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ka mo'olelo photo journal

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FC: Ka Mo'olelo Hawai'i: Photo Journal Kelly Sakuda

1: My Photo Journal of Paepae He'eia and Uncle Val & Uncle Danny's Lo'i

3: This is the makaha gate at Paepae He’eia. This is the key part to any fish pond. It serves many purposes, but among them are two major functions. One is to allow small fish into the pond where they can grow up and be unable to fit through those same cracks they once fit through to get in. The other is a type of trap system for the fish who want to go toward the saltier waters. We learned about this type of system at Paepae He’eia and visually saw how it works. It’s interesting to know just how effective these ways are, even in a modern day sense, where commercial farms have taken over the fish industry.

5: During the visit, we were blessed with the opportunity to help repair the broken wall of the fish pond. Blessed in the sense that we were able to hands on do something the Hawaiians did many hundreds of years ago, not in the sense that the wall was demolished by a flood. This is important for us to get more in touch with what we are learning about. The knowledge we take in wouldn’t be as meaningful without a connection like this to the material. It seems to me that this was more of a lesson of lokahi. As in, we go there, and there is work to be done, so we all pitch in to help and do it together. Building the wall in ancient times was a community effort, as was our reparations of that same wall within our classroom ‘ohana.

7: This is one of the walls of the fish pond. However, the water doesn’t go all the way to the wall because of the mangrove that was there. This is what Keli’i was telling us about. The mangrove is what makes the wall turn into this type of dirt pile. The haole’s bring mangrove to help themselves out, but it just ends up hurting everything else. The one thing he said that really ties into our lessons on Hawaiian culture and philosophy is the idea of pono. What I thought he was getting at was everything was in balance, then the mangrove came and the ponds filled in and plants died. Then when he started removing mangrove, the walls were stable and native plants started growing again. It’s as if everything was pono, then a foreign substance was introduced then everything went into chaos. Then once the foreign substance was removed everything returned to its state of pono.

8: Snap Shots of Paepae

11: This kalo was picked right in front of us at the lo’i. Uncle Danny was explaining to us the importance of kalo to the Hawaiians. He tells us that kalo is taken care of not just because it’s their primary food source, but because it’s their older brother Haloa-naka. We take care of our older brother, and he takes care of us back, that’s the natural order of things. That’s it, that’s all we need to do to live, take care and provide for our family and they will do the same for us. Kalo represents the circle of ‘ohana of the community working together for the wellbeing of all.

13: In this picture, Uncle Val asked Tue to assist him in the lo’i. This, I believe, was his way of showing us the idea that farming was the community’s responsibility. Everyone helped, everyone pitched in. We work together for the common goal. You bring people into your community, include them as your family and treat them as such. I think this is also a lesson in learning new things. The best way to learn is by experience, or learning from someone else with plenty experience. Hawaiian style of learning, hands on with a master and you as the apprentice. You learn from your elders as your elders have learned from the elders before them.

14: These next few pictures are awesome. I hold them very dear to my heart, and will remember this trip because of this. Like I’ve said before, they emphasize ‘ohana. Over all, I feel this was more than just a field trip for a class to learn more about what we’ve already learned. I thought that this was more of a bonding experience. We worked in the rocks together, we got muddy together, and we went jumping in a stream together. That’s stuff you do with your closest friends or family. I come to class excited to see these people because, and this may just be me but, I feel closer to my classmates having done something like this with them. I love this class. Now more so than ever, and I have this field trip to thank for that.

18: Extra Credit Native Plants

19: Ko/Sugar Cane: The stalks were chewed because of the sugar, to strengthen the jaw and to clean teeth. Also, a group of them acted as a wind break.

20: Wauke/Paper Bulberry: It was pounded to make kapa. The sap acted as a laxative. And if chewed it would strengthen teeth.

21: Coconut/Niu: Many uses for coconut, mainly food. Haupia and various deserts. Trunk: food bowls, hula drums, toy canoes. Leaf: fan, balls, nets, needles. Husk: fuel, cords. Medicinal: coconut water added to medicines and oil used on skin and hair

22: Banana/Mai'a and Ti Bananas were eaten, the trunk was used as a war practice dummy and the leaves covered food in imu. Ti was worn as rain capes, used for fish nets and roofing. Leaves wrapped around meat to cook. Religious meanings, sign of truce and to ward off evil spirits.

23: 'Awa: Root pounded into eremonial drink. Relaxation potion/tranquilizer. 'awa and ginger pounded together and applied on sprains and bruises. Used to treat insomnia.

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  • Title: ka mo'olelo photo journal
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  • Published: about 11 years ago