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He Moolelo Aina : A Cultural Study of the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve, Districts of Hilo and Puna, Island of Hawaii

By Julie Leialoha

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Book Id: WPLBN0002096917
Format Type: Default
File Size: 2 MB
Reproduction Date: 8/10/2011

Title: He Moolelo Aina : A Cultural Study of the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve, Districts of Hilo and Puna, Island of Hawaii  
Author: Julie Leialoha
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Geography, Anthropology, Recreation, Hawaiian Geography
Collections: Education, Authors Community, Geography, Management, Sociology
Publication Date:
Publisher: Kumu Pono Associates Llc
Member Page: Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center


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Leialoha, J. (n.d.). He Moolelo Aina : A Cultural Study of the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve, Districts of Hilo and Puna, Island of Hawaii. Retrieved from

Waiakea, and Keauhou lands. Indeed, tradition also tells us that the gods and goddesses of these forest lands were very protective of them. In olden times, travel through them was accompanied by prayer, and care. Traditions tell us that many a careless traveler, or collector of resources, found themselves lost in a maze of overgrowth and dense mists as a result of disrespectful and careless actions. In the Hawaiian mind, care for each aspect of nature, the kino lau (myriad body-forms) of the elder life forms, was a way of life. This concept is still expressed by Hawaiian kupuna (elders) through the present day, and passed on in many native families. Also, in this cultural context, anything which damages the native nature of the land, forests, ocean, and kino lau therein, damages the integrity of the whole. Thus caring for, and protecting the land and ocean resources, is a way of life. In the traditional context above referenced, we find that the forests and mountain landscape—the native species, and the intangible components therein—are a part of a sacred Hawaiian landscape. Thus, the landscape itself is a highly valued cultural property. Its protection, and the continued exercise of traditional and customary practices, in a traditional and customary manner, are mandated by native custom, and State and Federal Laws (as those establishing the Waiakea and Olaa Forest Reserves and Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve; and the Endangered Species Act). In this discussion, protection does not mean the exclusion, or extinguishing of traditional and customary practices, it simply means that such practices are done in a manner consistent with cultural subsistence, where each form of native life is treasured and protected. Kupuna express this thought in the words, “Hoohana aku, a hoola aku!” (Use it, and let it live!). In the early 1900s, the Hilo and Olaa forest lands were determined to be of significance, and worthy of protection. In between 1905 to 1928, the lands of the Olaa and Waiakea Forest Reserves, and the neighboring Kilauea Forest Reserve were dedicated to the public interest as unique natural resources. As a part of on-going ranching operations, and the mission of the newly formed forestry programs, hunting for pigs, and in earlier times, for wild cattle, has been practiced on lands of the Puu Makaala NAR. Such hunting interests remain of importance to community members and long- term management goals of the Natural Area Reserve System program. In 1981, the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve, containing approximately 12,106 acres was dedicated as one of the extraordinary ecological systems of the Natural Area Reserve program of the State of Hawaii.


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