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Episode 64: Aloha ‘?ina with H?k?ao Pellegrino

When H?k?ao Pellegrino started his kalo farm on Maui in 2004, no one else around him was farming kalo. The young mahi ‘ai quickly realized he couldn’t do it by himself—to succeed he would need the support of the community. Fortunately all kinds of support did show up and today his farm is thriving. The experience has had a direct impact on the way Pellegrino thinks about aloha ‘?ina.

“What resonates in me is collaboration. When you look at the traditional system of how lands were managed prior to Western contact, it was a collaborative approach. It was ensuring that your neighbor had access to water or resources on those lands for the purpose of surviving and feeding your families but also collaboration in the sense of developing areas and lands that ensured beneficial use by those connected to the land. So when I look at aloha ‘?ina today, I look at it in the same fashion.”

Pellegrino talks of the great shifts that have occurred in the last centuries: Gone is the oversight of the konohiki and the ali‘i, replaced by numerous federal, state and county entities and agencies. He notes the great complexity of many of the issues involving land today—all the more reason, he believes, for people to come together. “The Hawai‘i that we live in now, although the way we use our lands has changed, collaboration still has to exist if we want to continue to thrive for many generations in these islands.”

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