April – Welo/’Ikuwa


April is when the constellation Leo becomes visible in the eastern evening sky.

Leo constellation. Source: Starregistration.net

Some kupuna (elders) believe April to be a productive month for planting, and in this month the malolo (flying fish) are running, 

Ka iʻa hoʻāla i ka pō, wai lama i ke ahi
The fish that wakes people up at night and causes a glowing of torches over the water

Fishermen traditionally used torches (and now flashlights) to identify where the flying fish are skimming at the surface of the water. The Hano malolo technique was used to catch malolo, whereby a weighted fishing net was thrown where they were jumping out of the water. 

Hano malolo technique of fishing. Sources: Imagesofoldhawaii.com

April also welcomes the spawning of the moi (Pacific Threadfin) and the peak nesting season for the endangered ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian coot), which lay five to six eggs in floating nest platforms near the edges of ponds. 

The endangered Hawaiian Coot nesting. Source: MauiNews

Hawaiian Coot and chicks. There are only an estimated 2,000-4,000 coots left in the Hawaiian Islands. Source: US Fish & Wildlife









Sources: Project Kāhea Loko – A Teacher’s Guide to Hawaiian Fishponds; 2016 Hawaiian Lunar Calendar (Classroom edition) by Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council