September 14th, 2004


Hawaiian Mythology: The Cowry Shell

Red shell brings a bounty to a struggling fisherman

Puako stood on the beach with a bit of seaweed in her hand. As she tossed it into the waves for an offering she prayed to the fish god:

"O Ku'ula,
Keep me safe from harm from the sea,
Safe from all evil."

Wading out a few steps she gathered another bit of seaweed and prayed again:

"O Hina,
Keep me safe from harm from the land,
Safe from all evil."

She threw this seaweed toward the land.

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The next day Kainoa had his own dearly loved cowry shell. Never again did luck leave him. He and Puako had all things that they needed. 'Iwa returned to O'ahu with a good reward. He spent his life in tricks and thieving, and some of his thieving was not so honest as when he stole the cowry shell for its rightful owner. Men of Hawai'i still catch he'e with a red cowry tied to hook and sinker as Kainoa taught them.

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Dye tracks Waikiki currents

Dolan Eversole, University of Hawaii Sea Grant Coastal Processes Extension agent, released a dye into the water at Kuhio Beach yesterday.

The green dye began drifting based on the beach's wave action. The dye was being used to study the effects of currents and tides on the amount of sand deposited on the beach in the area.

A green dye tests ocean currents in Waikiki in a prelude to a beach replenishing project

By Leila Fujimori

Fluorescent-green dye drifted yesterday from Kuhio Beach Ewa to an area fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel but stayed not far offshore and lingered there. A second release of dye hugged the shoreline and moved more slowly.

The tests showed state geologists that sand pumped onto Kuhio Beach would not drift onto the reef, but environmentalists disagreed.

Over 12 hours, testing was done in half-hour increments -- in part to respond to Save Our Surf's concerns that the sand for a beach replenishment project would be pulled out and deposited along the reef, changing the way the surf breaks.

The group's spokesman, George Downing, said if that happens, the surf, rather than breaking into a peak and tapering, would break evenly like a shorebreak.

Downing said the dye test proves how water moves but not sand, which is heavier than water.

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From a 38th-floor suite at the Moana Hotel, Eversole observed the dye as it drifted and spread.

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