In a previous incarnation of the Planning Department website, occasional blog entries were posted. The blog is no longer kept up, but here are some of the entries from the past.
Most commonly known as Coconut Island in Hilo, literally it means ‘healing island.’ Moku meaning island and ola meaning life. Historically, people came to Mokuola for spring water believed to have healing qualities; umbilical cords of infants were hidden here under a flat stone known as Papa-a-Hina [stratum of Hina] to protect them from rats. Another explanation is that Mokuola was a son of `Ulu (see Waiākea ). A sea pool to the right of the landing on the island was called Pua`a-kāheka.
Just outside of Mokuola is a small islet called Kaula`i-nā-iwi, literally ‘dry the bones’ (bones of chiefs were dried here).
Other stories about Mokuola:
Mokuola was also a pu`uhonua or place of refuge. Moku 'Ola and Maka-oku, the piece of mainland opposite the island, formed a place of refuge for defeated warriors and others who needed safety.
Mythology: Maui, the demi-god (son of Hina of Waianuenue, Rainbow Falls) tried to unite the islands. He called a meeting of the chiefs and people and told them of his plan to join the islands together so they could travel throughout the kingdom easily. He told them he needed their help to pull but that they should not look back until the islands were connected. Maui fastened his magic fishhook into Maui Island and the men paddled and pulled with all their might and the island slowly moved behind them. Just as Maui Island was about to be connected to Hawaii Island, one of the chiefs (some say one of Maui's brothers) looked back and broke the spell. The island of Maui slid back to its former position except for the piece fastened to Maui's fishhook. This piece of land is known as Coconut Island or Moku 'Ola.
Growing up in Hilo, I was told that if one was ill and could swim around Kaula`i-nā-iwi, you would be cured of your illness. The Keli`ipio family were the caretakers of Mokuola and at one time the piko of their children were planted under coconut trees on the island. The Keli`ipio family were very strong swimmers and taught many of the children in Hilo to swim through programs at the old NAS pool.
This entry was originally posted on March 2, 2011.
This time, I thought I would take you on a trip around the island. The following song is from Na Mele o Hawai`i Nei, 101 Hawaiian Songs, collected by Samuel H. Elbert and Noelani Mahoe. Other information is either from Place Names of Hawaii, by Pukui, Elbert and Mookini, or the Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert. Another favorite source of mine are my notes from an ethnobotany class taught by Beatrice Krauss that I took. Occasionally, I will insert info from other sources or stories I was told growing up.
Hilo, Hanakahi, i ka ua Kani-lehua
Puna, paia `ala, i ka paia `ala i ka hala.
Ka`ū, i ka makani, i ka makani kuehu lepo
Kona, i ke kai, i ke kai hāwanawana.
Wai-mea, i ka ua, i ka ua Kīpu`upu`u.
Kohala, i ka makani, i ka makani `Āpa`apa`a.
Hāmākua, i ka pali, i ka pali lele koa`e.
Ha`ina ka puana, i ka ua Kani-lehua.
Hilo is both the town of Hilo and the districts of South and North Hilo. In the song, we start in Hilo-Hanakahi which is an area towards Ke-au-kaha. Hanakahi was a famous chief of Hilo. There are typically three references to Hilo which are Hilo-one (sand Hilo), Hilo-Hanakahi and Hilo-pali-ku (Hilo of the upright cliff, east of the Wailuku River). Hilo is thought to be either named for the first night of the new moon or for a Polynesian navigator. The word Hilo has multiple meanings but one of the ones I like is to braid or twist. Hilo is also a type of grass (mau`u-Hilo), as well as a variety of sweet potato. However, be careful with this word as it can also mean gonorrhea: a running sore. Hilo is famous for its Kani-lehua rain (lehua rustling).
Regarding the meaning of Hilo as to braid or twist, I was told that that when Kamehameha landed in Hilo by canoe he instructed one of his followers to hold the canoe so it would not drift away. Later when the follower came to his assistance, Kamehameha was grateful for the help but angry that he had left the canoe unattended as it might have drifted away. The man showed Kamehameha that he had twisted cordage to hold the canoe. Since they were in Hilo, that particular type of braid/twistage was referred to as Hilo. I cannot verify this story easily but it is the story I was told as a child.
