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Sharing resources



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Sharing resources

The `ohana, or extended family, was the basic social unit of the Hawaiian community. Each `ohana lived and worked within land units, or `ili, within the larger ahupua`a land division. Most exchange and sharing of food, material goods, services or labor took place within the `ohana and operated more as a system of voluntary giving than of barter. The `ohana lived in kauhale, or clustered households, within short distance from fields and fishing grounds. Based on archaeological evidence, coastal settlements in drier areas may have been seasonal with family groups moving down to the sea from their upland homes during the fishing season. Groups living nearer the coast would exchange seafoods, salt, gourds and coconuts for what grew at higher elevations: taro, wauke, bananas, olona, medicinal herbs, timber and thatching materials. Nearly all the basic necessities of Hawaiian life came from plants. The ancient culture had no metal tools or pottery, but used stone and bone tools and woven, carved, or gourd containers.

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