Hawaiians made a large variety of fishing nets and net-making itself was a true art. Sewn with fine cordage made from the fibers of the endemic olonā (Touchardia latifolia), the size and shape of a net depended on the type of fishing it would be used for. The maka (the "holes" that make up the net) were partially determined by the type of fish that would be caught. The ʻupena hoʻolei, or throw net, was the inspiration for this shirt, but it is just one of many types of nets Hawaiian nets including bag nets, bordered nets, and scoop nets. If you look closely, you will see the tiny phrases: E hoʻolei aku (Toss it out) and E hoʻolako mai (supply me with all I need). Our kūpuna taught us to take only what you need for your family and to share with those around you. Many elders express sadness about the dawn of the commercial fishing era and the burden it has placed upon our marine resources. Throw net fishing for "home use" is still an important source of food for many Hawaiians today, but declining fish populations and other marine issues pose a threat to this important cultural practice.
I lalo, i luna, i lalo, i luna...me he naiʻa lā ka luʻu aku a aea mai o ka hiʻa i paʻa i ka lima noʻeau o ka mea kā ʻupena. He kamahoi wale ke nānā aku i nā manamana mikioi e lawelawe ana me ka māmā. He kiʻi ʻoniʻoni ia i paʻa ma ka waihona hoʻomanaʻo o nā keiki Hawaiʻi he nui paha, ʻoiai ma nā ʻohana lawaiʻa, he hana maʻamau ke kā ʻupena ʻana, a pēlā pū nō hoʻi ka hono ʻana. ʻO nā ʻaʻaʻa lawalua loa o ka honua kai hilo ʻia i aho no ia hana, ʻo ia hoʻi nā mea o loko o ke kino o ke olonā (Touchardia latifolia). He aho ia i makeʻe nui ʻia e nā kānaka like ʻole, pū nō me nā luina no waho mai. Ke paʻa ke kino o ka ʻupena, i kekahi manawa, hoʻoluʻu ʻia iho i ka hili kukui, a ʻulaʻula maila, i mea e emi ai kona ʻike ʻia e ka iʻa. Ninini ʻia ka ʻaila kukui ma luna no ka pale ʻana aku i ke kai a me ka hoʻolōʻihi ʻana aku i kona mau lā maikaʻi. I ka paʻa pono ʻana mai o kahi ʻupena hou, mālama ʻia he ʻaha ʻaina hoʻolaʻa i mea e komo mau ai ka iʻa i loko a ola nō hoʻi nā kānaka. Ua nui a lehulehu nā ʻano lawaiʻa ʻana o nā kūpuna me nā ʻupena nō hoʻi, akā ua pau akula kekahi mau ʻano i ke au ʻana o ka manawa. ʻO ka ʻupena hoʻolei nō naʻe, ke ō mau nei nō. He sugi kona aho i kēia manawa, akā he ʻo ia mau nō ka lehia o ka poʻe nāna e hoʻolei aku.
100% Organic cotton | Standard tee | Designed in Hawaiʻi nei | Made in the USA