We then travel to Puna. This is the name of the district. The word "puna" can mean a spring of water: or coral, lime, plaster, calcium, coral container; section between joints or nodes as of bamboo or sugar cane; cuttle bone as of squid; it can be short for kupuna (elder) as a term of address; or it can be short for punalua (used for spouses sharing a spouse, two husbands or two wives); it can mean to paddle with the hands, as to start a surfboard to catch a wave; it can be the Hawaiian word for spoon. Since the aquifer in Puna has so much water and there are numerous springs, I like to think that the name for Puna probably reflects the number of springs in the area.
In Nā Mele o Hawai`i Nei , the reference to Puna is translated as "Puna, fragrant bowers, fragrant bowers with the scent of hala" (pandanus). The translation from Pukui, in `Ōlelo No`eau is "Puna, with walls fragrant with pandanus blossoms". Puna was once known for its groves of hala and `ōhi`a-lehua trees. According to Pukui, in the olden days people would stick bracts of hala into the thatching of their houses to bring some of the fragrance indoors.
You are probably familiar with lau hala, the pandanus leaves which are used to make hats, mats and other plaited things. Hala has female trees which bear the pineapple looking fruit you are familiar with, however it is the male tree that bears spikes of fragrant pollen bearing flowers, or hinano.
Hīnano bracts were used to plait the finest garments called ahu hīnano. The bracts were dried and torn into very narrow strips before plaiting. These garments have a soft, fine texture and were characterized by marvelous flexibility.
Hīnano also had another use. The entire inflorescence was used as a love charm. Girls would pick them and chase a boy of her choice and catching him, beat him over the head with it. Supposedly the pollen would then coat his head and make the boy fall in love with the girl. The pollen was often collected to be used as an aphrodisiac. It could be placed in a drink and given to someone to drink, often the person drinking might be unaware of what they were drinking.
To praise a well formed person (good looking, nice body, etc.) one would say, niniu Puna, pō i ke `ala, "Puna is dizzy/overwhelming with the fragrance of the hala flower." Perhaps the Mayor's parents were thinking of all these things when they gave him his name, Puna-paia-ala-i-ka-hala.
Soon, I will post Part 2 of this journey, which will leave Puna and continue to Ka'ū.
This entry was originally posted on March 10, 2011.
In last week's blog we visited Hilo and Puna (please see Part 1). You will notice that as we travel around the island we are traveling with our right side towards the mountain and our left towards the sea. This is consistent with the way the makahiki processions were conducted. `Umi-ā-Līloa (famous chief of Waipi`o) was advised by his priests to travel in this fashion. Pukui reported that she was told that when seeking knowledge of the past to travel with her right (strong) arm on the side of the mountains, where strength lies. Another belief is if one journeys for relaxation or to assuage grief, you travel with the sea on your left (weaker side) so that it may wash away your sorrows and tribulations.
From Puna we travel to Ka`ū, which is the name of the district and the desert as well as a peak. I have not found a meaning for its name, but it is considered an ancient name that cognates with Ta`ū in Samoa and Takuu in the Mortlock Islands. There was a stone named Ka`ū-loa that was formerly in Ka`ū between Na`ā-lehu and Wai-`ōhinu that was believed to have been brought from Tahiti.
Ka`ū is known for its dirt scattering wind (wind-makani scattering-kuehu dirt-lepo). Anyone who has travelled down to South Point will truly understand. Because Ka`ū is fairly dry and arid, whenever covering vegetation is lost, the underlying dirt is susceptible to being picked up and blown away. If you go to South Point you will see the ongoing erosion caused by the combination of cars being driven over grass, thus killing the grass and the wind scattering the underlying dirt. You will also see the erosion of cliff faces caused by the wind.
Now we go on to Kona. Kona is the name of the leeward districts of the islands of Hawai`i, Kaua`i, Moloka`i, Ni`ihau and O`ahu. It is also the name of a leeward wind and a star. It is also a possessive in the language meaning his or hers. Literally, Kona means leeward.
Kona has various phrases referring to the ocean associated with it. I ke kai hawanawana means whispering sea. Kai mā`oki`oki is the streaked sea. Kai `ōpua i ka la`i, refers to clouds over the sea in the calm. You will hear these phrases in songs about Kona.
One of better know songs about Kona is Kona Kai `Opua which is translated as “Kona of the mirrored seas” referring to the fact that the puffy white clouds (`ōpua hīnano) can be seen mirrored on the face of the calm seas of Kona. Winds associated with Kona are the `Eka and Kēhau breezes which are noted in the song to bring relief from the sweltering heat of Kona.
