Kamelamela, Katie

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Katie Kamelamela is born and raised on Oahu with family on most of the Hawaiian Islands.

Educational background is in Botany and Hawaiian Studies with influences from Art and Marine Sciences.

Her academic and personal interests are how people cultivate relationships with their environment and community, especially through plants, food and ceremony, which enhance cultural vibrancy.

This engagement and approach stems from understanding potential health trajectories of minority populations when integrated into cash and subsistence economies.

Research location is focused in Oceania but has also made connections in Canada, Mexico and Europe.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Contemporary Hawai'i Non-Timber Forest Plant Gathering Practices
    ( 2019-08) Kamelamela, Katie
    Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) play a critical role for communities in the United States and across the globe. NTFPs include a diversity of plants and plant parts - from fruit, flowers and leaves to bark, and other parts – as well as fungi. NTFPs provide materials for a multitude of uses, including food, medicine, housing, the arts, and ceremonies. In Hawai‘i, NTFPs were used extensively and continue to be important to subsistence practices and/or make major contributions to cash economies. The purpose of this research is to assess in Hawai‘i what contemporary forest plants are wild harvested, why, and by whom, as well as the social, ecological, and economic implications of wild plant harvest. Methods to identify key forest plant species and harvesters include interviews, the first analysis of the Department of Land and Natural Resources plant permit database, surveys of markets and cultural events, including an online structured survey of plant harvesters across the islands. Results illustrate the importance of connection to place and practice, that conservation methods can be utilized while harvesting, that introduced species can play key substitution roles in contemporary practices, and Hawaiians are key harvesters with many others who engage and contribute to Hawai‘i forests. The kuleana, enduring concern and blessing, of forest resiliency sits between harvesters and formal social structures of management. Native species are still being harvested for subsistence, educational and economic purposes. This NTFP research informs future policy decisions affecting the cross section of contemporary cultural, economic, and conservation values of Hawai‘i forests.
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    Learning through hands-on activities: Student Ethnobotany experiments
    (Open Science Network, 2012-09) Kamelamela, Katie
    Make the most of the time that you have with students
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    Archaeological Technician Training Kaho‛olawe Practicum Report
    (Cultural Surveys Hawaii, Inc, 2009-09) Uyeoka, Kelley L. ; Kamelamela, Katie ; Hammatt, Hallet
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    Plants of Kahoolawe: A Bi-lingual Digital Resource
    (Hawaii Conservation Alliance, 2011-08) Kamelamela, Katie ; Thomas, Michael
    Native Hawaiian culture is heavily dependent upon biological resources, primarily plant resources. Much of the biological and traditional knowledge about Kaho‘olawe is available only in English and not presented in the Hawaiian Language, also an official language of the State of Hawaii. The Joseph F. Rock Herbarium, Department of Botany at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has initiated a biological plant database and digital collection of plants of Kahoolawe, supported by historical published literature and related digital plant photographs. Vascular plant species recorded on Kahoolawe were initially identified from literature research and species names were then updated utilizing the International Taxonomic Integrated System. A database model was developed for dissemination of the plants of Kaho‘olawe including presentation of taxonomic plant information, descriptions and digital photographs of herbarium specimen. The English web site interface terms were translated to complete the development of a Hawaiian language interface. Resulting from this project is a functional bi-lingual digital library, evaluation data, a standard methodology for documenting recorded traditional knowledge and increased awareness and use of the library reference collection. This project serves as a reproducible extensible model which other culturally digital biological library reference collections can utilize and will promote a greater awareness and understanding of the Native Hawaiian language and its relationship to a living culture. It is encouraged for institutions that provide support for Indigenous languages across the world to provide resources that people in the local community can utilize for the continuation of cultural perpetuation and preservation of knowledge.
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    Imu o nui mai mauka i kai: Contemporary Native Hawaiian Gathering Practices in Culturally Vibrant Communities
    (Hawaii Conservation Alliance, 2011-08) Kamelamela, Katie
    Communities around the world depend on plants for subsistence and cultural perpetuation. There is limited data available on contemporary gathering practices in indigenous communities worldwide. Factors affecting current gathering practices in Hawaii include ungulates, disease, invasive species, water diversion, urbanization, climate change and national security. This research addresses 1) what (42 of 196) plants Hawaiians commonly gathered and cultivated historically, 2) plants currently gathered in culturally vibrant communities, and 3) plants currently wanted or sold in Hawaii. In an ahupua’a case study it was observed that 60% of plants gathered were in support of imu practices. Imu, or umu, is a traditional food preparation technique utilized across Oceania for over 4,000 years, where staples are baked or steamed in an underground oven, for nutritional or ceremonial purposes. A comparison of gathering practices was conducted utilizing 2 years of participant observations, (20) semi-structured interviews, (130) surveys and online market tracking methodology. The gathering of native species for timber is a historical preference on Hawaii Island for imu and is possible because of continued land clearing in areas such as Puna and Hilo. Practitioners would rather see timber, native and invasive, be put to use rather than rot or used for mulch. Native Hawaiians still depend on plants for subsistence and cultural perpetuation. Understanding what plants are commonly gathered and what species the community would like to gather more of can provide insight for conservation efforts and place based partnerships in Hawaii.