Jan Tenbruggencate

//Jan Tenbruggencate

Royal Treatment from a King

By Jan TenBruggencate

Kaumuali‘i, the last king of Kaua‘i, belied the meme of royals as petulant needy folks. He was a superb host.

He had, as one would have said generations ago, the breeding.

His father was Kaeo, the brother of Maui’s famed Kahekili and son of Maui’s supreme chief Kekaulike.

His mother, Kamakahelei, was the ruler of Kaua‘i. […]

By |September 20th, 2015|0 Comments

A Canoe Is an Island, an Island is a Canoe

By Jan TenBruggencate

Let’s face it. I’m a canoe nut.

I’ve built them and rigged them, surfed them, sailed them, raced them across interisland channels, voyaged on them, fished off them. At various times, I’ve steered and stroked and been the “engine room.” I’ve even coached a few unlucky souls.

But as much as I love the things […]

By |August 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Bringing the Past to Life

By Jan TenBruggencate

The stone remnants of early Hawaiian structures are just the bones of what they actually represent.

A house foundation today may only be a rectangle of stones, with an opening in one wall for entry and perhaps a central hearth of stones in a square.

There is often little indication of how the structure functioned. […]

By |July 5th, 2015|0 Comments

The Garden Isle’s Fossil-Rich Landscape

By Jan TenBruggencate

A lot of folks think of fossils in terms of dinosaurs — things a couple of hundred million years old.

A place like Kaua‘i, which emerged from the ocean just five million years ago, couldn’t have much of a fossil supply. Right?

Wrong. There are fossils all over the island — fossil shells, fossil birds, […]

By |June 25th, 2015|0 Comments

Hawaiian Saltmaking

By Jan TenBruggencate

On hot summer days, on rocky shorelines throughout the Islands, you can find pockets of white crystals in depressions in the stones.

They are places where waves deposited salty ocean water, which then evaporated in the sun to leave glistening bits of sea salt.

As a kid on the island of Molokai, I can recall […]

By |May 29th, 2015|0 Comments

Prior to Agriculture, Mana Plain Was the Largest Wetland in Hawai‘i

By Jan TenBruggencate

The broad agricultural fields from Waimea to Polihale, at the base of West Kaua‘i’s cliffs, may seem like an unchanged landscape, but they are far different than in ancient days.

Much of the area sometimes known as the Mana Plain was once a fertile wetland, some of it below sea level, protected from the […]

By |April 25th, 2015|0 Comments

Early Hawaiians and the Universe Around Them

By Jan TenBruggencate

The sense of conservation is deep in Hawai‘i, and dates to the earliest days of human activity.

There is a respect for biodiversity and the connection between people, plants, animals and the land.

This doesn’t mean there were no destructive acts in land use policies of early Hawai‘i. Native forested valleys were destroyed to create […]

By |March 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Ancient Hawaiian Field Systems

By Jan TenBruggencate

Farming, in a way, is resource protection.

When you’re growing food, you don’t need to go out and harvest wild resources.

Nearly every human culture has figured that out, and early Hawai‘i was among the most agriculturally sophisticated of stone age cultures.

Hawaiians managed resources in every part of the island chain, from the ocean onto […]

By |February 26th, 2015|0 Comments

The Battle of Maha‘ulepu

By Jan TenBruggencate

The Ka‘ie‘iewaho Channel is a daunting 60-mile passage, across which no early Hawaiian chief was able to launch a successful attack on Kaua‘i.

It is an old Kaua‘i tradition that the bones of unsuccessful armies are buried in the dunes of Maha‘ulepu.

However, it is not only war, but also peace that is called to […]

By |January 9th, 2015|0 Comments

Kamehameha Would Go

By Jan TenBruggencate

Some folks write about tow-in surfing as if it’s a new thing.

Tow-in surfing is the concept of using another vehicle—often a small speedboat or personal watercraft—to deliver a surfer to a fast-moving wave.

But of course, it is far from new. Just as early Hawaiians invented surfing, they also invented the concept of assisted […]

By |December 25th, 2014|0 Comments