Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

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


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



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Southwest Research Station


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.


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.


Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.