Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 6, Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley was a beautiful place with an even more beautiful heritage and culture. Before we entered Waimea Valley we took something similar to an oath or stating our intention. Although superstitious, the Hawaiian gods would give us approval to enter Waimea Valley after stating our intentions (which had to be good) in the form of a breeze or a feeling of peace or calm. We also learnt how we were not allowed to remove anything from the valley and how we had to state our intent before we took anything that we really needed and not wanted. This shows that even before the concept of sustainability was brought into the picture, the Hawaiian natives were well aware that we had to use their resources wisely and took only what they needed.

During the trek up to the waterfall, we passed by plants and trees native to Hawaii, most of which are endangered. We were told about the efforts of the staff of Waimea Valley to preserve the natural vegetation. Almost all the native Hawaiian plants or Polynesian introduced plants were very useful to the Hawaiian people. The 7 (most of which endangered) species of taro plant were replanted. The taro plant grows back relatively easily after the root has been taken, the young shoot is planted again and a new taro plant grows. Although the Taro plant is sustainable it requires the efforts of humans to replant it. This once again shows the importance of sustainability.

We were also able to play some Hawaiian games which were used hone the skills of Hawaiian warriors. The conservation of these games over hundreds of years shows the sustainability of the culture and traditions of Hawaii. These traditions, although merely games, were a very important part of Hawaiian life and were preserved till today.

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