September/October 2011 S eptemb er- Oc tob er 2011 KE OLA
The Life of the People Na Maka O Ka ‘āina: Broadcasting Hawai‘i’s Reality Canine Professioinals: They Go Where Man Cannot
The Life of the Land A Breadfruit Luncheon “Lefty” the Sea Turtle A Vegan Evolution “Bonsai” Banyans
The Life in Music The Beamer Family Talks Story
The Life as Art www.KeOlaMagazine.com
Herb Kawainui Kāne: Larger Than Life Kahai by Herb Kawainui Kāne
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Kaha‘i, painting by Herb Kawainui Kāne. More paintings at www.HerbKaneStudio.com
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 | www.KeOlaMagazine.com | 9
A Hawaiian legend tells of the chief Kaha’i who brought breadfruit saplings from Tahiti long ago, sailing not less than 2,800 miles each way. Known as ‘ulu, or uru in Polynesia, the breadfruit tree (Moraceae) originated in Asia and was brought to the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia by the early sailing canoes. It was said that Kaha’i planted his breadtruit at Pu’uloa on the southern coast of O‘ahu in the ‘ Ewa district. There is another myth that explains the origin of breadfruit as the gift of the Hawaiian god Kū, who, to save his children from starvation in a time of famine, buried himself alive in the earth near his house. From his head sprang the tree bearing as fruit the “staff of life,” shaped like a man’s head. In further imagery, Kū is said to have told his wife: “My body will be the trunk and branches. My hands will be the leaves ... the heart inside the fruit will be my tongue. Roast the fruit, soak it, beat off the skin, and eat some and feed our children.” A version of this myth is localized at Ka’awaloa in Kona, on the South Kona coast of the island of Hawai‘i.
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