HANA LOʻI: BUILDING AN ECOLOGY OF ʻŌIWI THOUGHT AN APPROACH TO CULTURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT EXPLORING THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL ECOLOGY OF LOʻI SYSTEMS THROUGH AKUA, KINOLAU, AND ʻĀINA

Date
2021
Authors
Lee-Agcaoili, Renee Kalena K.
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Drexel, April A.H.
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Hawaiian Studies
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Ecology, the study of relations between living organisms and their surrounding environment is the composition for which this research study encompasses. The thesis topic presented in this narrative, draws attention to the ecology of ideas inspired by the ecological system of wet-land taro cultivation, referred to as loʻi kalo. Speaking primarily to an ʻŌiwi point of view, the ecology of ideas foregrounds the basis of this work in an exploratory study to understand how and in what ways we connect to and rationalize our unique sensibility to the natural world. This thesis uses the metaphor of loʻi as a framework for understanding a Hawaiian worldview. It emphasizes the epistemological bases of Hawaiian identity and ancestral intellect as it relates to the holism of environmental well-being and human experience. This study engages its readers in a process that introduces the concept of Hawaiian deities and their elemental manifestations eminent in loʻi kalo and highlights the agency these akua and their kinolau have within the functionality of loʻi and the broader ecosystem. This study layers two lenses: (1) an environmental understanding of loʻi and (2) an honoring of cultural beliefs and ancestral consciousness. These layered lenses construct a holistic understanding into ‘Ōiwi thought that draws parallels between Hawaiian thought systems and that of loʻi. This thesis offers an approach for cultivating best practices to restore and maintain ʻāina in its cultural integrity. It is consistent with ʻŌiwi philosophy in cooperation with the functionality of the natural environment from which our cultural practices stem. This approach is culturally grounded and encourages a heightened competency of our natural surroundings and relationship to them. The symbol of loʻi presented in this thesis narrative serves as a microcosm of the kind of world that can be achieved, should we try.
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Environmental philosophy, Environmental management, Natural resource management, ecology, kinolau, loʻi kalo, taro, ʻāina, ʻōiwi
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101 pages
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