Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Fishing and Eating Like Ancient Hawaiians

Fishing and Eating Like Ancient Hawaiians


– [Mark] On the south corner
coast of Hawaii island, there is one of the last
Hawaiian fishing villages in the world, and it’s Ho’Okena. (water splashing) They still practice traditional
fishing in the old style, in a canoe chumming the water the way that generations of Hawaiians have done. It is something that needs
to be experienced firsthand. If we don’t continue
to learn these things, that knowledge will be lost. (upbeat music) My name’s Mark Noguchi. My friends call me Gooch, and
I’m a chef here in Hawaii. My belief is in preserving the techniques and the ingredients that we have in this place that I call home. When we talk about Hawaiian food, there’s before Western contact, and then there’s post Western contact. One of the biggest misconceptions
about Hawaiian food is how it’s always
presented in this gigantic, you know, luau with the
emu and the kalua pig, and then the fire knife dancers, which, that’s not even Hawaiian! Hawaiians, they eat simply. It was largely a very ocean, or Palauea, and vegetal based diet. The reason why I’m going
down to Ho’Okena today is to spend the day with
one of the Hawaiian families who have graciously called
their friends and family to come down and share their practice. (upbeat music) – [Charles] Hawaiian practices
around fishing and planting and growing is all about sustainability. We fish with nets, and catch what we need. Opelu is a mackerel; and it’s the mainstay of the fishing village here. If you were to try and go in the water and catch them with a
spear or something else, they’re gonna just leave. They’re not gonna stay
around, you need to feed them. You would prepare their bait,
which was 100% vegetable. We call that the pololu. That’s put into a bag and the
bag is thrown into the ocean, and when it’s yanked, all the
pololu-or the bait-is let go. The fish aggregate and
come around and feed. We don’t separate ourselves from the land. We don’t separate ourselves
from what feeds us. So, it’s important then to
sustain those aggregation areas, and they did that by feeding the fish during the off season
without even catching them. And this was a means to train the fish to come back to the
same area all the time. It’s almost like ocean farming. (upbeat music) – [Mark] So, after you
harvest all of this fish, you gotta clean it; and you see aunties, and you see husbands; and
you see friends come around. Everybody knows that there’s a job to do. Today, we’re gonna prepare opelu in as many ways as possible. Fried, seasoned just with pa’akai, keeping it super simple. We’re also gonna have opelu raw, which is just cut up, and
it’s just lightly seasoned. Opelu lomi, where you
take it and you lomi it, and you turn it, and you mix
it with other ingredients. Onions, tomatoes, green onions, seasoned with like just
chili pepper and salt. We also have poi today-fresh poi. Poi is taro that’s been cooked, and it’s been mixed with water, and it is one of our staple starches. We also have ulu, which is breadfruit. Breadfruit is another traditional
Hawaiian staple as well. And this is how we eat, everyday, simple. (speaking foreign language) One thing that we always
do: we bless the food, that it’s a non-denominational mahalo, to all the hands and all the spirits and all the people that have come together to put all this food together. Mahalo. (crowd clapping) And then you eat. You just sit around and hang out. That’s when the stories come out; that’s everything that we
worked for for that day. It reinforces, for myself, the importance of being able to know the difference of what it is that we’re
cooking and serving. So good. In today’s day and age, where we are all worried
about our resources, there are people still doing their part to preserve an eco system. It lends hope for us to continue to preserve the place that we call home. We need to take these lessons
that aren’t shared worldwide; we need to be able to take these lessons and apply them to our daily life. (light upbeat music)

100 comments on “Fishing and Eating Like Ancient Hawaiians

  1. Lilo: Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind. But if you want to leave, you can. I'll remember you though.

