UN Information spoke to Ms. Kauka as a part of the Worldwide Labour Group’s images challenge “Dignity at Work: The American Expertise” forward of Worldwide Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples which is marked yearly on 9 August.
“I’ve been educating my college students the right way to produce kapa which is a standard material made out of the interior bark of a local plant. This materials is used for garments for each women and men, and for blankets, as there was no woven or loomed clothes up to now.
Conventional designs are printed onto the fabric utilizing pure dyes. Within the winter folks would put on a number of layers of kapa which they’d progressively peel off because the climate acquired hotter. It is usually utilized in ceremonies. I used to be not too long ago requested to make a kapa to wrap after which inter ancestral stays, the bones of our ancestors, that had been returned house to the islands on account of federal laws within the Native American Graves Repatriation and Safety Act (NAGPRA).
My college students have discovered the right way to develop after which harvest the plant, take away and clear the bark with a shell, and the right way to put together by pounding it with a picket mallet referred to as a hohoa. On one facet of the hohoa is a carving which is used to print a design on the fabric. This imprint with inks tells tales of our tradition. A hands-on strategy is essential to studying these indigenous crafts and is a vital a part of the method of transferring information to the subsequent technology.
I’m passionate in wanting my college students to learn about Hawaii and, by realizing this place, I hope that they may really feel a duty to deal with it: each the bodily great thing about the islands but in addition the cultural traditions that I educate right here, together with music, artwork, dance and crafts.
COVID-19 and sharing
The varsity 12 months was minimize quick by COVID-19, so my college students weren’t capable of end making the kapa, though some will likely be in a position to take action in summer season college lessons.
The lockdown has been traumatic for me, as I’m so used to hands-on working, and interacting with the scholars, and it took a while for me to create new on-line classes. I discovered the expertise difficult, however I acquired nice assist from highschool college students and my grandson.
I believe COVID-19 has pushed folks in Hawaii to acknowledge the significance of heritage. Individuals are not dashing round as a lot beneath lockdown and so they’re extra appreciative of their environment; the ocean, the water from our hills, the panorama.
The pandemic has enabled folks to essentially really feel the spirit of nature, it’s connecting us to the land, and it’s educating younger folks concerning the significance of sharing. Folks round me have much less cash due to the lockdown however are sharing extra.
I’ve felt such pleasure to obtain items of recent greens and fish introduced by college students and mates.
That is actually the essence of native Hawaiian tradition is aloha aina; the love of the land and the love of the folks. The land is the chief and the persons are the servants.
I all the time inform my college students that wealth is measured in several methods; wealth isn’t just to be present in cash. Wealth is in meals, wealth is in household, wealth is in mates, wealth is in nature and indigenous information. So, folks might be very rich in all these methods, however have a really small checking account.
Local weather Change
Hawaiian indigenous tradition is inextricably linked to the land and the island ecosystem. Local weather change is now considerably affecting that ecosystem. Sea ranges are rising, and the ocean is warming, affecting our coastal habitats together with coral which, in keeping with our legends, is the place life started. Now we have additionally seen marine particles, together with plastics, which have been carried by currents throughout the North Pacific from Asia.
Adjustments are happening in our forests as native crops wrestle to outlive and our watersheds endure. Each native plant has an necessary position to play in our ecosystem.
There’s nice consciousness on this island for the well being of the land, sea, and air, and the way they’ll greatest be protected: these are messages which might be a part of the Hawaiian tradition that I’m educating.”