Na Lehua Makamae
"na Lehua Makamae"
Our Treasured Lehua
Sam ‘Ohu Gon, senior scientist and cultural adviser to the Nature Conservancy, said awareness about the plight of the ohia lehua is imperative. “Any cultural practitioner who cares about the plant and its central role in Hawaii culture would want to do anything they can to minimize their part in harming the plant, and be a positive force in the health of the ohia and ohia forest,” Gon said.
As a dominant tree in Hawaii, the ohia lehua is considered the kinolau, or physical manifestation of various gods and goddesses, including Ku, Laka and Hi‘iaka, according to Gon. Lei lehua are among the most exalted of lei. The wood of ohia lehua is used to make kalaau (dancing sticks) and the red, orange and yellow lehua blossoms serve as fiery symbols of Pele, goddess of volcanic fire.
Ecologically, the tree serves as home for native birds and tree snails that live and feed on it. And the canopy protects smaller trees and native shrubs, creating a watershed. (Hawaii News, Nina Wu, March 31, 1016)
Hawaii Island Festival – 30 Days of Aloha supports the efforts to prevent the demise of na Treasured Lehua and is committed to perpetuate our delicate, unique, host culture and resources. We invite island businesses and residents to support our Hawaii Island events.
The committee is grateful for the continued support of Hawaii Tourism Authority and its belief in Hawaii Island Festival – 30 Days of Aloha as well as the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council (BIRCD) as we carry out our mission statement: perpetuating the cultural traditions and aloha spirit of Hawaii.
If you would like to support Hawaii Island Festival - 30 Days of Aloha, you may do so by purchasing our ribbons ($5.00 each).
Our ribbons are keepsake items.
Ribbons are available through any of our committee chairs.