, a dense column of water connecting dark cloud to deep ocean, a mass of falling rain that when struck by the sun at the right angle, produces a glowing rainbow: ʻŌpiʻopiʻo ʻo Lono me he ānuenue lā - Lono arches like a rainbow. From steady showers that nourish newly planted ʻuala to heavy downpours, the rains in the winter months are animated by Lono. At Makahiki, this akua (god) moves into the space close to us and begins to drive the weather, while Kāne, with his gentler patterns, takes a sideseat. Both akua are embodied in lightning, thunder, rain and rainbows, but Lono's manifestations are more intense, especially his rains, which cleanse all that has built up during the time of Kū. This design depicts five rains not limited to, but frequently seen during the four months where Lono rules the weather: ke kualau (ocean squall described above), ka ua koko (a rain often seen over the ocean with a rainbow), ka uhiwai (heavy fog or mist), ka ua loku (heavy downpours), and ka lele ua (windblown rain, or rain that comes sideways). This is our hoʻoheno ua, our visual mele that pays tribute to the many beautiful rains our kūpuna recognized and to Lono's kinolau (multiple forms) seen in the weather during Makahiki.
Since we could not pass up this awesome combo, the ladies of Kealopiko offer you another pairing from the Kumulipo. A delicious iʻa (food from the ocean), heʻe is well-known and loved by many. There are three species found in Hawaiian waters: Octopus cyanea (a.k.a. "day octopus"), Octopus ornatus (a.k.a. heʻe pū loa or "night octopus"), and the very small Octopus hawaiiensis - the only species endemic to our islands. The upland friend of the heʻe, the alaheʻe tree, is less popular than itʻs charismatic ocean counterpart. This small indigenous tree grows in dry to mesic forests on all the main islands (except Kahoʻolawe and Niʻihau). Itʻs hard and durable wood was fashioned into ʻōʻō (digging sticks for cultivation) and a variety of spears (including ʻō and ihe). Could it be that spears made from this wood were used for "poking" heʻe itself? After all, ʻōheʻe is another name for this species (hmmm...), as well as walaheʻe. The blossoms of this plant have a strongly sweet odor (maybe why scientists call it Psydrax odorata) that often slips or slides (heʻe) along the breeze. The nickname "Hawaiian mock orange" should give you an idea of the headiness of this fragrance that is blown into many peopleʻs houses when their hedges burst into bloom. Ke ʻala e heʻe ana i ke ahe a ka makani - The fragrance that slips by on the gentle blowing of the breeze.
Modern science now tells us that we learn language through movement while in the womb, matching precise actions to specific sounds made by our mothers. Hawaiians understood this kinesthetic relationship to sound long before microscopes and ultrasounds were invented. They developed many sophisticated ways of using sound to store memory in the body. Hei, or the making of string figures (a.k.a. catʻs cradle), is one of these techniques. Hei was often employed as a way to help memorize long chants, but was used for many other purposes from fun to ritual. The word hei means to ensnare or capture, hinting at the possibility of capturing something desired when done with prayers in ritual. Hei is done by peoples worldwide, but as practiced by those in the Pacific it is associated with Kanaloa, god of the ocean. Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō (Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi) generously shared his knowledge of hei with us, as well as the hei pictured on this garment, which he refers to as "Ka pae mānewenewe, ka pae manuʻa o Kanaloa." This name speaks to the vast and immeasurable presence that is Kanaloa, manifest in SO many wondrous forms. Some of those forms captured in the hei include the moon with four coral polyps on each side and the pū (head) of a heʻe (octopus) with eight aweawe (tentacles). Dr. Tangarō explains that the kaula (string) used in hei teaches us about the connectedness of the world and is a symbolic representation of our own connection to all potential (like a baby in the womb is connected to life through its piko and ʻiewe). Punihei aku nei i ka hie o ia kaula - Captivated by the attractiveness of that string.
There are many versions of the story of Hinahānaiakamalama and her retreating to the moon. In one rendition, she leaps from Puʻu Māʻeliʻeli (shown on this shirt rising up behind Heʻeia fishpond), in attempt to escape her cruel husband. As she ascends, he grabs her leg and pulls it off, leaving her muku (amputated). For this she is given the name Lonomuku and from her amputated leg grows the ʻuala plant (leaves also shown on this shirt). In her silvery home, Hina sets the rhythms for planting, fishing, and many other aspects of life. Each night of the moon has a name, as does each malama, or month as we know it in English. Names of some malama differ between islands and even districts, as each locality has its own unique weather pattern, geography, and assemblage of plants and animals. Knowing one's place intimately means developing this kind of specialized local knowledge. To support you in this endeavor, Kealopiko has created a moon journal called Hilo ʻIa A Paʻa. This is a place for you to record observations and happenings in your ʻāina on each mahina. Hilo ʻIa A Paʻa can be purchased at Kealopiko.com.