Huk­i­lau Tales Set

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Front Page - By CAROL CHANG

Kailua His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety will cast its net and haul in some fish sto­ries at its next meet­ing, set for 7 p.m. Thurs­day at Lanikai El­e­men­tary School cafe­te­ria — the clos­est they could get to the beach it­self.

The group has as­sem­bled a panel of kupuna who vividly re­call the times when the tra­di­tional huk­i­lau was a com­mon and pop­u­lar fish­ing method on Kailua Beach. They will pro­vide first­hand de­scrip­tions of a Kailua huk­i­lau, and the Ma­hoe fam­ily will ex­hibit one of the large nets ac­tu­ally used in the old days. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 262-7316. The an­cient com­mu­nal round-up of fish to shore via a large net is no longer prac­ticed, ac­cord­ing to KHS pres­i­dent Paul Bren­nan. In fact, it is banned as “mass netting,” he said, “and it ceased to ex­ist from the time of World War II.”

The en­tire com­mu­nity was wel­come to help haul in the fish-filled net, which would be lined with a strong rope and sway­ing ti leaves to scare the fish to­ward shore. Once the har­vest was in, Bren­nan said, “ev­ery­one got to take home a fish.” An ac­count by re­searcher and teacher Carol Silva re­ported that the yield from a huk­i­lau could reach as high as 4,800 in a sin­gle day.

So sim­ple then, as the song goes: “We throw our nets right into the sea, and all the ama ama come aswim­min’ to me … ”

Kaori Brown (cen­ter), teacher and di­rec­tor of Huakailani School for Girls, and Yuria Ai­hara (back) sup­ported the Kailua school’s But­ter­fly­botics team of (from left) Kali Zaf­frann, CoCo Ai­hara and Emily Gil­bert in their first na­tional test, the VEX Ro­bot­ics Cham­pi­onships April 24-26 in Ana­haim, Calif. The girls placed 10th in the el­e­men­tary di­vi­sion. Next up: the VEX Sum­mer Games in July in Honolulu. Photo from Kaori Brown.

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