August 1, 2022
Claudia Kalaola, 808-269-2514, email@example.com
Jan Elliott, 808-248-8458, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hāna Limu Festival Is Back – and in new location
Hāna, Maui ― Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea is excited to announce the much-anticipated post-pandemic reemergence of the annual Hāna Limu Festival! The 2022 Limu Festival – Hanana No Nā Limu on Saturday – will be held on August 13th, 2022 from 10 AM to 3 PM at Coconut Cove, 20 Uwala Drive in Hāna, Maui. Please note that this is a different location than previous festivals.
As we celebrate Hawaiʻiʻs Year of the Limu, the Festival will also pay tribute to John “Jackie Boy” Lind who recently passed. John was an aloha 'āina warrior, kalo farmer, lawai'a loea and Konohiki of Kīpahulu moku on Maui. Jackie Boy, known to some as Uncle John, was a mentor, dear friend, and kupuna to kindred spirits across our islands.
This year’s festival will feature live limu (seaweed) demonstrations , hands-on activities for youth, Hawaiian music, a silent auction, crafts, ‘ono food, and t-shirts that showcase the beautiful limu prints of Maui artist Gwen Arkin. Some Hāna residents and limu experts will conduct limu surveys at four locations along the Hāna Coast on the morning of the event and share their observations, manaʻo, and limu collections with Hanana No Nā Limu participants.
“We are grateful to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the County of Maui for supporting our community, as the funding they provide allows us to host this gathering dedicated to learning about, celebrating, and perpetuating our native Hawaiian limu and culture,” said Claudia Kalaola, Limu Festival Chair and co-founder of Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea.
Organized by Hāna residents, the Limu Festival – Hanana No Nā Limu – is designed to promote a deeper awareness of our native limu and to make people mindful of their kuleana and role in ensuring that ocean resources are here for generations to come. Collaborating partners and co-sponsors help with the event, including The Nature Conservancy, Kua ʻĀina Ulu ʻAuamo, and the Maui Nui Makai Network. The event focuses on how Hawai’i’s oceans and fresh water – and the health of limu, fish, plants, culture, and more – are inherently connected. Native limu is essential, not only as an ‘ono (delicious), nutritious part of the traditional Hawaiian diet but for its vital role in the health of the nearshore ecosystem, serving as the base of the food chain and providing food and shelter for herbivore fish and invertebrates.
Each year, funds raised through a silent auction at the Festival enable Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea to award the Isabelle Aiona Abbott Scholarship to Hāna students who follow in Dr. Abbottʻs footsteps by pursuing studies in marine biology, natural resource management, and Hawaiian studies.
Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea is a non-profit group made up of residents and families of Mū‘olea whose mission is to perpetuate traditional management of the Mū‘olea ahupua‘a through a lease agreement with the County of Maui and to restore and maintain Mū‘olea’s natural, cultural, scenic, historic and marine resources for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of our community and future generations.
About the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Established by the state Constitutional Convention in 1978, OHA is a semi- autonomous state agency mandated to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. Guided by a board of nine publicly elected trustees, OHA fulfills its mandate through advocacy, research, community engagement, land management and the funding of community programs. Learn more at www.oha.org.
About OHA’s Community Grants Program OHA’s Community Grants Program supports non-profit organizations whose projects and programs serve the Native Hawaiian community and align with OHA’s Strategic Plan. https://www.oha.org/grants.
Community groups dedicated to restoring limu, or seaweed, along Hawaiʻi’s shorelines are hoping they haven’t missed the window of opportunity to designate 2022 the Year of the Limu.
A request for the designation stalled in the state legislature this session, and now limu lovers are calling on Gov. David Ige to revive it.
Wally Ito, a 68-year-old fisherman, scours the shoreline for limu at Oneʻula Beach in ‘Ewa. The best time to go is when the tide is receding so the limu gets caught on the reef.
"Look, look, look. Here’s manauwea. We got lipoa, wawaeiole, and ‘aʻalaʻula," he said, standing on the shore.
Limu was once so abundant here that the area was called the House of Limu. Limu was an integral part of the Hawaiian diet. It was used for medicine and ceremony.
Back in the 60s, it would wash up in piles on the sand, some two-feet high. But limu beds began to disappear by the late 90s.
"Limu is the base of the marine food chain. If we want to restore the fishery, it's learning about why we lost the limu, and try to bring the limu back," Ito said.
Ito spent more than a decade raising awareness about limu’s ecological, nutritional, and cultural significance. He follows in the footsteps of limu expert, the late Henry Chang Wo who organized monthly limu plantings in ‘Ewa and fought for the state’s first limu management area in Puʻuloa.
"He felt that one of his main purposes was to warn people to take care of their area, to take care of their ahupuaʻa, to ensure that what happened at ‘Ewa doesn't happen in their place," Ito told Hawaii Public Radio.
Ito now leads the Limu Hui, a statewide network of more than 60 community members on nearly every island working to restore limu along their coastlines.
"It's a growing movement and so this “Year of Limu” thing was important for us to continue creating awareness. All we ask is the state to recognize that limu was important and what we are doing is important."
The Limu Hui is urging Gov. Ige to use his executive powers to declare 2022 the Year of the Limu.