This week, Hawaii Public Radio started a new 13-week series that explores the concept of “aloha ‘aina”–love of the land–that, if it lives up to the description made in the first episode, which aired on Monday, Sept. 21, will provide some of the most accessible commentary and history of Hawaii’s people and land.
The series consists of about 65 two-minute episodes, and one will air each weekday morning on HPR-1 at 8:18am. According to HPR, the series includes commentary from “noted Hawaiian scholars and leaders” like Puanani Burgess, Sam ʻOhu Gon, Davianna McGregor, Jonathan Osorio and Walter Ritte.
“When we first sat down with HPR a year ago, our goal was to help listeners–all listeners–deepen their reverence for the land and natural resources that sustain us,” said Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, president and CEO of The Kohala Center, which co-produced the series, in a Sept. 17 HPR news release. “With the words ‘aloha ‘aina’ gaining heightened prominence in local, and even global, discourse and consciousness in recent months, the timing of such an exploration couldn’t be better. We’re excited and truly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Hawaii Public Radio to bring this series to the people of Hawaii and the world.”
Julia Steele, an editor at Hana Hou! magazine and the founding editor of Honolulu Weekly, did the writing, research and narration for the series. If the brief introductory episode is any guide, the series will provide important historical and socio-political context and explanation for Hawaii today.
“We’ll look at the cataclysmic changes that came with contact with the West and the arrival of capitalism and the idea of land as private property,” Steele says in the first episode. “We’ll examine the Mahele of the 1840s, the emergence of sugar as an economic juggernaut, the rise of the forces hostile to the monarchy, and, through it all, the way Hawaiians maintained aloha ‘aina and sought to defend and honor the land–the maka‘ainana as well as leaders such Queen Lili‘uokalani and Joseph Nawahi.
For more information or to hear archived episodes, go to Hawaiipublicradio.org.
Photo of Black Sand Beach: Pedro Szekely/Wikimedia Commons