Hoʻohana ʻĀina (Geography/Science)
The environmentally sustainable lifestyle of pre-contact Hawaiʻi necessitated that the residents have expert scientific and engineering capabilities. These included knowledge of agriculture, aquaculture, architecture and navigation.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is a non-profit research and educational corporation based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. PVS was established to research and perpetuate traditional Polynesian voyaging methods. Using replicas of traditional double-hulled canoes, PVS undertakes voyages throughout Polynesia and the world navigating without modern instruments. Wahine voyagers are an integral part of the crew.
Makaliʻi, a third Hawaiian voyaging canoe (following Hōkūleʻa and Hawaiʻiloa), was launched at Kawaihae on the Big Island on Saturday, Feb. 4, 1995. Her maiden voyage took her to Taputapuatea, Raiatea, in Tahiti Nui, and Nukuhiva in the Marquesas Islands in 1995, as part of the 1995 Voyage, Nā ʻOhana Holo Moana, The Voyaging Families of the Vast Ocean.
The Hawaiian people practiced aquaculture through development of fish ponds or loko iʻa. These fishponds were typically shallow areas of a reef flat surrounded by a low lava rock wall (loko kuapā) built out from the shore. Today community members work to restore many of the historical fishponds,including He’eia Fishpond on O’ahu.
There once was a time when most of Waikiki was covered in loʻi. Hawaiians grew and harvested their main staple kalo or taro in these loʻi. The garden consisted of an intricate irrigation system that took advantage of the many streams, using gravity to carry water throughout the loʻi to feed the kalo. While most of the Loʻi are no longer in use, many Loʻi have been restored and are used for cultivation and educational outreach, including Papahana Kuaola.
Hawaiians are expert architects and engineers. Their built structures provided shelter from all the elements. Hawaiian continue the practice today, including Hale Pili.