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Legacy of the Land, 2011

Naulu, Maui Arts and Cultural Center

At the beginning of ranching, forests were cleared on the southwestern slopes of Haleakalā. The clearing of native plants resulted in a clearing of the skies. It was the trees and shrubs of the forest whose release of moisture nourished the Naulu clouds. The Naulu cloud bridge once stretched between Maui and Kahoʻolawe. The clouds can still be seen, but no longer have the same strength they had years ago.

Thanks to the staff and volunteers of the Leeward Haleakalā Restoration Partnership, the Naulu have been rebuilding their power. As the reintroduced native plants thrive, they hold water in the ground, and also liberate it back into the air, thus shaping the clouds that are able to carry the gentle mist to the thirsty earth.

Some of the forms in this piece are influenced by the unnatural lines of man, particularly the barbwire fences once built to enclose cattle, which now form protective enclosures for restoration projects. The clouds hold the shapes of koa, ʻaʻaliʻi, and ʻiliahi leaves, some of the necessary tools for the Naulu. Without the plants there are no clouds.

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