Wednesday, October 21, 2009



Now in English, the world of sheep is quite extensive.  I mean how many of you know the real difference between a lamb, sheep, and mutton?  But in Hawaiian there's one word for all of these and that word is hipa.  Though hipa are being raised on the different islands, the only island where you may find wild sheep and mouflon (a relative of hipa) is on Hawai'i Island.  Unfortunately these cutie animals are quite destructive to native growth (particularly the mamane trees, one of my favorites).  In 1980 the Sierra Club won a lawsuit which prompted the state to eliminate most wild hipa from Mauna Kea.  Have you ever saw that horrible gorse that has devastated the upper slopes of Mauna Kea, near Hakalau?  It's the most awful looking plant, with horrible thick long spines that has ruined the landscape and killed everything in its way.  I do believe it was the hipa that was brought in by Parker Ranch (perhaps from New Zealand) that spread this seed (it was stuck in their thick wool) on those upper slopes.

Kahuhipa - Shepherd (sheep guardian)

hulu hipa - wool (sheep fur)

'ili hipa - sheepskin

'īlio kia'i hipa - sheep dog

Iesū nō ke kahuhipa - Jesus is the shepherd

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