DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
Begins New Year With Presentation
The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) will open the new year with a briefing on the importance of natural resources to the Hawaiian culture, 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, January 12.
The briefing will be presented by Kepa Maly, an independent cultural historian and resource specialist, in the Land Board conference room in the Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 132 on O'ahu. The public and media are welcome to attend.
Manu Boyd (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) and Sam Gon (The Nature Conservancy) will provide appropriate oli (opening chant) to help start the meeting on the right course. Both OHA and TNC are key DLNR partners and share a great number of common resource management and conservation issues.
Maly has conducted extensive studies of Hawaiian cultural issues as well as archival review and oral histories. He and his wife, Onaona Pomroy-Maly, operate Kumu Pono Associates LLC, a company based in Hilo. Together, they have worked on historical and ethnographic studies for more than 27 years.
In December 2005, Maly made a presentation to close the year for the DLNR Commission on Water Resources Management (CWRM) on the importance of (fresh) water to traditional Hawaiian culture.
Following that meeting, Peter Young, who serves as chair for both the water commission and the land board, invited Maly to make a presentation to the Land Board to expand on his perspectives and explain the importance of natural resources to the Hawaiian culture.
"I feel it is important to refresh our understanding of how important the resources were to our host culture and how the ancient Hawaiians managed those resources for the future," said Young.
"As a department, we have learned much from the Hawaiian 'ahupua'a (traditional land division) concept of land management, and put much of that practical wisdom to use."
"We can all benefit from understanding and respecting the Hawaiian cultural belief that the land, fresh water, the ocean and sky are the foundation of life and that nature and culture are one and the same," concluded Young.
Maly was raised on the islands of O'ahu and Lana'i. While growing up on Lana'i, Kepa was taught the Hawaiian language and cultural practices and values by kupuna (elders). He developed an interest in Hawaiian culture, including land and ocean management practices, mele and hula (chants and dances), material culture, traditions, and ethnobotany.
For more than 30 years, Maly has continued to learn about Hawaiian traditions and practices from kupuna and kumu ao (teachers) from Hawai'i to Ni'ihau, learning from native Hawaiians who have lived their culture as handed down by their elders before them.
Onaona Pomroy-Maly is a beneficiary of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust, and is descended from families with ancestral ties to Hawai'i (Puna, Ka'u and Kona), Maui (Ko'olau-Hamakua region), Moloka'i (Kona), O'ahu (Waialua), and Kaua'i (Ko'olau and Puna). She assists her husband with historical research, transcribes recordings of oral history interviews, and manages project development.
For more information about Kumu Pono Associates LLC, please visit: http://www.kumupono.com/.
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