‘Hawaiians as Scientists’

KAPAA — The members of Ka ‘Imi Na’auao o Hawai’i Nei Institute invite the public to a free lecture by long-time Ka ‘Imi member Dawn Kawahara on the subject, “Hawaiians as Scientists” on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kapaa Library.

Kawahara is an author and poet, and an instructor for Hawaii Pacific University’s “Road Scholar” travel-and-learn programs through Pacific Islands Institute. She will address the Polynesian/Hawaiian knowledge of science as evidenced through preserved traditional chants, monuments and practices.

Kawahara will relate ancient knowledge to modern science knowledge before narrowing it to one particularly important facet — the water cycle. She will preview portions of the recently released Ka ‘Imi Institute teaching DVD, “Hawaiians as Scientists, He Mele No Kane” (The Song of Kane/Man) as a slideshow.

The DVD includes a study guide that is geared to teachers, Hawaiian leaders and students from elementary school age through life learners.

Those attending will have the opportunity to learn, participate and gain understanding of the traditional Hawaiian riddle chant, “He Mele No Kane,” used in the DVD title. The hula hand movements of the subject noho, or sitting, chant were performed by children and adult members of Ka ‘Imi Institute, filmed in various natural settings in Hawaii.

Kawahara will also provide glimpses of a related lecture given by Kauai District aquatic biologist, Don Heacock, that was filmed and included as a bonus on the DVD.

“Grade school children through silver-locks are welcome at the May 17 Kapaa Library program,” Kawahara said. “We hope our teachers and cultural leaders will also attend, as well as visitors and residents interested in Hawaiian culture.”

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