An illustration I did of a Candlenut (Aleurites moluccanus) for the ROM’s
Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. while I was working there. The exhibition’s still up until September 5th, so you should go check it out!
You know, he MIGHT be the professor! Kukui nut is another name for the candlenut, a flowering tree that grows throughout Hawaii, and is, in fact, its state tree!
“In ancient Hawaiʻi, kukui
nuts were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a
palm leaf midrib, lit on one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes
or so. This led to their use as a measure of time. One could instruct
someone to return home before the second nut burned out. Hawaiians also
extracted the oil from the nut and burned it in a stone oil lamp called a
kukui hele po (light, darkness goes) with a wick made of kapa cloth.
Hawaiians also had many other uses for the tree, including: leis from the shells, leaves and flowers; ink for tattoos from charred nuts; a varnish with the oil; and fishermen would chew the nuts and spit them on the water to break the surface tension and remove reflections, giving them greater underwater visibility. A red-brown dye made from the inner bark was used on kapa and aho (Touchardia latifolia cordage). A coating of kukui oil helped preserve ʻupena (fishing nets). The nohona waʻa (seats), pale (gunwales) of waʻa (outrigger canoes) were made from the wood. The trunk was sometimes used to make smaller canoes used for fishing. Kukui was named the state tree of Hawaii on 1 May 1959 due to its multitude of uses. It also represents the island of Molokaʻi, whose symbolic color is the silvery green of the kukui leaf.”
State tree of Hawaii, I mean, that’s a pretty good name for a professor of a Hawaiian-based region, right?
“In Maui the kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. It was said that Kamapuaʻa, the hog-man fertility demi-god, could transform into a kukui tree.”
So we all know about that trend in the Pokemon games where the professors are named after types of trees, right?
Well meet Professor Kukui.
The trend continues with him as he is named after a certain one: the Kukui tree.
Fun facts:Despite that it’s actually native to Hawaii, (as it was originally from Polynesia) the Kukui tree serves as the state tree. It is also known as the candlenut tree, due to the tree’s nuts being used by early settlers for making candles.
Another interesting fact: On the island of Maui, the Kukui tree is a symbol for enlightenment, protection and peace.
And of course, since Kukui is supposed to be a professor, I bet that he’ll be enlightening our heroes alot during the story.
At least we all know one thing’s for certain: That this is yet another confirmation that the game’s region is based on Hawaii.
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.
I think that there are two professors in Sun & Moon.
I say this because they’re always named after trees. Oak, Birch, Sycamore, etc. Well, the man in the lab coat is shown in the US trailer to be named Kukui. I looked up the meaning of Kukui in Hawaiian, and it means Candlenut tree. Also the guy is wearing a lab coat so that makes it a bit more obvious
The guy in the yellow jacket who throws out your starters in shown in the image above from the Japanese trailer to be named Hala. Kukui is the only other guy standing there, so by process of elimination Hala is the one in yellow. I looked up what Hala means, and it means Pandanus tree.
Two guys with tree names. One with a lab coat, one giving you starters, both things usually done by the professor. Two professors.
I could see them being father and son possibly, since Kukui appears to be younger, but that could just be a coincidence.