Our travels bring us to Waimea known for its Kīpu`upu`u rain and wind. This is known as a chilly rain. This was also the name of a company of Kamehameha’s warriors named after the wind and rain of Waimea. Princess Ka`iulani was drenched in this rain while horsebackriding, got ill and perished.
Waimea is both a land division and the name of a town. There are areas and places on Kaua`i and O`ahu also named Waimea.
Wai-mea is a place name; means reddish water (water with red earth in it); is a Maui name for olomea, a shrub; is the Kaua`i name for a type of māmaki (used for tea) having leaves with reddish veins and stems resembling those of the olomea.
Now we go to Kohala also known for its wind, `Āpa`apa`a. Kohala refers to the land district, the mountains, and an extinct volcano all in the northwest part of our island. I have not found an English meaning for its name.
We finish our journey in Hāmākua. So maybe we went through the valleys, or did we double back through Waimea? Maybe we took a canoe.
Hāmākua is the name of the district, the ditch, and forest reserve in northeast Hawai`i. It is known for its cliffs (pali) and for the birds flying off the cliffs. There are references that the place name is a poetic form for kihi loa or long corner perhaps referring to where it is located. One corner of Hāmākua touches every district of Hawai`i except Puna.
In an interesting side note, Hāmākua-i-ka-paia-`ala-i-ka-hala is the name of a lua fighting hold. Lua is the Hawaiian art of wrestling/hand-to-hand combat.
Well, I’ve run out of steam so that’s all for now and I hope you enjoy!
This entry was originally posted on March 17, 2011.
This entry to our Planning Department Blog is offered by Joaquin Gamiao, our Administrative Assistant known for his cheerful wit and efficient supervision. Here he shares his passion for things Hawaiian from his up-bringing here on the Big Island.
In my attempt to share our cultural values, I will be sending out Hawaiian words on a monthly basis to share or remind us of these values that we all have. Please add, comment or share if you like.
Word for April 2011:
In old Hawai‘i, people would take a long cord or rope and tie ti leaves to it. Then the entire group (many hands) would hold it and form a line in the ocean, holding this rope with the leaves in the water would 'herd' the fish towards the shore. The group would slowly form a circle, to trap the fish. If one person was out of sync, the fish could escape through that gap in the line. Success or failure cause by one person would mean success or failure for the entire group. It was important for people to help each other be successful.
Regardless of what your job entails, you all are a vital part of our collective success...so, thank you for coming to work and doing the great job that you all do. Laulima - many hands working together for everyone's success.
Word for May 2011:
Ho‘ohanohano (Hoh-oh-ha-noh-ha-noh) To conduct oneself with distinction, glorious, magnificent, noble, honored, stately, dignified, grand, distinguished, honorable, honorary, pomp, glory, prestige.
This Hawaiian value, to conduct yourself with honor and dignity, to be honest and forthright and to carry yourself with distinction was taught to us growing up with my kukuwahine. I can still hear her telling us whenever we were visiting relatives, "Noho mali‘e, ame ho‘ohanohano" (sit nicely and behave). Of course, a look that meant she would take appropriate action if we didn't accompanied the instructions - aka 'dirty lickins'.
This value works for us today. By conducting yourself with dignity, treating co-workers and the public with honor can only make for a better work environment. It creates harmony in the work area and naturally results in good customer service. Occasionally, people will come into our work area and behave less than honorably. We respond by maintaining our dignity and showing them how to ho‘ohanohano.
In the traditional mele "Hanohano E" -
Hanohano e a` o Hilo e, I ka ua e kani lehua e (Majestic is Hilo, With the rain that brings lehua)
Hanohano e o Kona e, I ke kai e ma`oki`oki e (Majestic is Kona, With the streaked sea)
Ho‘ohanohano - Conduct yourself with distinction, treat others with honor and dignity....or get lickins!
Word for June 2011:
Ho‘o ma‘ema‘e - (ho-o-mah-eh-mah-eh) To clean, cleanse, purge, disinfect, purify. "Ma‘ema‘e wale no ‘o Hawai‘i" (perfect or flawless is the beauty of Hawai‘i).
