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Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides
About the Author
Mehana Blaich Vaughangrew up where the districts of Halele‘a and Ko‘olau meet on the island of Kaua‘i. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and the Sea Grant College Program and Hui ‘Āina Momona at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Mehana’s research and teaching focus on community relationships with natural resources, particularly in indigenous settings, as well as place-based education. Her home is on Kaua‘i with her husband, mother, and three children. Kaiāulu is her first book.
Based on two decades of interviews with over sixty Hawaiian elders, leaders, and fishermen and women, Mehana Blaich Vaughan’s “Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides” is a deeply personal and affecting book about how community interacts with natural resources. The northeast coast of Kauaʻi, where Mehana was born and raised, can be a picturesque playground for tourists, but for centuries, the catch from this local reef, and the sharing of that food, has helped sustain area families. What happens when these fishing families become increasingly unseen, many of them moving away due to global commodification and loss of access to their coastal land? This book skillfully explores a community’s enduring efforts to nurture respectful relationships with natural resources and perpetuate these practices for future generations.