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10th Hana Limu Festival set to honor Hana-born educator and ethnobotanist

Na Mamo O Mu’olea’s 10th annual Hana Limu Festival will be held Thursday and Friday nights at Helene Hall in Hana, and all-day Nov. 16 at Hana Bay Beach Park. All events are free.

This year’s festival pays tribute to Hana-born educator and ethnobotanist Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott, who was one of the world’s leading experts on limu. As the first Native Hawaiian woman to earn a Ph.D. in science, Abbott’s work and passion continue to inspire others.

Each year the Limu Festival brings people from across the islands to enjoy a weekend of music, hula, games, arts and crafts, and a silent auction. Funds raised by the silent auction benefit Na Mamo O Mu’olea’s Isabella Aiona Abbot Scholarship for Hana students committed to higher education and the Hana community. This year’s sponsors are the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, The Nature Conservancy and the Hana Maui Trust.

The schedule of events includes:

• 6-10 p.m. Thursday — Feature film “Moananuiakea: One Ocean. One People. One Canoe,” presented by Polynesian Voyaging Society and ‘Oiwi TV’s Na’alehu Anthony. The Maui Nui Makai Network of communities introduces new participants from East Maui as they recommit to the Promise to Pae’aina and the East Maui Ho’omau, and continue their work in marine conservation and resource management.

• 6-10 p.m. Friday — Friday Night Talk Story, E Wala’au Kakou, No Ka ‘Imi Na’auao (Focus on Education). Talk story as the life achievements of the late Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott are celebrated. Celia Smith from the UH-Manoa Botany Department will lead the talk. Halau Nakaulakuhikuhi will perform hula to honor Abbott. Pelika Andrade and Kim Kanoeulalani Morishge will share their work on Na Kilo Aina, which refers to the watchers and observers of our sustenance. Kilo were people that made detailed observations of the nuances of their surroundings in relation to their cultural practice and livelihood. Hokulani Padilla, her staff and Ka Hikina o Ka La scholarship recipients from Molokai will share presentations on various conservation projects. Chef Barry Villiarimo will share his Hana Bay Seafood Chowder.

• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 16 — Saturday Festival, Hands-on Keiki and ‘Ohana Activities. Games, crafts and interactive science and cultural activities for the whole ‘ohana. Learn to recognize different species of native limu with tide pool touch tanks. Alaka’ina Maui Digital Bus for Keiki fun and exploration. Hula from Halau O Nakaulakuhikuhi, under the direction of Kau’i Kanaka’ole, granddaughter of Aunty Edith Kekuhikuhi Kanaka’ole. Live music by Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artist Kainani Kahaunahele with Ikaika Marzo, Kamakoa Asing, Nathan Grace and Kua’ola. Handcrafted Hana-made items sold by local artists. Silent auction benefiting the Isabelle Aiona Abbott Scholarship for youths of Hana. Local food vendors.

Na Mamo O Mu’olea is a nonprofit group and an ‘ohana of residents and families of Mu’olea, whose mission is to perpetuate traditional management of the Mo’olea ahupua’a, and to restore and maintain Mu’olea’s natural, cultural, scenic, historic and marine resources for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the community and future generations.