When people think of Hawaii, they might picture waves crashing on sandy beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and hula dancers in grass skirts. But one of the most important and intriguing aspects of Hawaii is its rich and diverse flora, including our endemic species.
When preparing for the MAMo Wearable Art Show, we were required to create a minimum of 10 looks. I decided to feature various mea Kanu that were important to our Kūpuna and played a part in our Kakou Collective journey. Mamane was one of the first endemic plants that I drew for a project when we first started so it was an automatic yes, serving as a nod to 2019/2020 me.
Sometimes, its really difficult to see wearable art and fashion pieces so I wanted to share our Mamane pattern from the wearable art show for this months digital download.
Mamane, or Sophora chrysophylla, is an endemic native Hawaiian plant that has many uses, from medicinal to construction to food for the endangered Palila bird. The flowers of the Mamane plant were traditionally used as an astringent and to make beautiful lei, while the wood was prized for its durability and used to construct everything from houses to sleds for hōlua.
But perhaps the most interesting use of the Mamane plant is as a food source for the Palila bird, an endangered species found only on Hawaii island. The Palila relies heavily on the Mamane plant's leaves, flowers, and seeds for sustenance, making the plant a vital component of the bird's survival.
I hope this inspires you to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and versatility of the Mamane plant. It's not just a pretty flower or a sturdy piece of wood - it's a vital part of Hawaiian culture and the delicate ecosystem of Hawaii island.
Please enjoy this months art - donʻt forget that downloading our artwork means you agree to our terms and conditions. Be pono. For personal use only. Not to be copied or distributed. Have a project you'd like to collaborate on? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here.