Concluding May 10: “NATIVE FOOD, NATIVE STORIES”, a partnership between Native Hawaiian Health and the Bishop Museum

(Archived 5/10/12) The University of Hawai’i’s Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE) and the Bishop Museum present a series of presentations, Native Food, Native Stories through May.

The series began Thursday February 2, with “The Ceremonial and Social Usages of ‘Awa in Hawai‘i, Then and Now” at the Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau.  Featured speakers were Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, Chair, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH), where the NHCOE is located, and UH alumnus and new CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kamana‘opono Crabbe. Tuition is $10, and free for members of the Bishop Museum.

In addition to ‘Awa, other foods selected for the presentations are ‘ulu (breadfruit), ‘uala (sweet potato), and he‘e (octopus).

“These were popular foods in traditional times and continue to be enjoyed in contemporary Hawai‘i,” said JABSOM’s Mele Look, Director of Community Engagement in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. “The four are kinolau (physical representations) of the four major Hawaiian gods: Kane, Ku, Lono, and Kanaloa, ” said Look. “Enjoying these nutritious foods is a component of a creating health for the body, mind and soul.”

The three plant foods are also being cultivated at the medical school’s Mala Lapa‘au (medical  garden) in Kaka’ako, and the he‘e can be found in the coastal waters off of the Kaka‘ako campus, Look added.

The series continued Saturday, March 17, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., with “The ‘Ulu” and on Thursday, April 12, with  “He Mala: ‘Uala and ‘Aina Piko: A Force for Life, Health and Genealogical Connection.”

The final presentation, “The Lure and Lore of He’e: Fishing Traditions of the Kewalo Family” is Thursday, May 10, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. All presentations are at the museum’s Atherton Halau.

Additional information is available on-line at:  The Bishop Museum.

The Department of Native Hawaiian Health is the only clinical department in a U.S. accredited medical school which is dedicated to the health of an indigeneous people. Learn more about the Department’s Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at NHCOE-JABSOM.

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