Kanaka Naʻaupo
by Joe Balaz

KANAKA NAʻAUPO (Ignorant Humankind) is about the attitude towards sharks in contemporary Hawaiʻi. Manō is the word for shark. Whenever there is a serious shark attack or loss of human life through such an attack, there is an outcry for the eradication of large sharks from the affected coastal areas. Such eradication programs are actually carried out for a limited time to capture and kill as many large sharks as possible. Some people disagree with these programs for envirorunental reasons. Many Hawaiians and people in the non- Hawaiian community are against such practices because the shark is spiritually viewed as an ʻaumakua, a family or personal protective god. Thus, the killing of certain sharks would be an abomination to Hawaiian religious beliefs.

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