Category Archives: Hawaiian History

Breadfruit

A breadfruit plant and fruit

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is generally considered to be a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by Polynesian settlers, though it’s not entirely clear when the introduction occurred. However, it is clear that breadfruit, known as ‘ulu in Hawaii, was a major food source in days gone by and that the trees were possibly the most prevalent tree to be found on the islands.

An interesting paper about breadfruit can be found at https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu › oc › freepubs › pdf › breadfruit.pdf.

Ipu

A gourd or ipu plant in Hawaii

Ipu is the Hawaiian word for the gourd (Langenaria sacraria). The early Polynesians brought the seeds to Hawaii and also used the hollowed out gourds on the voyage, for storing water, food, and other items, and to bail out the canoes.

These days, the gourds are used to make musical instruments that are used in dances and in chants. The plant is a climbing vine and the gourds are the fruit of this vine.

Candlenut

The flowers of a candlenut or kukui tree in Hawaii
The flowers of a candlenut or kukui tree in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Leaves and Trees.’ See more responses here.

Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) is known as Kukui in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesian settlers. The tree can grow to around 60 feet tall but is usually shorter. Large clusters of small white flowers are followed by round nuts, which can be seen at the top of the second photo.

The tree had many uses. Oil was extracted from the nuts for various uses and the nuts themselves were burned for lighting, hence the name. Roasted nuts are edible and were used for flavoring. Raw nuts are a potent laxative. The plants had several other uses, both decorative and medicinal.

Because of this versatility and cultural background, Kukui was named the state tree of Hawaii in 1959, replacing the coconut palm. It’s the only state to have a non-indigenous state tree.

Kilauea erupts again

Activity at Kilauea in April 2018

Yesterday afternoon, around 3:20 p.m., Kilauea Volcano began a new eruption. Like the previous one, from December 2020 to May 2021, the eruption is in Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at the summit of the volcano. That eruption created a lava lake in an area that collapsed in 2018 when the main activity moved down the east rift zone to the Leilani Estates Subdivision. This new eruption has reactivated the lake in the crater.

These photos are from the 2018 activity in Halemaʻumaʻu crater shortly before the level of the lava lake dropped and the crater floor collapsed.

Activity at Kilauea in April 2018

Alexandrian laurel

The flowers of an Alexandrian laurel in Hawaii
The fruits and flowers of an Alexandrian laurel in Hawaii

Alexandrian laurel (Calophyllum inophyllum) is known as Kamani in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, which means it was brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesian voyagers. They would have carried this evergreen tree because of its importance for building their ocean-going outriggers.

The small white and yellow flowers usually bloom twice a year and are followed by round fruits with a single large seed.

Mauna Ulu

A view of Mauna Ulu crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
A view of Mauna Ulu crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Burlywood.’ (See more responses here.) It’s a color I’d never heard of before, apparently a shade of khaki. I’ve gone for some photos of Mauna Ulu, a crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The Mauna Ulu eruption took place between 1969 and 1974 and transformed the landscape of the park. A good guide to the eruption can be found here. These days, it’s a quiet area and plants have gained a foothold in the main crater, though the slopes are still mostly barren. And it’s those slopes, seen from the air, that have a pronounced khaki, or burlywood color.

For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

A view of Mauna Ulu crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Waianaia Cemetery

A view of Waianaia Cemetery near Kapaau, Hawaii
A view of Waianaia Cemetery near Kapaau, Hawaii
A view of Waianaia Cemetery near Kapaau, Hawaii

Waianaia Cemetery is a little way east of Kapaau. It sits to the side of the main highway that dead ends at Pololu, 6 miles farther on. While there’s a moderate amount of traffic on this road, the cemetery still has a peaceful feeling, in part because it’s below the road, but also because it’s surrounded by trees.

Waianaia Cemetery is noteworthy because the Bond family is buried there. Reverend Elias Bond and his wife Ellen, were missionaries who came to Kohala in 1841 and lived there for the remainder of their lives. Bond, and his offspring, had a significant impact on the district of North Kohala and the changes it went through. The family owned their missionary station for more than 150 years. It was the only one in Hawaii with such a distinction.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.