In this section, we will discuss the relevance of this site to the overall Welina Mānoa project. We will briefly point out various themes, including kino, ʻōlelo noʻeau, ʻōpelu, and wai, that correlate across all four Welina Mānoa sites.
In order to offer another Hawaiian perspective on Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai, we have provided and explained a few ʻōlelo noʻeau (proverbs) that are relevant to this site. A brief explanation of the ʻōlelo noʻeau will also be provided. The ʻŌlelo Noʻeau have been an invaluable resource for Hawaiian language learners today because they offer insight into the language and worldview of the old Hawaiian people.
“Hoʻokahewai Hoʻoulu ʻĀina”, when you open the waters, the land flourishes. This ʻōlelo noʻeau was given by uncle Harry Mitchell when they let the water back into Kānewai.
“Kalo kanu o ka ʻāina” this ʻōlelo noʻeau means, “Taro planted on the land,” or “Native of the land from generations back” (1447, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau).
“Make no ke kalo a ola i ka palili” this ʻōlelo noʻeau means, ” The taro may die but lives on in the young plants that is produces,” or “One lives on in his children” (2107, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau).
At all four Welina Mānoa sites, there are different land elements that are named, ʻŌpelu.
For Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai, the ʻŌpelu refers to a type of native kalo (taro), the Mana ʻŌpelu, that is grown at the site. The corm of this kalo is used as bait for the ʻōpelu. The following picture is of the Mana ʻŌpelu variety of kalo.
Here is a quote from Bruce Blankenfeld regarding the relationship between the land and sea. He also describes the Mana ʻŌpelu.
“Everything in the sea has a counterpart on the land. Every plant and animal in the sea has a counterpart on land. A mana opelu is a kind of taro named after the opelu fish the spots on the stock of the taro are the same as the spots on the belly of the opelu. […] Everything that you see on land is tied to something in the sea.
The sea and the land rely on each other for life just like a woman and a man rely on each other to bring forth new life. You pollute your ocean and you hurt the land. You screw up your land and the ocean is going to feel it. Everything relies on each other for life. So that’s why they are tied in, the resources.” -Uncle Bruce Blankenfeld in 1999 on their way to Rapa Nui on the Hōkūleʻa
For additional information about the Mana ʻŌpelu variety of kalo, please visit the Kupuna Kalo website. The link may be found in Section 4, resources.