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The 24 "Canoe Plants" of Ancient Hawai`i ©
Text by Lynton Dove White of Hana, Maui (Jump down to the table of CONTENTS)
(Jump down to the table of CONTENTS)
- Today's guide to yesterday's life-sustaining plants.
- propagation methods
- cultural uses
- medicinal uses
- Fresh up to date information useful in today's island life.
- Drawings or images of most plants are included.
#1 Hot Site, October 1996
The 24 "Canoe Plants" of Ancient Hawai`i
- Today's guide to yesterday's life-sustaining plants carried by early Polynesian voyagers in their canoes.
- Trust in a benevolent order is at the heart of the courageous voyages within Oceania's pacific waters. Staying afloat was essential.
- Imagine a race of beings courageous enough to launch themselves upon the sea of a great ocean nation.
- The Hawai`i Islands are located thousands of miles from the nearest continent and are the most isolated oceanic islands on our planet.
- See the wooden hand-hewn canoes of the voyagers sailing until landfall, the skills of their wayfinding guided them to this place, these mountain islands beyond the horizon.
- Within the canoes were stashed precious cargo. The roots, cuttings, shoots & seeds of plants for food, cordage, medicine, containers, fabric - life's needs, both physical & spiritual, all traveled here.
- An active relationship and partnership existed between humans and plants. Cultivation occurred through selection & preservation.
- Imagine a culture without clay or iron, whose people trusted enough in the intrinsic nature of 24 plants to be life sustaining.
Canoe Plants CONTENTS:
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(Color images by Sam Monet, Medicinal Hawaiian Plants)
Links - Hawaiian Plants and Polynesian Voyaging
Discovery Channel Online Special: Hawaiian Punch: Native Flora Takes a Beating in the Sandwich Isles
Also visit the Medicinal Hawaiian Plants page, for related information and many great plant images (at the Hawaiian Resource Library)
Native Hawaiian Dryland Plants has good images and information on endemic and indigenous species, geared to home growers interested in trying their hand with native Hawaiian plants.
'Ahahui Malama i ka Lokahi (Native Hawaiians for the preservation of Hawaiian ecosystems)
The Hawai'i Natural Heritage Program - Tracking Hawai`i's rarest plants, animals, and ecosystems
Hui O Wa`a Kaulua - Hawaiian Double Hulled Canoes, an organization "seeking to encourage, maintain, and perpetuate the building and sailing of authentic Hawaiian sailing canoes."
Visit the Polynesian Voyaging Society Gopher Site for information on the traditional double-hulled canoes Hokule`a, Hawai`iloa, and Makali`i, like the ancient vessels that brought these "canoe plants" to Hawai`i.
And see the Hawai`iloa Exhibit at the Bishop Museum, including a page on Plants of the Past (Meakanu o Kahiko) which were transported in the canoes.
Another useful related resource:
USEFUL PLANT NAMES Multilingual Database searchable index
Discuss the relation of culture and plants at The Ethnobotany Cafe
Lynton Dove White 24 Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawaii is a Lynton Dove White copyright, 1994. All rights reserved. This material may not be used for commercial purposes. It may be downloaded for private educational and reference use, but any other use or distribution requires permission in writing from the author. To contact the author, send inquiries to:
P.O. Box 552 Hana, Maui, Hawaii 96713 808/248-7001
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for comments on the format, and any bug reports
Animation contibuted by Richard Kapuaala, 21st Century Kahunas
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