In the wake of ruling chiefs: Forest use on the island of Hawai'i during the time of Kamehameha I

Pang, Benton K.
Abbott, Isabella A
Botanical Sciences (Botany)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
This research examines the lowland lama (Diospyros)/kauila ( Colubrina ) dry forest community subtype that exists from Ka'upulehu to Pu'uwa'awa'a. Known threats to this forest community include ranching, invasive grasses, and fire. However, impacts from Hawaiians living in the area from 1600-1800 have never been identified. This research also attempts to quantify the importance of the trees and shrubs of this dry forest ecosystem to Hawaiian cultural traditions, and to add a new description of Hawaiian ethnobotany. Trees used in the construction of houses and double hull canoes were compared to observations of houses and double hull canoes during the time of Kamehameha I from 1775-1796. The number of trees used during this period may indicate large-scale habitat modifications and extraction by Hawaiians in the North Kona region of Hawai`i Island. This region of North Kona was important to events that took place during the time of King Kamehameha (Pai`ea) from 1775-1796. The area was a location for coastal fishing, and farming of sweet potatoes. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted of the types of woods needed to construct chiefly kauhale (housing compounds) and double hull canoes that were integral to the success of Kamehameha's reign. The species and the sizes of branches and trunks were estimated to determine the amount of native hardwoods necessary to complete the known number of kauhale and war canoes that Kamehameha possessed. The population structure of the lama/kauila lowland dry forest was estimated from a fenced exclosure at Ka'upulehu that has been ungulate free for the past 39 years. The species in this exclosure were compared with botanical inventories of Pu'uwa'awa'a to the north and at the same elevational gradient. The extent of the Lowland Dry Forest in North Kona was estimated through this comparison with particular emphasis to the Lama (Diospyros )/Kauila (Colubrina) Dry Forest type.
Hawaii, Ethnobotany, Forest use, Diospyros, Colubrina, Botany
Pang, Benton K. (2003) In the wake of ruling chiefs: Forest use on the island of Hawai'i during the time of Kamehameha I. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai'i, United States -- Hawaii.
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Botanical Sciences (Botany - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology); no. 4407
Table of Contents
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Local Contexts
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.