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Ritual + sustainability science? A portal into the science of aloha

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Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, Kekuhi ; Kurashima, Natalie ; Francisco, Kainana ; Giardina, Christian ; Louis, Renee ; McMillen, Heather ; Asing, C. ; Asing, Kayla ; Block, Tabetha ; Browning, Mililani ; Camara, Kualii ; Camara, Lahela ; Dudley, Melanie ; Frazier, Monika ; Gomes, Noah ; Gordon, Amy ; Gordon, Marc ; Heu, Linnea ; Irvine, Aliah ; Kaawa, Nohea ; Kirkpatrick, Sean ; Leucht, Emily ; Perry, Cheyenne ; Replogle, John ; Salbosa, Lasha-Lynn ; Sato, Aimee ; Schubert, Linda ; Sterling, Amelie ; Uowolo, Amanda ; Uowolo, Jermy ; Walker, Bridget ; Whitehead, A. ; Yogi, Darcy

Year Published



Sustainability. 10(10): 3478


In this paper, we propose that spiritual approaches rooted in the practice of Hawai‘i ritual provide a powerful portal to revealing, supporting, and enhancing our collective aloha (love, fondness, reciprocity, as with a family member) for and dedication to the places and processes that we steward. We provide a case study from Hawai‘i, where we, a group of conservation professionals known as Hālau ‘Ōhi’a, have begun to foster a collective resurgence of sacred commitment to the places and processes we steward through remembering and manifesting genealogical relationships to our landscapes through Indigenous Hawaiian ritual expression. We discuss how a ritual approach to our lands and seas makes us better stewards of our places, better members of our families and communities, and more fulfilled individuals. We assert that foundations of the spiritual and the sacred are required for effectively advancing the science of sustainability, the management of natural resources, and the conservation of nature.


sacred ecology; biocultural conservation; Hawai‘i


Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, Kekuhi; Kurashima, Natalie; Francisco, Kainana; Giardina, Christian; Louis, Renee; McMillen, Heather; Asing, C.; Asing, Kayla; Block, Tabetha; Browning, Mililani; Camara, Kualii; Camara, Lahela; Dudley, Melanie; Frazier, Monika; Gomes, Noah; Gordon, Amy; Gordon, Marc; Heu, Linnea; Irvine, Aliah; Kaawa, Nohea; Kirkpatrick, Sean; Leucht, Emily; Perry, Cheyenne; Replogle, John; Salbosa, Lasha-Lynn; Sato, Aimee; Schubert, Linda; Sterling, Amelie; Uowolo, Amanda; Uowolo, Jermy; Walker, Bridget; Whitehead, A.; Yogi, Darcy. 2018. Ritual + sustainability science? A portal into the science of aloha. Sustainability. 10(10): 3478.

Last updated on: March 22, 2019