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Ike Ulana Lau HalaThe Vitality and Vibrancy of Lau Hala Weaving Traditions in Hawaii$
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Lia O'Neill M. A. Keawe, Marsha MacDowell, and C. Kurt Dewhurst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824840938

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824840938.001.0001

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The Past and Future of Hala (Pandanus tectorius) in Hawai‘i

The Past and Future of Hala (Pandanus tectorius) in Hawai‘i

(p.94) The Past and Future of Hala (Pandanus tectorius) in Hawai‘i
Ike Ulana Lau Hala

Timothy Gallaher

University of Hawai'i Press

In Hawaiʻi, hala or pūhala refers to species of small, often coastal, trees in the genus Pandanus. Hala is among the most important plants in the ecology and history of Hawaiʻi and the broader Pacific. Once a major native component of the coastal and lowland areas of Hawaii, hala forests have been nearly eliminated by human activity, and with them valuable ecological services may have been lost. Hala has also had a profound effect on the people of Oceania. Their use of lau hala sails enabled them to move beyond the reef and become an ocean-voyaging people capable of exploring the vastness of the Pacific. In addition, every part of this tree has uses that have been critical to the cultural heritage and survival of the peoples of this region. Because Hawaiian cultural heritage has been so intertwined with this natural resource, this chapter discusses the ecological history of hala, the challenges that have impacted its survival, and the strategies being used to sustain it.

Keywords:   hala, puhala, lau hala, Hawaiian cultural heritage, coastal trees, ecological history

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