Fellows in the News

Today the image of that Kona field system lives vividly in the imagination of Noa Kekuewa Lincoln. On a late afternoon at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona, Lincoln is striding among the forty-four different cultivars of ko that he helped replant the year before. The planting was done in the traditional Kona drylands style, with kuaiwi on one side of the ko and rows of kalo on the other. Lincoln pauses beside a particularly vibrant clump of cane that has green-andwhite- striped leaves and stalks with stripes of pink, white and pale green. It’s called laukona, he says.

“This one is famous as the only one of the canes that was used to negate love spells,” he continues. Nearby he points out another ko, called manulele (flying bird); it’s dark reddish-purple with yellow stripes and green leaves. Manulele, he explains, was a cane that kahuna (priests) used to cast those love spells, known as hana aloha. Depending on the love desired, kahuna used differing ko: Manulele worked best for enchanting a physically distant or hard-to-approach person. Pilimai (come this way) was good for a quick fling. Papa‘a (hold fast) was the cane for cementing a long-term relationship. And the only antidote for any of them was to chew a properly enchanted piece of laukona.

Read the full profile

Add comment

Log in to post comments

A vibrant community of environmental leaders