10 Facts To Know About the Hawai’ian Islands
Happy New Year! As we enter into 2023 and explore the unknown, let me share 10 things you may not have known about the Hawai’ian Islands.
Native Hawai’ian Birds
Hawai’i is known to have had over 100 species of birds endemic to its lands. Over 70 of these have been lost since the colonization of the islands. One of the biggest threats to these birds is mosquitos that are not native to the islands. These pesky insects transfer avian pox and malaria to these delicate animals. Currently all the remaining endemic birds are under threat of intinction.
A Heiau is a Hawaiian temple, and they were used by ancient Hawai’ians for a variety of purposes. When hiking if you stumble across a gathering of stones that looks to be the ruins of an old structure, there is a good chance you have come across sacred grounds. Some of the purposes Heiau’s were used for are places to heal people, monuments of respect, and places of worship. Treat Heiaus with respect and reverence if you have the honor to visit one.
An Ahupua’a was a system devised by the Hawai’ians to divide out the land. These pie shaped sections starting inland at the mountains and then opening out towards the ocean. These portions of land from the mountains to the ocean were designed in such a way that irrigation from the mountains would feed down and out towards the more drylands. This way a variety of crops could be maintained. Communities would form within the Ahupua’a and all the needs of the people could be met by the genius of the system.
Hula was traditionally danced by men and was thought to have come to origin in the 1800s. It went from being the dance the Hawaiian people to being banned as it was considered a pagan ritual and frowned upon by the missionaries. In 1830, Ka`ahumanu, the queen who had converted to Christianity, issued an edict banning public hula performances. Today hula is danced by men and women alike and its continuation is significant for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture.
The state fish is called Humuhumunukunukuapua’a which means “fish with a snout like a pig.” This name was chosen based on the sounds the fish makes and the shape of its face. The Humu is a beautifully colored fish and is known for being aggressively territorial. This fish was selected as the state fish on a 5-year trial basis in 1985 and in 2006 it was moved into the position permanently. Ancient Hawai’ians folklore speaks of the demi-god Humu Pua’a who could shapeshift from a human to a fish and also into a pig.
For 5 more interesting things you didn’t know about the Hawai’ian Islands, check out my video below!
January 15, 2023
Loved the video, very informative. Keep up the great work. 🌴😊🌴