Ma‘e ma‘e takes on many meanings in the Hawaiian language. It could mean maintaining spiritual cleanliness, clean house, clean body and mind, pure spirit. It is these various kinds of cleanliness that we all need to maintain in our dealings with people; co-workers and the general public alike. Approaching people with a clean intent of helping or assisting makes for mutual treating of each other with respect and dignity. Maintaining personal cleanliness, prevents yourself and others from getting sick. Ho‘o ma‘e ma‘e helps us all to continually strive for better interaction with others. Ho‘o ma‘e - perfect!
Aloha Kakahiaka e ‘Ohana,
I'm sending this out early because of an incident that happened in Hilo yesterday.
July's word is "Malama" (mah-lah-mah) To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain. Malama is often heard in reference to taking care of Hawaii's natural resources- Malama ka ‘āina. The word also means to honor and protect Malama i kou hale, care for, protect your home; Ho‘o.ma.lama, respect each other's lives; Malama i kou makua kane, honor your father.
Yesterday, in broad day light, in the employees' parking lot fronting Aupuni Center, someone drove up to an employee's vehicle and stole the two front tires off of the employee's truck. People saw this happening and either thought it was the employee's husband changing the tires or just didn't want to get involved. We must all be vigilant and watch out for each other, in the office, in our building, in our community, on our island and in our lives. Malama i ka hale makou - care for, protect our 'house' and each other.
This entry was originally posted on July 5, 2011.
By Kevin Reardon
Kevin is a Planning Dept Zoning Clerk and a member of the Puna Men's Chorus.
Here is his amusing take on one of our Big Island realities. Hey, got 'ukulele?
(to the tune of “Sukiyaki”)
Our home was Minnesota.
We moved here to Hilo to
Escape the winters like those of North Dakota.
When it got dark,
‘Twas not a lark,
But what we heard were all the coquis.
Our friendly neighbor Walmart,
Brought coquis here at the start.
And now the numbers of frogs are way off the chart.
It isn’t right!
No silent nights
‘Cause of the noise of all the coquis.
They may be small
But they all
Are quite loud.
You’d lose a bet
That a jet
Drowns them out.
Though we may want it quiet
Some things we didn’t try yet,
Like citric acid and – hydrogen peroxi-ide.
That is the way,
So people say,
To massacre those noisy coquis.
They’re not so small
As we’ve all
They’ve grown more large
Since that barge
They say that chickens eat them,
But only if they meet them.
They also die when, from the sky, the sun’s rays heat them.
But which is worse,
The greater curse,
The crowing roosters or the coquis?
I’ll take the chirping of the coquis,
The sweet night music…[through clenched teeth] of the coquis.
* *** ********************* *** *
[The Planning Dept is made up of individuals who may have opinions about the coqui which vary from person to person and from time to time... ]
This entry was originally posted on September 8, 2011.
Here are a couple of proven winners for your next pot luck.
Recipe for pot luck item at Corporate Counsel by Myra Ochi
5-6 pieces deboned chicken thighs
1 lb. bacon
½ cup sugar
½ cup shoyu
2 Tbsp. grated ginger
Cut bacon into thirds. Slice chicken into bite size pieces.
Marinate chicken in sugar, shoyu & ginger mixture for about ½ hour.
Place piece of chicken in bacon and roll.
Cover with flour, dip in beaten eggs and cover with panko.
Deep fry on low heat to cook inside first, then outside will slowly brown.
(Note: I used those tight fitting latex gloves so the flour and panko didn’t stick to my fingers. It made it much faster and easier than using tongs or chopsticks during the dipping process.)
KAUA'I KALUA PIG
“From the Vivian Leithead Recipe Collection” (B.J.’s mother).
2 lb. kalua pig
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups (or two large cans)sliced bamboo shoot
7-8 shiitake mushrooms soaked and sliced (save the water when you drain the mushrooms)
1 -2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. shoyu
1-2 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
½ cup mushroom water
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (can substitute black pepper)
optional: 1 tsp. chopped garlic and small piece of ginger or 1 tsp. of bottled grated ginger
Mix sugar, shoyu, mirin, cornstarch, mushroom water, and red pepper in bowl. (add garlic and ginger if desired)
In large wok, cook kalua in some olive or canola oil until heated, add chopped onions and cook slightly. Move kalua and onions to side. In remaining oil, fry bamboo shoots until heated, mix with kalua and onions, move to the side. Repeat with water chestnuts and shiitake. Add the mixed broth and heat until sauce thickens. Serve hot with rice or on top of noodles.
