Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Community Contributed

By Mercy Ritte

As you know, our kiawe trees produce an abundance of bean pods every year. Not only is it a nutritious food source for livestock, but also for people. In its native lands, dried kiawe bean pods ground into meal or flour is considered a staple food. It is very delicious and adds a sweet nutty taste to breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes and cookies. It is also gluten free, GMO free, highly nutritious, diabetic friendly and can be used to make syrup, jelly, tea, milk, and wine. Unlike wheat that digests within one to two hours, kiawe takes four to six hours to digest, resulting in delay of hunger pangs.…

61st Crossing Paddled by More Ages and Nations

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

61st Crossing Paddled by More Ages and Nations

Waikiki Surf Club pauses for prayer beneath a rainbow. Photo by Blaze Juario

The morning of the 61st crossing of the men’s Molokai Hoe canoe race to Oahu dawned muggy and windless at Molokai’s Hale o Lono Harbor. With calm ocean comes few swells to surf and carry the 99 canoes from around the world across the Ka`iwi Channel, and some feared it might be a slower and more arduous race than usual. But the winning team actually crossed the finish line Sunday in four hours 53 minutes — 17 minutes faster than last year.

Some aspects of this year’s race brought no surprises.…

A Return to Konohiki

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Community-based proposal to manage Hawaii’s resources

Last month in Kalaupapa, the state-mandated Aha Moku Advisory Council presented a plan that could change the way natural resources are managed in Hawaii. The plan calls for a return to the konihiki system, in which those knowledgeable about the ways of the ocean set guidelines for marine food gathering using traditional Hawaiian methods.

“The Aha Moku is set up to look at evolving power back to the communities as far as resource management,” said Sen. Kalani English, who was among a handful of legislators who attended the Kalaupapa gathering. “How do we do that within state law… that’s what we’re figuring out.”

The konohiki were those in ancient Hawaii who continued teaching, assessing and learning generationally in an unbroken line of distinguished performance outcomes, according to the Aha Moku’s konohiki initiative.…

Celebrating Kalo

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Celebrating Kalo

Iokona, age 9, peaks out from kalo at the Taro Variety Field Day last Saturday. Photo by Catherine Cluett

In the ancient days of Hawaii, each of the islands’ estimated 500,000 people would eat one seven- to nine-pound kalo plant per day, according to Alton Arakaki, a Molokai extension agent with the University of Hawaii College Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR.) Ancient Hawaiians carefully selected more than 300 kalo varieties to ensure food security and successful growth in many environments. Today, only about 70 of those varieties still exist — and without vigilant cultivation, that number may dwindle.

Last weekend, Molokai residents got the opportunity to select among more than 50 kalo varieties to grow in their own gardens, helping to carry on a tradition that can yield health, cultural understanding and economic benefits.…

Channel Riders

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Channel Riders

Team Boomski placed 10th this year at the 35th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai race, beating last year’s record, where they came in 14th. Photo by Laura Pilz

Wa`akapaemua Canoe Club’s Team Boomski wahine paddlers placed 10th out of 69 crews at the 35th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai race last Sunday. Paddling 42 miles from Molokai to Oahu against top teams from around the world, the open women’s Molokai crew crossed one of the most difficult channels in the state in 6 hours 46 minutes 11 seconds. They met their goal of placing in the top 10, improving from last year when they finished 14th.…

Defending the Departed

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

More than 20 years ago, the state approved the creation of island burial councils, to give Native Hawaiians a voice to protect their iwi kupuna, or ancestral remains, after plans to build a Maui Ritz Carlton at Honokahua had uprooted 1,100 unmarked graves.

“There is a connection between our [kupuna] and us. We’re not who we are without them.” said Opu`ulani Albino, a past Molokai burial council member. “You should never, ever have iwi [bones] in the sun. That’s the highest desecration you can do to iwi in our culture.”

Each island has a council made up of community members and land developers who decide whether remains found on a development site must be preserved in place or relocated.…

Local Filmmaker Receives Worldwide Support

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Local Filmmaker Receives Worldwide Support

Last month, Molokai filmmaker Matt Yamashita set a lofty goal: he wanted to raise $22,000 to fund the completion of a new documentary he calls “the most exciting project I’ve worked on.” The film, called “Return to Halawa,” is about Halawa Valley and the life of Anakala Pilipo Solatorio, one of the last Hawaiians born, raised and still living in the east Molokai valley.

As of Sunday night, 150 backers from around the world had pledged $21,831 to the project on Kickstarter.com, a website that’s been coined the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing — project creators set a goal amount and deadline, and if the goal isn’t reached, they don’t receive any of the money pledged by backers.…

Taro Variety Field Day 2013

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release

Not too long ago, rice, pasta and bread were not a major part of our diet in Hawaii.  Instead, taro, or kalo, was the main source of food that provided dietary carbohydrate for Native Hawaiians.  They produced kalo on all the islands and on as many as 50,000 acres of the best upper and river valley lands in order to maintain the health of the population of 500,000 or more.  In order to improve their food security, Native Hawaiian developed more than 300 varieties of taro.

Today only about 70 of the varieties are left. …

Hawaii Orchids Today

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Hawaii Orchids Today

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH County Extension Agent

Dendrobium orchids are a major export crop for Hawaii, and are broken into two segments, cut flowers and potted plants. Potted plant production is fairly new, and focuses on compact plants with short sprays facilitating ease of shipping.

The Hawaii dendrobium cut flower industry is based on one dendrobium cultivar, Dendrobium Jaquelyn Thomas, a primary cross of two species, Dendrobium phalaenopsis and Dendrobium gouldii. Together, the best qualities of both parents emerge in an intermediate-sized flower with a shelf life exceeding four to six weeks. This cultivar’s flower color can be found in white, pink, blush, two-tone, and purple.…

Rising from the Rocks

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Rising from the Rocks

Native plants making a comeback

Editorial by Catherine Cluett

We’re bumping along a rocky track, ascending steeply through a landscape some would call lunar. Ahead of us is mostly gray—Kawela’s barren, stony slopes and gulches, topped by a thin line of green where the mountaintops meet the sky. But I can’t help turning in my seat of our all-terrain vehicle toward the view behind us—each bump expands a breathtaking panorama of Maui to the east, Lanai’s slender back, the turquoise fingers of Molokai’s south shore reef, and the slopes of Pu`u Nana to Molokai’s west.

Panorama from about 3,000 ft. elevation showing Maui on the left, Kaho`olawe, Lanai in the center, and Molokai’s south shore reef.…