Respecting plants

Atua associated with plants are varied with nuanced classifications, reflecting the diverse relationships between humans and the plant kingdom in Te Moananui Oceania. In Polynesian cultures for example, such as Hawai’i and Aotearoa New Zealand, a dual classification of plant-related Atua is prominent, divided into wild plants and cultivated plants. Atua like Lono, Haumea, Haumia-tiketike, and Rongomātāne embody the intricate connections between wild and cultivated plants. To the north, there is a shared reverence for plants as sources of food, medicine, and materials for daily life. Atua associated with agriculture, such as Yalafath (Yap) are honored. These plant-related Atua have roles in providing sustenance, fertility, and abundance, reflecting spiritual and cultural significance attributed to vegetation in the region, and embody the interdependence and reciprocity between humans and the natural world. The following nature-based solutions may be useful in an attempt to celebrate or respect plants.