  2. Visited Hawaii once and I already fall in love with the people, the place and the culture itself! It's amazing, and I will be back! Especially for hula dance 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

  3. Unpopular Opinion.
    How can this video talk about sustainability and preserving an ecosystem when they use aluminium foils as a plate for their fish, plastic forks and utensils to eat, polystyrene bowls and plates, and paper plates all together? I don't care if you tell me that they are disposed properly or whatever, plastics can break down into the smallest pieces and make its way into the ocean, that's besides my point about sustainability anyways, they are non-reusable and should be avoided. I am sorry, but this video is contradicting.

  4. A Japanese American who thinks he's Hawaiian eating modern foods like tomatoes while pretending they're the same thing ancient Hawaiians ate.

  5. Why’d western culture have to get so big become a driving force in the world, almost every other culture seems to be really chill and understanding of the environment

  6. I went to Hawai'i . About 10 years ago. .
    The island blew my mind away .
    The food was amazing and the weather was unreal..

  7. I wish i could like more Hawaiian food i only eat lau lau, kalua pork, taro. I wish I liked fish but I don’t sadly.

  8. We also needa remove the plastic and have regulated commercial fishing. Or have commercial fishing finish in 1 or 3 days. Would bring back a lot of fish and would help habitats

  9. Wouldn’t documenting the knowledge preserve the techniques for later generations. So, if it (anything) is not practiced, but properly documented, then it’s simply dormant.

  10. Don't let commercial fishing mess things up ….even more than they are now ……Hawaii is not the same …..its getting bad, what happened to good old home life ….

  11. That is awesome awesome makes me hungry looking at did delicious food and your very blessed Phone plus in the fooding given thanks to the one gave it to you A man

  12. It will never be lost because my people (Samoan) still live this life style lol we still rather cook our food in the UMU then in pots and pans. The Hawaiians maybe lost it but we all Polynesian people, & our culture lives & breathe thru us. We were the greatest voyagers that ever Existed

  13. I guarantee that dude eats more Big Macs than traditional food. You don’t get that fat on fish and veggies

  14. I feel like the title is misleading to anyone who don’t know about Hawaii or Hawaiian culture so I’m hoping my explanation can help for this video. Yes, they have a motor on the boat, or using plastic utensils, and other modern day things. Its 2019!!! No one builds canoes out of Koa wood anymore for many reasons. These guys have jobs and other activities to provide for their families. A lot of people think they fish like this everyday for a living, but they don’t. I’m sure if they had the time to do everything like the ancient hawaiians did, they would. The whole concept here is understanding the practices and teaching. The practice here is fishing using the same type of net and strategy they used in ancient hawaiian times. Learning is understanding how things are done and why they’re done, like he said, cannot take a spear cuz they will swim away, but they will stay for food. Ancient practices such as this and making an imu(underground oven) are done with modern tools, but the strategy and concept is the same. Hope this helps. Aloha!!!

  15. Traditional cuisines are healthy,in Hawaii,Taro,Breadfruits,fishes and jungle foods which they collect but with the Americans Colonisation comes Americans Junk Food which brought diseases and pains.

  16. aloha a maika'i! opelu fried, lomi, a maka, ulu and poi [I like the sour poi] nice paina at the beach, mahalo..i'm in Oklahoma from Lahaina. last night I pulled some menpachi and holehole from freezer, tomorrow Saturday I going eatm, nomo poi, I use greek plain yogurt, lol!.. mahalo for this great video, aloha

  17. It's hard to preserve your own culture after getting invaded by Americans settlers but it proves Hawaiians were eco-friendly before everyone in the world. Those dishes are really simple: local fish, local vegetables ( I'm not sure the Hawaiians had tomatoes ^) but are local so that's good for nature and their stomach 😉

  18. Theres a lot of Asians & caucasians at that "traditional Hawaiian pā'ina". Even the guy talking isnt Hawaiian, he's Japanese. Our people are almost entirely extinct & all that will be left is Asians & caucasians pretending theyre Hawaiian, dancing our hula, practicing our culture, speaking our language… all things they BANNED us from doing, & the world will never even know theyre frauds.

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