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Sustainable Cultures


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by Makana Tavares

Published in: Environment
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Sustainable Cultures

  1. 1. Na Kahua o Ko Kakou Mau Mo`omeheu “The Foundations of Our Cultures”
  2. 2. Sustaining Native Cultures Begins with honoring and continuing traditionalcustoms: language, rituals, social class systems, interest in ancestry. Language is the basis for maintaining links to the past, oral tradition was(and remains today) the primary form of record for many Native thinking provides a unique perspective on the indigenous cultures. world and its interrelationships, as well as the sustainable development of our islands.
  3. 3. Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance Resurgence/revitalization began in the 1960sMerrie Monarch Festival, Traditional Hawaiian Music, Polynesian Voyaging SocietyOffice of Hawaiian Affairsestablished to give Hawaiians Socialpolitical representation. improvement; shift from tourism to an emphasis on restoring cultural practices and identity.
  4. 4. Hawaiian Culture Today• `Olelo Hawai`i is our official language since 1978.• Oratorical revitalization is underway, with rising interest in speaking the mother tongue of the islands.• Kalo farmers (and other traditional agriculture practitioners) supply Hawaiian Culture Today Hawai`i and its people with sustenance cultivated through home-grown farming methods.• There is a renewed pride in Hawai`i’s culture from both an internal and external perspective; culture is less overshadowed by the tourist industry, even integrated into it.
  5. 5. Products of Cultural Sustainability• Traditional Arts and Crafts: Lei, Kaula, Musical instruments, Woodwork, Lauhala – use of resources to produce culturally grounded art and utilitarian tools.• Wayfinding/Navigation: Polynesian voyagers employ traditional teachings (such as reading the stars) to traverse the seas- travel without modern instruments.• Traditional Agriculture/Aquaculture: Lo`i, Mala `Ai, Loko I`a.• Holistic Hawaiian Education: Aha Punana Leo, Na Lei Na`auao (Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance), Kamehameha Schools- educating Hawai`i’s children about their rich cultural history in conjunction with modern society.• Preservation of Cultural Sites: Restoring heiau, educating the public about historical significance of wahi pana.• Conservation of Native Species: Forest reserves, bird sanctuaries, propagation of native plants, eradication of non-native species.
  6. 6. Positive Effects of Cultural SustainabilitySustenance of culture yields universal results:• Return to a Hawaiian way of thought fosters an interest in malama `aina.• He ali`i ka `aina he kaua ke kanaka (The land is chief; man its servant.)• A basis for shifting the focus of cultural responsibility; sustainability begins as a mindset – a drive to draw upon engrained knowledge as a means of amending modern transgression from native culture and enacting valued ancestral knowledge.
  7. 7. Positive Consequences of Cultural Sustainability• Find new solutions to modern issues by looking to the past and internalizing the actions of our ancestors.• Contemporary applications of ancient practice: lo`i/auwai (irrigation) system, replanting native understory to decrease erosion/runoff, responsible hunting/gathering, employing available elemental resources (wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, etc.)
  8. 8. Values of Cultural Sustainability Through their flourish, native By seizing the opportunity to learn cultures are a testament to the about our collective heritage we are keenness of indigenous people in not only enlivening the roots of theutilizing the resources provided by ancient seeds from which we’ve their respective environments. sprouted, but we are also potentially uncovering insights that will facilitate greater cultural and environmental responsibility in our time.
  9. 9. In Action…At Kanu o ka Aina NCPCS cultural and environmentalsustainability are integrated and practiced in anumber of ways:• Making traditional instruments from renewable and native materials.• Participating in cultural rituals, festivals and ceremonies - keeping direct contact with culture and commingling with other native practitioners.• Learning and speaking Olelo Hawai`i.• Planting and maintaining various native and non- native food and medicine crops at our outdoor learning centers. Understanding of• Applying modern approaches to sustainability cultural values• to fortify campus systems (aquaponics, stirs new interest hydroponics, wind turbines, etc.) in contemporary• Being active in the conservation and green initiatives. reforestation of native flora. The sustenance of• Doing culturally relevant science projects that culture yields a seek to solve or better understand strong basis for expansion across the spectrum environmental issues facing our island and the of living sustainably in today’s society. world. “Natives of the land from generations back”