This entry was originally posted on October 27, 2011.
These entries to our Planning Department Blog are offered by Joaquin Gamiao, our Administrative Assistant known for his cheerful wit and efficient supervision. Here he shares his passion for things Hawaiian from his up-bringing here on the Big Island. [Be sure to visit Part 1]
In my continuing attempt to share our cultural values, here is a compilation of the latest few months of Hawaiian words that remind us of these values that we all should embody. Please add, comment, or share if you like.
Word for August, 2011
‘Olu‘olu: (ooh-loo-ooh-loo): pleasant, nice, amiable, satisfied, contented, happy, affable, agreeable, congenial, cordial, gracious, please.
Hawai‘i is known the world over as the land of Aloha, a place where people are welcoming and pleasant. In truth, the spirit of Aloha comes from a warm smile and treating others with genuine care. It means treating everyone that you come into contact with the same way you would like to be treated. Start your day with a random act of ‘olu‘olu and you'll be surprised how it makes your whole day! E hō‘olu‘olu mai i kō ʻoukou mau pu‘uwai a me na po‘e o Hawai‘i. Be pleasant and bring comfort to your heart and others. ‘Olu‘olu!
Word for September, 2011
‘Ohana (oh-hah-nah): ‘Ohana is defined as a group of both closely and distantly related people (literally family), who share nearly everything, from land and food to children and status. Sharing is central to this value since it prevents individual decline.
Native Hawaiians define themselves by their relationships to each other, their ancestors and their land. These bonds of interconnectedness are nurtured and honored. In Hawaiian society, one is expected to know and understand what it means to be a contributing member of the family/team/workplace/community. Everyone has a responsibility to use their talents to the benefit of the entire ‘ohana or family. By fulfilling our duties to the ohana and recognizing the accomplishments of others, we increase our mana or spirituality and the success of the group. The entire Planning Department having members that all contribute to our collective success qualifies as a true ‘Ohana. Just like all families, there will be misunderstandings and sometimes disagreements. But we work through it, forgive and help each other in keeping the entire unit healthy and strong. This healing process is call Ho‘o pono pono…but that’s for another installment of ‘Olelo. Have a super month - Hu‘i aloha e ‘ohana!
Word for October, 2011
Akahai (ah-kah-hai): Gentle, modest, unassuming, unpretentious, unobtrusive.
A gentleness permeates Hawaiian culture; our language, our music, our dance (auwana) and the general demeanor of Hawai‘i’s people. This value works in our everyday dealings with people in your personal life, co-workers and customers. Many pidgin phrases such as “hang loose,” “take it easy,” “bum by pau,” and “no sweat,” among others, lends itself to this gentle attitude of the Hawaiian lifestyle(s). Being gentle is something that most people think that they don’t have the time to do. It’s easier to just barrel through life without thinking too hard about anything, often unknowingly treating others abrasively. Be gentle with yourself and it will manifest itself in your dealings with others, at home and at work. Pōmaika‘i ka po‘e akahai no Hawai‘i – Blessed are the gentle people of Hawai‘i.
Word for November,2011
Mahalo pronounced: mah-hah-low. (No diacritical marks, with emphasis placed on the second syllable). Thanks, gratitude; to thank. Mahalo nui loa, thanks [you] very much.
In Hawaiian history, beginning in late October or early November when the Pleiades constellation was first observed rising above the horizon at sunset, the Makahiki period began and continued for four months. During this season, Hawaiians gave ritualized thanks for the abundance of the earth and called upon the gods to provide rain and prosperity in the future. This was the time to celebrate harvest and the return of Lono, the Hawaiian god associated with fruitfulness and fertility of the earth. Makahiki rituals included pageantry, sports, feasting, dancing, providing gifts to the Ali‘i, making offerings to the gods and having a good time. Many religious ceremonies happened during this period; it might be thought of as the equivalent of our modern Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year traditions. Primarily, it’s a time to reflect on what you were blessed with, give thanks and hope for future prosperity.
As we head into the Holiday (Makahiki) season, it’s appropriate that we start it with Thanksgiving; a chance to reflect and be thankful for our livelihood, our families, our homes, our friends and co-workers. To the Planning ‘Ohana, for your support, hard work and being who you are, Mahalo nui loa!
This entry was originally posted on November 16, 2011.
