Watch for Sharks
The Story Behind the Design:
"Pua ka wiliwili, nanahu ka manō."
When the wiliwili tree flowers, the shark bites.
‘Olelo No‘eau (Hawaiian Proverb), Mary Kawena Pukui
Shark bites, though rare, have been documented to occur more in the Hawaiian islands during the fall, coinciding with the flowering of the wiliwili tree depicted in this hand-drawn artwork as well as the mating season for tiger sharks. This print is inspired by this astute Hawaiian observation of the interconnectedness of nature's patterns.
Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) is a native Hawaiian flowering tree. Wiliwili, means "twist-twist," referring to the twisting shape of the seedpods. Its lightweight wood was once favored for making surfboards (papa he‘e nalu) and its bright red bean-like seeds for making lei.
The trees lose their leaves during the dry summer season. At the end of summer, they burst into bloom. Different trees have different colored flowers: ranging from very pale yellow, to orange, to crimson red. Found on the dry and windy leeward sides of the islands, groves of these trees are clustered across the open landscape. Normally hard to spot except when they bloom. Their colorful flowers catch your breath and can be seen from a great distance. This print is a reminder of the interconnectedness of the cycles of nature and of the wisdom embedded in these enticing flowers: watch for sharks.
*Machine wash on a cool delicate setting. Line-dry.