Tribute To Hoakalei Ahupua‘a
City News …City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine
Some traditional places have been lost, altered or revived with the passing of time, but through place names, oral narratives and memories of the kamaaina (those who are descended from the traditional families of the land), we still find rich stories of such places. One such place is Hoakalei.
Last month, the City Council proudly honored Hoakalei Cultural Foundation of Ewa Beach. The foundation was established in 2006 as a means to preserve the culturally abundant lands of the Honouliuli ahupua’a and coastal areas cared for by the late kupuna Arline Wainaha Kuuleialoha Brede Eaton and Aunty Mary Kaipo Malama Serrao.
Through its cultural and stewardship programs of Kauhale, Ahu and Kuapapa Preserves, the foundation engages the community and enriches lives by raising awareness of its landmarks and culturally rich heritage.
Hoakalei Cultural Foundation executive director Kepa Maly, a recognized and highly esteemed cultural specialist, has found an amazing description of the journey made by the goddess Hi’iaka, who traveled across the Honouliuli ahupua’a to Pu’uloa. In the account was the description of Hi’iaka walking the open plain and greeting various residents of the land, while also gathering blossoms to make a lei for herself.
Kepa shares, “Passing the Pu’uokapolei vicinity, Hi’iaka descended toward Kualaka’i, and found a grove of small, multicolored lehua trees, laden with blossoms. Hi’iaka chanted and made garlands for her to wear, and upon reaching the coastal area then known as Hilo One, she came upon a spring of water. Stopping at the spring, Hi’iaka removed her garlands of ma’o and ‘ohai blossoms and adorned herself with the lei of lehua. She then looked into the spring and saw her reflection adorned with the lei.
Because of this event, the spring came to be called Hoaka-lei (reflection of the garland).”
The foundation was granted its federal nonprofit status in 2006, and since then has developed educational outreach and implemented site-preservation plans.
Through an agreement between Haseko Inc. and the state of Hawaii, the foundation assumed stewardship of nearly 25 acres along the Honouliuli coastal zone. Kupuna Arline held the position of president and Aunty Mary vice president of the board of directors until their passing in 2013. Aunty Arline’s belief in “preserving knowledge by passing down to the young” has been fulfilled as their descendents have taken their place on the foundation.
City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine serves District 1 (Waianae to Ewa Beach). Call her at 768-5001, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit councilmemberpine.com.