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A Day in True Paradise

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S: A True Day in Paradise By: Marc Fagaragan KMH 2009

FC: A Day in True Paradise Ahupua'a Photo Journal Marc Fagaragan KMH 2009

1: Dedicated to/ special thanks to Kumu Soares. Without you and your innovated, and wonderful teaching, the opportunity to discover the true meaning of malama 'aina, would not have been made possible. Thank you.

3: This picture is of the actual loko i'a or fishpond from Paepae 'O He'eia. This photo shows the ocean, the water in the pond itself, and the wall that surrounds the pond from the ocean water. I chose this photo to represent my experience because it is a picture of one of the few existing fishponds, which is about 600-800 years old, in these islands that may still be used and is being rebuilt. This demonstrates how efficient and effective the Native Hawaiians were in there methods of managing their natural resources to ensure prosperity for them selves and future generations. This specific type is called a loko kuapa, a fishpond that embraces the ocean. Fishponds were not specified by the water, but by the wall that surrounds it. As seen through the photo, the wall separates the pond from the ocean. Because of this, the water in the pond is brackish water, a mixture of salt and fresh water. Fishponds were fertile places to live because the ecology did not change. The specific type of fish that was usually cultivated in loko i'a was the mullet.

4: This picture is of a section of the actual wall of the pond of the loko i'a from Paepae 'O He'eia. This particular picture shows the two things that composed the wall, large rocks and coral. I chose this photo to represent my experience because the wall and how it was constructed demonstrates how important the loko kuapa was to several native Hawaiian families. The moral value portrayed through the wall is one of 'Ohana. This wall was built not by one family, but by several families that helped contribute. The large rocks that exist around the pond were not pre-existing near the pond, but were carried down one by one from the high mountain peaks, in which all the families that used the pond helped. The wall also shows the ingenious of the native Hawaiians in the using of coral. They used coral not only because there was an abundance of them, but also because they knew that they were living organisms and therefore are able to expand and become a strong foundation. This combination of coral and rock produces a very strong structure and thus this was one of the several ways that they ensured prosperity for the future, by using wisely the natural resources around them.

6: This is a picture of the makaha or gate of the loko i'a from Paepae 'O He'eia. As seen through this picture the makaha, were the actual gates (other side of gate not shown) in which the native Hawaiians ingeniously utilized in order to catch fish and to keep the pond cultivated.

7: I chose this photo to represent my experience because it was just one of the many things that demonstrated how intelligent the native Hawaiians were in their methods of effectively utilizing the fishpond to the full extent. This section of the trip opened my eyes to what type of society the natives lived in. From seeing this invention, I feel a closer connection and a better understanding to what type of people they were, resourceful and knowledgeable of their natural surroundings. The makaha served two purposes. They provided an area to capture fish, and trapped fish at high tide. The natives were knowledgeable of the movement of two general types of fish, young and adult.They observed that fish always swam against the tide. The young fish were attracted to the gates because of the nutrients and they remained in the loko i'a for protection from predators in the ocean, ensuring their would be fish in pond. As they grow older and want to spawn, they traveled and tried to exit through the makaha gates but were trapped and caught usually by net or hand to be eaten.

8: This picture was taken upon arrival at Uncle Danny Bishop's Lo'i in Waiahole. A few taro patches are seen and a taro patch in the making. I chose this photo to represent my experience because at first of sight of the Lo'i, all I could think about was how these patches were in abundance in old Hawaii, and now, because of modernization, there are only a few. At first glance at the Lo'i, and imagining how there were several and much larger ones in the past, made me realize and gain a better understanding to how important the land was to the natives, and how they used their natural resources to cultivate and ensure prosperity. From this sight I truly now feel that everyone must care for the land and malama 'aina. If we do so and live in harmony, than the peoples would be in less of a struggle for resources, like the Hawaiians. They were tied to the land because they could trace their genealogies, and it was their domain, so they felt the need to care for it. The fertility of a lo'i was maintained by crop rotation and enriched with organic matter, unlike genetic mutation of today's foods.

10: This is a picture taken at Waiahole. Although not completely visible, the main aspect of the photo is the brown area behind the kalo patch. This brown area is what I like to call, the "mud pit." It is the makings of a Lo'i. This is the early stage of a Lo'i, which began as mud pits/piles, and later managed in order for kalo to cultivate.

11: Hawaiians would play games and walk in the mud to plow the soil and enrich it, smashing down any weeds that would prohibit growth. Playing in the mud was not only the most exciting part of the trip, but also the activities played showed me that the native Hawaiians knew how to work and use their natural resources effectively, and have fun while doing so. The lo'i was not only used for means of cultivating kalo but also for the natives to enjoy themselves during the day, and still be efficient at the same time. Although these games were used to enrich the soil, all other games were only played during the Makahiki season. This was an annual four month harvesting season only dedicated to Lono. It went from mid-October to mid-February in which all worked stopped and there were no wars of religious services. They used the Lo'i as a loop hole to have fun and be efficient during the other times of the year.

