Lyon Arboretum hosts Hale Halawai workshop: `Umu Hau Pohaku

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Liloa Dunn, (808) 988-0466
Ethnobotanic Gardener, Lyon Arboretum
Jill Laughlin
Education Programs Manager, Lyon Arboretum
Posted: Oct 27, 2010

A Hawaiian rock wall building workshop open to the community will mark the beginning of construction of Hale Halawai, a traditional hale, or house, that will serve as a gathering place and a visual connection to the Hawaiian culture for visitors to UH Mānoa's Lyon Arboretum.
The 'Umu Hau Pohaku rock wall building will be held on Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Beatrice H. Krauss Hawaiian Ethnobotanical Garden, which houses the largest collection of Hawaiian cultural plants on O‘ahu. The workshop is limited to 40 adults, who must be able to lift 40 pounds, but the public is invited to view the construction process. The foundation stage of traditional Hawaiian house construction will be led by Kumu Palani Sinenci of Hana, Maui.
The project is being funded through a grant from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Atherton Foundation and will become the centerpiece of the Lyon Arboretum gardens, according to Christopher Dunn, director of the Arboretum. “The scope of this project is to revitalize this garden by building a hale along with hosting a series of workshops on hale building,” said Dunn. “This project will bring together the very definition of ethnobotany, the way people or cultures use plants in everyday life.”
The new hale will be built over a period of 8-10 months and will be designed as a series of workshops open to interested visitors, students, families and cultural practitioners. 
“With the resurgence of native Hawaiian arts and crafts and interest in Hawai‘i’s rich cultural history, including native plants, the Ethnobotany Garden will serve as a functional and symbolic center that brings Hawaiian concepts under one roof for the benefit of residents and visitors alike,” added Liloa Dunn, Lyon Arboretum ethnobotanist and lead for the project.
To register for the workshop, contact Liloa Dunn at Deadline for registration is November 1, 2010.
Lyon Arboretum maintains a world renowned collection of more than 5,000 tropical plant species including one of the largest palm collections found in a botanical garden. Every species of Native Hawaiian plants today is rare and comprise nearly 50% of the nation’s endangered plants. The Arboretum’s Hawai‘i Rare Plant Program is an active research facility that includes a groundbreaking tissue culture program for test-tube propagation of endangered plants.
UH Mānoa’s Lyon Arboretum and Botanical Garden is the only university botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest in the United States as well as the only easily accessible tropical rainforest on the island of O'ahu. The arboretum consists of almost 200 acres at the top of the Mānoa watershed with a set of small cottages and greenhouses used for research and community education about plants and the natural environments of Hawai‘i.