Build your own fishpond!
- On Wednesday April 28th, Hawaiian immersion school students from Ka ‘Umeke Kā‘eo public charter school in Keaukaha, a community in Hilo, came to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park to learn about Hawaiian fishponds. They started with an oli, a traditional Hawaiian chant, to announce their arrival. After a brief introduction about the different types of Hawaiian fishponds, the students travelled to Kaloko fishpond– a loko kuapa (rock wall fishpond) to see the largest fishpond by volume of rock in the State of Hawaii. The students listened to Jay Keka, a Hawaiian stone mason, describe the parks efforts in the last 10 years to reconstruct this massive wall.
After using a real Hawaiian fishpond as an example, the students were then tasked to build their own!
The materials they used were small rocks, modeling clay, toothpicks and popsicle sticks. This was constructed in a pan and then water was poured into it. Food coloring showed how the water currents mixed and where the water flowed. Oregano and small leaves represented small and large fish. The goal was to design a fishpond with a functioning gate system called a mākāha, that Hawaiians used to capture the fish and provide for circulation in the pond.
The three groups were all successful in their model design! Their gate systems worked and the small fish were able to get in and the big fish were trapped!!