KHM Ali`i Fishponds Community Work Day:
Ancient Traditions Perpetuated Through Molokai Youth
By: Adam Bencze
Anyone who has visited a grocery store on Molokai and seen food prices understands the importance of the island remaining as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to food production. Ka Honua Momona ran it’s monthly community work day and potluck on Saturday, January 20th at Ali`i Fish pond as part of a program designed to teach opio (youth) the ancient form of aquaculture perpetuated with modern technology at the ponds today. Among other skills learned, like safe chainsaw operation, KHM opio get the chance to release fish into the pond, learn about the way in which the pond functions within the ocean’s ecosystem and speak with community elders regarding Native Hawaiian philosophies and how activities at the ponds fit into those ideals. The community work day, which usually happens on the third Saturday of every month, allows the kids to share what they’ve learned at the ponds with the community.
Mo`olelo by the Ponds opio completed their fourth kupuna interview on Saturday with Alex Pua`a, who shared knowledge on Native Hawaiian history, fishing practices, and philosophies.
Recently joining KHM’s workforce at the ponds are Americorps volunteers: Barbara Haliniak, Malia Kahalewai, Chrisha Kaulia, Maile Manintin, Ikaika Manu, Nathaniel Naki, Tino Toledo, Victoria Toledo, and Noah Vance, thanks to a partnership with Molokai Community Services Council.
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