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Kua'aina KahikoLife and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui$
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Patrick Vinton Kirch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839550

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839550.001.0001

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Farming the Rock

Farming the Rock

(p.98) 8 Farming the Rock
Kua'aina Kahiko

Patrick Vinton Kirch

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses dry-farming and sweet potato cultivation in Kahikinui. A combination of topography and climate make Kahikinui a dry, parched, and—during periods of drought—even desiccated landscape. Making a living in such circumstances was not impossible, but it required hard work and specialized dry-farming methods. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) made it possible for Hawaiian farmers to settle the arid slopes of Kahikinui and Kaupō, along with those of Kohala on Hawaii Island and of Kahoʻolawe Island, and other arid regions. Originally domesticated thousands of years earlier by the ancient peoples of the Andes, in South America, sweet potato plants are adapted to dry conditions, making them ideal crops for Kahikinui.

Keywords:   dry farming, Hawaii, Kahikinui, sweet potato, farming methods, Hawaiian farmers

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