• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #317
E kanu meaʻai o nānā keiki i ka haʻi
Plant edible food plants lest your children look with longing at someone else's
This ʻōlelo noʻeau reminds Kānaka today of the importance of planting what we can eat to sustain ourselves and our keiki. When we don’t do that, we are unable to truly take care of and feed our children. Even in our current system, we can make conscious decisions in how we cultivate and grow the foods we ingest. This is food sovereignty.
• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #806
He māʻona ʻai a he māʻona iʻa ko ka noanoa
The commoner is satisfied with food and fish
Relationships - pilina - are at the core of our society. Our pilina starts first and foremost with our families. In order to sustain our ‘ohana, we ensure their survival by having enough food for everyone in the family to eat. For kānaka, farming and fishing was not merely a pastime to enjoy occasionally - it was a way of life, and insurance that the ‘ohana and the pilina within them could continue successfully. To provide food to eat for the ‘ohana, which is not limited to biological relatives, is as seemingly obvious as it is important then as it is today, but without these teachings this would not be a part of our culture - it would not be a part of who we are.
The ʻōlelo noʻeau describes that successful farming and fishing is the common person’s greatest achievement, but today the dependency on capitalist agricultural ventures introduced by settler-colonialism caused the depletion of our indigenous food systems. However, we can still find success in farming and fishing to provide food for our families today as much as we can. The more we are able to practice traditional ways of cultivating our indigenous foods to provide for our families, the stronger our relationships with them, the land, and our culture can be.
• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #817
He meheuheu mai nā kūpuna mai
Habits acquired from the ancestors; such as fishing, farming – sciences that cultivate abundance
• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #914
He poʻo ulu ko nā mea kanu
Plants have heads that will grow again.
An assurance that if you break off the top of a plant, it will put forth a new one.
• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #946
He ʻuala ka ʻai hoʻōla koke i ka wī
The sweet potato is the food that ends famine quickly
• ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #1232
I maikaʻi ke kalo i ka ʻohā
The goodness of the taro is judged by the young plant it produces
Parents are often judged by the behavior of their children