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Ike Ulana Lau Hala

Ike Ulana Lau Hala: The Vitality and Vibrancy of Lau Hala Weaving Traditions in Hawaii

Lia O’Neill M. A. Keawe
Marsha MacDowell
C. Kurt Dewhurst
  • Book Info
    Ike Ulana Lau Hala
    Book Description:

    The weaving of lau hala represents a living tradition borne on the great arc of Pacific voyaging history. This thriving tradition is made immediate by masters of the art who transmit their knowledge to those who are similarly devoted to, and delighted by, the smoothness, softness, and that particular warm fragrance of a woven lau hala treasure. The third volume in the Hawaiʻinuiākea series, ʻIke Ulana Lau Hala is an intriguing collection of articles and images about the Hawaiian tradition of ulana lau hala: the weaving, by hand, of dried Pandanus tectorius leaves. ʻIke Ulana Lau Hala considers the humble hala leaf through several, very different lenses: an analysis of lau hala items that occur in historic photographs from the Bishop Museum collections; the ecological history on hala in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific including serious challenges to its survival and strategies to prevent its extinction; perspectives–in Hawaiian–of a native speaker from Niʻihau on master weavers and the relationship between teacher and learner; a review–also in Hawaiian– of references to lau hala in poetical sayings and idioms; a survey of lau hala in Hawaiian cultural heritage and the documentation project underway to share the art with a broader audience; and a conversation with a master artisan known for his distinct and intricate construction of the lei hala. Rich with imagery, this extraordinary volume will guide the reader to a better understanding of the cultural scope and importance of lau hala, fostering an appreciation of the level of excellence to which the art of ulana lau hala has risen under the guidance of masters who continue to steer the Hawaiian form of the tradition into the future. Contributors include: Lia Keawe, Marsha MacDowell, Kurt Dewhurst, Marques Marzan, Jenna Robinson, Betty Kam, Annette Kuʻuipolani Wong, Kekeha Solis, Timothy Gallaher, and Kaiwipuni Lipe with Uncle Roy Benham. The volume is co-edited by Keawe, MacDowell, and Dewhurst.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-4771-5
    Subjects: Anthropology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. From the Dean
    (pp. ix-x)
    Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham
  4. Editors’ Note
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Lia O’Neill M. A. Keawe, Marsha MacDowell and C. Kurt Dewhurst
  5. A Note on the Cover Art
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Marques Hanalei Marzan
  6. Ka Mele No Ka Ulu Lauhala O Kona
    (pp. 1-1)
    Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee
  7. Aloha Ka Lau Pūhala
    (pp. 2-3)
    Katherine Maunakea
  8. Ka Ulana Kaulana
    (pp. 4-11)
    R. Kekeha Solis

    As important as continuing the tradition of ulana lau hala (weaving lau hala) is the tradition of using ‘ōlelo no‘eau (wise sayings or proverbs) of our kūpuna. This chapter presents the brilliance of kūpuna in weaving words. It is my great hope that readers will be inspired to continue this tradition as well.

    Ke no‘ono‘o a‘e i ke ‘ano ulana ‘ana i hele a kaulana ma kēia pae ‘āina a puni, ‘o ia nō paha ka ulana ‘ana i ka moena pāwehe o Ni‘ihau, ka ulana ‘ana ho‘i me ka makaloa. Mai kahiko mai nō ia ‘ano ulana ‘ana. A...

  9. ‘Ike Pāpale: Lau Hala in Hawaiian Cultural Heritage
    (pp. 12-40)
    Marsha MacDowell, C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marques Hanalei Marzan

    Hula, poi, aloha shirts, the Hawaiian Shaka, quilts, mu‘umu‘u, slack key guitar and ‘ukulele music, surfboards, and lū‘au are well known around the world as contemporary symbols of Hawai‘i’s local culture. Lau hala is less known outside of Hawai‘i, but among many Native Hawaiians, lau hala is an important symbol of Hawaiian identity.² Photographic records, oral histories and recordings, and the oral transmission of knowledge document that hala is a plant that is deeply entwined in the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. The art of lau hala—the weaving—turning the lau (leaves) of the hala (pandanus palm)...

  10. Harvesting Lau Hala in The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum’s Photograph Collection
    (pp. 41-62)
    Betty Lou Kam

    Information about lau hala can be found in so many places in Hawai‘i—in the native voices of mele and oli, in the expressive storytelling of hula, in the treasured lore relating to fishing, house hold furnishing, and personal adornment, and in many other traditions. Data about lau hala can also be found in both text and visual documents in the collections of public and private museums, libraries, and archives throughout the islands and, indeed, around the world. One of those repositories is The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum’s historical photograph collection of “a million images.” The collection represents the work...

  11. He Momi Waiwai Ko Kākou Mau Kūpuna
    (pp. 63-81)
    Annette Ku‘uipolani Wong

    This chapter explores the life of Elizabeth Maluihi Lee, a living trea sure and master lau hala weaver from Kona, Hawai‘i. She tells how she has continued to share her knowledge of the art of lau hala weaving with the community throughout her life. As the founder and president of the Ka Ulu Lauhala o Kona weaving organization, she explains how its annual conference was established and how this event has welcomed other master weavers to share their knowledge of lau hala weaving with the community to perpetuate this art form for current and future generations. The author also discusses...

  12. Ka Ulana Moena Pāwehe
    (pp. 82-93)
    Lia O’Neill M. A. Keawe

    For as long as I can remember, I have admired ulana lau hala.¹ So in the fall of 2011, I did not hesitate to accept an invitation to conduct research on this traditional and customary art form. The invitation was part of an initiative within Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) called Engaging Communities in Education.² As a land, sea, and space-grant institution, “the University has a unique responsibility to support, sustain, and expand our engagement with all our communities, and has a particular responsibility to Native Hawaiian communities.”³ Conducting research on ulana...

  13. The Past and Future of Hala (Pandanus tectorius) in Hawai‘i
    (pp. 94-112)
    Timothy Gallaher

    Hala or pūhala is among the most important plants in the ecology and history of Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. Once a major native component of the coastal and lowland areas of Hawai‘i, hala forests have been nearly eliminated by human activity, and with them valuable ecological services may have been lost. Hala has also had a profound effect on the people of Oceania. Their use of lau hala sails enabled them to move beyond the reef and become an oceanvoyaging people capable of exploring the vastness of the Pacific. In addition, every part of this tree has uses that...

  14. A Conversation with Uncle Roy L. Benham
    (pp. 113-124)
    Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Lipe

    E ka mea heluhelu, aloha nui kāua! For each volume of the Hawai‘inuiākea monograph series, I have had the privilege of talking story with an amazing contributing member of our community. This time, I had the honor of learning with Uncle Roy Benham, kūpuna and well- known maker of lei hala. It is most appropriate to highlight his mo‘olelo in this edition focused on hala because of the rare cut he makes on the hala keys, which he continues today at the young age of eighty-nine! We see his beautiful lei adorning folks around the island and yet so few...

  15. The Lauhala Mat
    (pp. 125-128)
    Jenna Robinson

    I wrote and presented this piece at the spring 2012 graduation ceremony at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The weaving of a lauhala mat reflects the sum of my experiences as a university student. I believe that all of us are unique leaves, growing and weaving together. With each day we become more intertwined, more invested in each other’s future even as our collective purpose as a community is apparent. Our individual talents and beauty contribute to the strength of the mat that in turn supports us as individuals. I also wanted this poem to highlight the beauty of...

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 129-132)
  17. .Back Matter
    (pp. 133-139)