These entries to our Planning Department Blog are offered by Joaquin Gamiao, our Administrative Assistant known for his cheerful wit and efficient supervision. Here he shares his passion for things Hawaiian from his up-bringing here on the Big Island. [Be sure to visit Part 1 and Part 2]
In my continuing attempt to share our cultural values, here is a compilation of the latest few months of Hawaiian words that remind us of these values that we all should embody. Please add, comment, or share if you like.
Word for December, 2011
Aloha (ah-low-ha): This often misunderstood and misused word is my choice for the final Olelo of 2011. Aloha is the overarching value for Hawaiians.
Aunty Pilahi Paki is remembered by many as the greatest proponent of “aloha.” She was a kumu (teacher) to many who now lead our community. Aloha, to Aunty Pilahi was the essence of all that there is. There are a number of definitions but some say it is the “alo” (face to face, in the presence of) and the “ha”, (the breath of life, or the divine spirit); “In presence of the divine spirit.”
“Aloha is not just a greeting, it is a way of life. It connects us to each other and everything that exists.” ~ Pono Shim
Aloha holds the traits of character that express the charm, warmth, and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians. Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation, it means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. It is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
“Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.” ~Queen Lili‘uokalani
During this sacred Holiday Season, I wish you all a Mele Kalikimaka Meka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year). May the New Year keep you ‘in the presence of the divine spirit.’ Aloha!
Word for January, 2012
Ho‘o mao popo (ho-oh-mah-oh-po-po): To understand, make plain or clear, tell clearly, cause to understand, pay attention in order to understand; to certify, inform, remember, recollect, recall, think about, remind, believe in, realize, ascertain, take care of, recognize, discover.
The pre-missionary Hawaiians did not have a written language. The history of Hawai‘i and her people, their art forms, music, and crafts were perpetuated through oral presentation. To insure that the correct information was taught to the next generation, na kumu (teachers) or na kupuna (elders) painstakingly taught their haumana (students) the ways of the ancients. By carefully and repetitiously working to make them understand, it would insure that the lesson would be perpetuated into future generations.
As we take on a new year, ho‘o mao popo works its value in several ways within our lives. Disputes usually happen because of a failure to make others understand. Endeavoring to listen, learn and understand each other at work and at home can keep the peace and expand our appreciation for each other. I remember my kukuwahine telling us, “nānā kou maka a pa‘a kou waha” (open your eyes and close your mouth) to learn.
In the public arena, the Planning Department staff should work with the kupuna or long time residents of a land area (ahu pua‘a) to ho‘o mao popo. By understanding the land and its cultural history, I believe our planning efforts will be met with less resistance. This same value is the basics for providing excellent service to our external and internal customers.
Seek, listen, understand, tell clearly and cause others to understand - ho‘o mao popo, will help to make a Happy and Peaceful 2012! Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!
Word for February, 2012
Ho‘o ponopono (hoh-oh-poh-noh-poh-noh): Mental cleansing; family conferences in which relationships were set right (ho‘o ponopono) through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness. Ho‘o – to make, to do, to cause, to bring about; Pono – balance, goodness, correctness, perfect order, righteousness.
In Nana I Ke Kumu (Pukui, Haertig, Lee), Ho‘o ponopono is referred to as an ancient Hawaiian practice common in Polynesian culture which believed that imbalances, like errors, hurts, guilt or anger, can cause physical symptoms. Keeping the imbalance secret (holding it in) can give power to the physical symptoms. The symptoms can affect a person directly and/or could present it in a family member or close associate. Ho‘o ponopono was the “cure” for these imbalances.
Often, these conflicts are based on misinformation that is perpetuated by hau wala‘au or gossip. Ho‘o ponopono was the venue used to address or correct this misinformation, calmly discussing perceptions or misperceptions, to bring balance back into the family/group/society. In a Hawaiian society, each person is responsible for a specific job in support of the success of the society. If there is a conflict between members of the society, the entire society would be put at risk. It is understood that all things are connected and that an imbalance in one causes imbalance in all. In order to ensure the success of the society, ceremonies and rituals were put in place to maintain the balance necessary to survive…Ho‘o ponopono!
This entry was originally posted on February 7, 2012.
Hawai‘i, the island, is often referred to as "The Big Island" because it is clearly the largest in land mass of the eight major islands that, together, are officially The State of Hawai‘i. But, just how big is big? In response to that question, here is a graphic that shows "how."
The 2010 Census is in. Here are few of the findings it reveals:
Land Area of Island of Hawai'i is approximately 4,028 square miles.
