Hawaiian Prophecies - Na Kupuna Na’auao

Perpetuation & Preservation of Ancestral Knowledge & Practices

Edible & Medicinal Plants – Kupuna – Beatrice Krauss

For 25 years Aunty Bea taught pro bono at the Lyon Arboretum, conducting informal classes in ethnobotany. She also taught plant crafts such as oshibana, to preschoolers on up to senior citizens. She continued her research in Hawaiian ethnobotany and helped to develop and plant the ethnobotanical garden which was named in her honor. Native Plants Used As Medicine in Hawai`i is one of several publications completed while she was at the arboretum as a Research Affiliate, a position she retained until the time of her death.

Over the course of three careers, she won many service awards and published two major books: Plants in Hawaiian Culture which won the Hawai`i Book of the Year Award in 1995 and Manoa, the Story of a Valley in 1994.

Born in Honolulu, Hawai`i in 1904, Beatrice Krauss was a respected and beloved kupuna (elder). She was active in various community organizations and willingly shared her expertise and opinions. She did not need a law to affirm equal opportunity in education. At a time when agriculture was not considered a suitable discipline for women and there was no women’s restroom on the department’s farm, she managed to talk her way into the college. In 1926 she was the first woman to be granted a degree in agriculture from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, where she also received a Master of Science degree in 1930.Aunty Bea worked as a plant physiologist at the Pineapple Research Institute from 1926 to 1968. Upon retirement, she spent 5 years on the teaching faculty of the Botany Department at the UH Manoa where her class in Hawaiian ethnobotany enjoyed much popularity, and contributed to a renewed interest in Hawaiian culture. She was not paid for teaching at the university because she refused to sign the loyalty oath required of all state employees. “She argued

that she didn’t need to sign a piece of paper to show her loyalty, and she pointed out that a ‘real’ communist would be the first person to sign the document anyway” (Lamoureux, 1998). In 1988 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by UH Manoa.For 25 years Aunty Bea taught pro bono at the Lyon Arboretum, conducting informal classes in ethnobotany. She also taught plant crafts such as oshibana, to preschoolers on up to senior citizens. She continued her research in Hawaiian ethnobotany and helped to develop and plant the ethnobotanical garden which was named in her honor. Native Plants Used As Medicine in Hawai`i is one of several publications completed while she was at the arboretum as a Research Affiliate, a position she retained until the time of her death.

Over the course of three careers, she won many service awards and published two major books: Plants in Hawaiian Culture which won the Hawai`i Book of the Year Award in 1995 and Manoa, the Story of a Valley in 1994.

Posted in 6. Nutrition & Medicinal Plants.

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