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Pareu | Olonā - Ice Blue

Most of the plants central to the well-being of our ancestors were brought to Hawaiʻi on canoes, but olonā was already here when the first people stepped onto the shores of the islands. Known to scientists as Touchardia latifolia, the strength of the fibers in the body of this endemic plant rival that of most other fiber plants known to man. Hawaiians originally found this species growing in valley streams and wet upland areas, but once they discovered its utility they began to cultivate it extensively. They became experts in extracting these fibers by the thousands and making them into cordage of varying widths. These cords were used for lashing or binding all manner of things, for fishing line and traps, and to make a variety of nets (for both fishing and carrying). The koʻi (adze) was made by lashing a piece of ʻalā (dense basaltic rock) to a wooden handle with olonā cordage, enabling our ancestors to fell trees and turn them into canoes. So crucial were these fibers to everyday life that they were collected during Makahiki along with the other items given as ʻauhau (goods contributed to the aliʻi by the makaʻāinana; also the name for the stem or body of plants such as olonā and wauke). Olonā was used in the manufacture of ʻahu ʻula (feather capes), ahu laʻī (rain capes), and kāhili (feather standards) among many other things. Not only was it an important item of trade among Hawaiians, but also became a powerful tool for bartering with foreign sailors who found the fiber superior for rigging as it was stronger than hemp and did not deteriorate in salt water. ʻAʻole e loaʻa ka lawa lua o ka ʻāloa - The strength and binding power of olonā fibers has no equal.

100% cotton | Eco-friendly | Designed in Hawaiʻi | Made in the USA

Dimensions: 70in (h) x 44in (w)