12: This is a picture of a section of an ahupua'a at Waiahole. It shoes several of the different sections that made up a typical Ahupua'a. In this particular picture shown are mountain peaks, or waoaku, deep forest, or wao lipo, grass and savanna, waoapaa, and wao kanaka. This sight opened my eyes to how much land that the native Hawaiians had and utilized in order to become blossoming societies, for not only themselves but also future generations. When seeing this sight I also recall visualizing how prosperous and green the land used to be and how it is not anymore. Non-food resources found in an ahupua'a were wai, or water, plants to catch fish and make cloth, and trees for canoe and lumber. For preservation not everyone was allowed to enter a certain section of an ahupua'a. Waoaka was reserved for the gods, wao lipo, hunters, waoapaa and wao kanaka were reserved for general human living.

13: Other sections of a typical ahupua'a include kaakai, the beach and sand, kohola, the reef used for koa or shallow fishing, kahenalu, used for surfing, and kaipohonu, the deep sea area. Various ahupuaa grew different crops and were wither in dry or wet land.

15: This picture was taken from paepae 'O He'eia. It is of two of my fellow classmates working on a service project that was part of the trip, of loading large rocks and coral into trucks to be placed to help rebuild the wall of the loko i'a. I chose this photo to represent my experience because I felt like a native Hawaiian, as it gave me a better understanding to how the wall was built. I also thought that it was unique part of the trip because instead of just listening to speakers, we actually did some hands on work to gain a better connection and appreciation for the native Hawaiians, as we experienced malama 'aina first handedly. As stated before, the wall was built by several families as they passed down the rocks one by one from the mountaintops and intelligently used coral to create a strong structure. It felt very good to give back and rebuild a pond that fed and nourished, and ensured prosperity for several generations. I would love to do this again.

16: This is an up-close view of one of the many taro patches at Uncle Danny Bishop's Lo'i in Waiahole. I chose this photo to represent my experience because the feelings that I felt as I took the picture sums up my emotions during this trip. I felt happiness, amazement, a better understanding of Hawaiian culture, awe, but most importantly, I felt a better connection to the land and its importance to use. There are more than 300 varieties of kalo, in which some were known to make great poi to nourish Hawaiians. To create a patch a new pond was flooded with water, the soil tramples with their feet until the bottom was firm and then the huli was planted. The stems would protrude above the water when planted and rootlets grow. It takes about less or more than a year for kalo to grow to maturity. Dry land taro are grown in clearings in the lower forests where there is sufficient rainfall. The taro plant is an important part of mythology and religion, in which prayers were often made to the gods Kane and Lono during harvesting.

18: This is me with an olena plant. The pounded root is mixed with seawater in a solution, which is then sprinkled in areas where a kapu is needed to be removed. Juices from the root is dropped into ears to relieve ache, and into or inhaled through nostrils to relieve sinus problems. A yellow dye is formed from the raw root, or a orange dye from a steamed one.

19: In this photo my friends and I are next to an 'Ohe or bamboo. Long bamboo poles are used for fishing rods and rafters in the frame of houses. Short sections of bamboo may be used as musical instruments, such as split rattles, nose flutes, and stamping pipes. They may also be used as knives.

21: This is my friend and I with a Kukui tree. The inner bark is pounded and used for making a stain for fish nets and kapa. The gum is chewed and dissolved in water for a coating on kapa. The sap from a nut is used to keep fungus from going in a baby's mouth and used as a seal for wounds. The shells of the nuts are used to construct leis and the nut may be eaten, or crushed and blown over the surface of the ocean to increase visibility. Oil from roasted nuts may be used to provide light, in which soot from the nuts may be used for tattooing, painting canoes, or dying. Raw nuts may also be used as a laxative.

22: In this picture my friends and I are with a niu or Coconut tree. The trunk is used for bowls, hula, temple drums, and canoes. They heavy base was used to pond and firm taro pond walls, and to slide down hills. The leaflets were used as fans, and midribs, brooms, shrimp snares, needles for lei making and games. The husk is used for fuel or is braided. Liquids were strained through the cloth-like fiber to make medicine. Several remedies used coconut water. The flesh of the nut was eaten and its oils used for hair.

24: This is my friends and I next to a Mai'a tree or banana tree. It is primarily used for eating, and to enhance the flavor of certain medicines. The juice from the flower buds | were used as treatment for thrush and other herb mixtures. Fibers were also found in the trunk, in some ceremonies the banana was a substitute for a body, and the leaves may be used for cooking.

25: This is my friends and I with a Ki/La 'i plant. This plant was planted around dwellings to ward off evil, pieces of it may be used as charms and priests carried a stalk of this into battle to signal truce. This also provided netting for rain capes and sandals. The leaves relieved headaches, purified areas, and wrap lau-lau.

26: Kilolani Mitchell, Donald D. Resource Units in Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1992. http://www.nihilanikaui.com/interior/taro.jpg http://veimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/16470/image05292003_lrgjpg.

27: Thanks again Kumu. Without you none of this would have been possible.

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  • By: Marc F.
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  • Title: A Day in True Paradise
  • Ahupua'a Photo Journal
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  • Published: almost 10 years ago