Land Area of the other seven islands combined is approx. 2,395 square miles.
Population is another matter!
Honolulu County (Island of O‘ahu), population is 953,207
Hawai‘i County (Island of Hawai‘i), pop. 185,079
Maui County (Islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and Lanā‘i), pop. 154,834
Kaua‘i County (Islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau), pop. 67,091
Also, Kalawao County on Moloka‘i, is the smallest county in the U.S. and contains the former leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa, pop. 90
Figures are from U.S. Census Bureau, State & County QuickFacts (2010).
This entry was originally posted on March 23, 2012.
Downtown Hilo has seen better days. And worse, too. One way the Planning Department seeks solutions for revitalizing businesses and improving Community interaction on the Windward side is through public meetings where we share and discuss ideas. These meetings have produced websites that are vital resources for our Community. The Internet makes participation possible to many who cannot attend meetings in person.
The first website is EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025. This is the County website for a long-term planning effort that was initiated in 2005 with a Community-Based Vision and Living Action Plan for Downtown Hilo. Most of the Planning Department efforts for Downtown Hilo refer to this Plan for guidance and inspiration. Please check out all the documents for EDH2025.
Initially, a second website was available as an off-shoot of the first in the sense it took ideas generated by the EDH2025 efforts and provided a readily accessible 24/7 portal for sharing and commenting on actionable ideas provided by local stakeholders (that’s anyone living in or around the downtown area or with a vested or professional interest). The Our Downtown Hilo website has captured local stakeholder’s project ideas along with comments from the general public for all of the proposed projects.
The captured ideas are anticipated as doable projects for the Downtown area and range over a very broad realm of subjects, reflecting the diverse thoughts and dreams of the people who use the Downtown area. The object is positive, productive dialog leading to action for the good of Downtown Hilo, its citizens and businesses. Some of the most popular projects, so far, have been Let’s Grow Hilo, the Hilo Bayfront Trails project, creating a Kaipalaoa Landing Park, and a plan to Revitalize Kalākaua Park.
You are encouraged to visit these websites and support these projects that represent the ideals and vision of the EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 Plan and Downtown Hilo’s citizens and businesses. It is your ideas and your energy that makes things happen where you live.
This entry was originally posted on July 27, 2012.
The most important unit in the ancient Hawaiian system of land division was the ahupua‘a. Shaped by island geography, each ahupua‘a was a pie-shaped area of land running from the uplands to the sea, following the natural boundaries of the watershed.
Each ahupua‘a contained the resources the human community needed; salt and ocean resources, taro or sweet potato farmed on the fertile mid-lands, to koa and other trees growing in the mountain areas. The coastal boundaries were marked by an ahu, a stone foundation supporting a carved image of a pua‘a, or pig—symbolizing the payments made to the high chief of the island by the lesser chiefs or konohiki, in charge of each ahupua‘a. The ahupua‘a provided the resources to sustain a community; access to upland forest timber, lowlands for growing crops, ﬁshing and gathering along the coast.
Although there was no private ownership of property, land tenure of the maka‘ainana (commoners) was stable. They paid weekly labor taxes and annual taxes to the konohiki, or local overseer, who collected goods to support the chief and his court. The konohiki supervised communal labor within the ahupua‘a and also regulated land, water and ocean use.
Stewardship of the land and its resources was formalized through the kapu system. The kapu administered and enforced by konohiki and kahuna, or priests - placed restrictions on fishing certain species during specific seasons, on gathering and replacing certain plants, and on many aspects of social interaction as well. In this way, the community maintained a sustainable lifestyle.
Through sharing resources and constantly working within the rhythms of their natural environment, Hawaiians enjoyed abundance and a quality lifestyle with leisure time for recreation during the harvest season of the year. This lifestyle also encouraged a high level of artistic achievement. Many crafts, including Hawaiian kapa and featherwork, were the finest in the Pacific. Hawaiians devoted themselves to competitive sport and martial arts as well as expression through dance and chant, creating rich traditions that continue today.
This traditional system ended in 1848 when Kamehameha III was persuaded by foreigners to institute the Great Mahele (division), which allowed land to be bought and sold. In modern times, ahupua‘a holds both the traditional meaning and a broader one of environmentally responsible land use.
Source: Oren Schlieman, HawaiiHistory.org
This entry was originally published on October 16, 2012.