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Sacred Reading Day 1: Native Planters

This is only day 1 in my year of sacred reading and writing. I have 364 days left so based on my experience with the year of Sunday dinners (that has continued for six years in two different households now), I know there are certain key elements for success:

  1. Blogging makes me accountable, even if no one is reading it but me
  2. Tagging helps me (the main reader) find things easily, whether it's a recipe or an article that I need for a paper.
  3. Figuring out the logistics and format early on helps alleviate the chore of writing. That is why romance novelists can pump out more books than say George R.R. Martin.
  4. Not everything is going to be or has to be profound or totally earth shattering. I just need enough so I remember what I was thinking.
  5. Organization is not a suggestion. I keep my highlighted articles in my Evernote (above) and keep my Adobe Acrobrat Pro subscription current at all times. I am working on organizing my Evernote into folders and tag, tag, tag. Key words are the key to finding my stuff again (#2 hana hou). 
So I am trying out this format. If it doesn't work, tomorrow is another day.

Article (in APA because that's what I need to use right now):
Handy, E.S. & Handy, E. (1991) Native planters in old Hawai'i: Their life, love & environment.  (excerpt)

What is sacred:
The excerpt (pp. vi-viii) is about the influence of the moon on planting and fishing. It argues that although some view this as Hawaiian superstition, their research shows that the Hawaiians practiced "systematic and careful regimentation of planting in accordance with this theory," and therefore they see this as evidence that rather than superstition, this was a way of knowing for Hawaiians. Further, they argue that they used many different source material for their research and all of these scholars/practitioners say similar things which is why the argument is followed by a listing of moon phases and what each phase signifies for the farmer and fisherman.

". . .these [the planting by moon phase theory] were practices adhered to by a whole population intent upon maximum productivity for the sake of livelihood -- a people who in other practical matters affecting physical growth of their plants showed amazing powers of discrimination and observation..."

Connections to current/future work:
How might teachers use this theory to plan their units? For example, my initial thinking and I need to read more and talk to more people - but kū kahi, kū lua, kū kolu nights seem to be a time for scaffolded lessons where one day builds on the next and the next ("Taros planted on the first  night will have but one shoot (kū kahi), second night will have two (kū lua), and the third night will have three (kū kolu).

Granted these are just initial thoughts and it is dangerous to think too literally. For example ʻole nights are not good for planting, they are good for weeding, which may not mean that it is harmful to give assessments on ʻole nights (the moon night is for the next day), however if instead you provide time for practice, tweaking of what was learned, finding gaps in understanding as well as misunderstandings and taking care of those in class (they recommend weeding) during this time, will student achievement look different than if you did not plan purposefully?

There is more to learn.

Resources suggested  by this article for further reading:

  • David Malo - Hawaiian Antiquities
  • Kepelino
  • Mrs. Paʻahana Wiggins of Kaʻu
  • Mr. Joseph Marciel and Mrs Mahalo of Kaupo, Maui 
  • Mawai of Nahiku, Maui 
  • The Reverend Mr. Kauaulalena of Keoneoʻio (woot - Maui no ka ʻoi)
  • an anonymous article in the Hawaiian newspaper Naʻi Aupuni, November 10-19, 1906
  • Mr. George Roberts of Kualoa, Oahu


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