Thursday, July 23, 2009



One of my favorite children's books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or as it was translated in my Hawaiian immersion classroom, ʻO Ka ʻEnuhe Pōloli Loa, by Eric Carle. 

There is a native ʻenuhe, a carnivorous caterpillar, as a matter of fact (Eupithecia spp). This is quite unusual as nearly all caterpillars are leaf eaters but our local, native ʻenuhe is a predator.

There is a wahi pana, or place name, in Hawaiʻi with the word ʻenuhe in it:  Puʻuʻenuhe (caterpillar hill) is located in Kaʻū on Hawaiʻi Island.  Legend says that a legendary ʻenuhe, named Kumuhea, married a girl living in the area and would only visit her at night and in human form. Eventually, he was cut up into small pieces and each piece became little ʻenuhe.

ʻEnuhe eventually morph into pulelehua but that is a momi for another day.

He hamuiʻa ka ʻenuhe ʻōiwi - the native caterpillar is carnivorous.

ʻAʻole au makemake i ka ʻenuhe ma kaʻu sāleta - I do not like caterpillars in my salad.

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