Our mission to resemiotize and re-indigenize Mānoa also extends to the actual plants that grow on campus. Students in focus groups mentioned that they want more Native Hawaiian plants all around campus and not just at Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai. We take this idea a step further by proposing to not only plant more Native Hawaiian species on UHM campus grounds, but also to sign the existing Hawaiian plants that people may not notice are all around them. Below are some examples of Native Hawaiian plants:
Signage for Existing Native Hawaiian Plants
On campus currently, there are many Hawaiian plants that people walk by everyday and they may be unaware of the significance of those plants. We propose signage for existing native plants on campus in order to create an educational opportunity to learn about mea Kanu Hawaiʻi or Hawaiian plants. We propose that the signs be bilingual stating the Hawaiian name, English name, the Hawaiian lāʻau lapaʻau (medicinal) use, and the cultural significance of the plant. Below is an example of this proposal:
Currently, there are numerous locations on the UHM campus where kukui trees grow in a grove of three or more trees. Spaces like the front of Webster Hall (pictured on the left) are the perfect opportunity for signage. The signage could mention many things since the kukui plant is so versatile for many medicinal and practical uses. We also propose that the signage mention what the native plant represents. For the kukui, it represents enlightenment because the nuts would be the oil to keep the lamps burning in old Hawaiʻi. The kukui also represents enlightenment from education which is why the Hawaiʻinuiākea students go out and pick kukui leaves every year during graduation to wear the lei that represents that they have been enlightened through the reception of knowledge.