Application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices of Indigenous Hawaiians to Re-vegetation of Kaho'olawe

Samuel M. Gon III

Abstract


Kaho‘olawe Island has been established as a natural and
cultural  reserve,  and  an  ongoing  process  of  removal  of
dangerous unexploded ordnance  is  to be  followed by a
restoration  of  the  native  vegetation  of  the  island,  now
largely denuded and highly disturbed by alien weeds. As
part of the planning process for this effort, a review of Ha-
waiian traditional ecological knowledge and land manage-
ment practices was undertaken, offering many premises,
precedents, and practica for the effort, all stemming from
chants and recorded practices of Hawaiians.  It becomes
clear  that  traditional approaches have much  to offer  the
modern restoration effort.

He wahi  kapu  ‘o Kaho‘olawe no nā  kaiāulu maoli  a me  ka
hana no‘eau o ka po‘e Hawai‘i maoli. Ke lawe aku nei nā mea
weliweli kaua mai Kaho‘olawe  i kahi  ‘ē, ma hope, e ho‘ōla
hou ‘ana ka moku, ma o ke kanu ana o nā meaulu maoli ma
nā wahi māneoneo o ka ‘āina i laila. I ho‘omākaukau no keia
hana ho‘ōla, ua ho‘oma‘ama‘a mākou  i nā oli, nā mo‘olelo,
a me nā leo kūpuna e pili ana i ka hana kuhikuhi pu‘uone a
me ko ka po‘e kahiko mālama  ‘āina. Ua  ‘ike nō mākou: he
mea nui ka hana no‘eau a me ka ‘ike o ka po‘e Hawai‘i no ka
ho‘ōla hou o Kaho‘olawe i keia mau lā.

       Ho‘okaka‘a lani i loli ka honua
       Kau mai ka ‘ahu‘ula ke ēwe ka piko o ke akua
       I luna i Hālulu ka lani
       I ka hale mahina poepoe
       I ka puka hāiki pilikia
       Puka kīkēkē a ke akua
       Ka wai hiona a Kanaloa
       A ke aka i malu o hu‘ahu‘akai
       ‘O Lono-i-ka-owali‘i
       ‘O Kū-‘i-‘io-moa
       ‘ O wau nō ia
       ‘ O Pōuliuli, ‘ O Pōwehiwehi
       ‘ O ka pōpolo kū mai a Kāne la e
       Hō mai ka ‘ ike i ‘ ike nui
       ‘ Āmama, ua noa

This pule, which comes to us from Theodore Kelsey, ac-
companies rituals when asking for visions of the future. It
is prayed that such visions continue to come to those ded-
icated  to  the  restoration  of Kaho’olawe  (Figure  1). This
pule is presented here that efforts to reconcile the recov-
ery of Hawaiian natural resources with the richness of Ha-
waiian cultural knowledge continue to grow.


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