Hau‘ula Welcomes Its Role Of Stewardship

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust recently sponsored a formal ceremony and open house to mark the official, permanent preservation of one of the last remaining intact heiau in Ko‘olauloa.


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State Sen. Clayton Hee receives a ceremonial cup of awa following the Oct. 25 blessing of the heiau. Also honored that day were (from left) William Aila, Hawaiian Island Land Trust executive director Ted Clement, Mayor Caldwell's chief of staff Ray Soon, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs president Soulee Lester Kealoahonalani Stroud, Kent Fonoimoana and (new) state Sen. Gil Riviere. Photos by Franz Schmutzer.

Maunawila Heiau is part of a nine-acre preserve recently conveyed to the trust from private landowners, and purchased with public money. Hau‘ula Community Association and Ko‘olauloa Hawaiian Civic Club will be stewards of the site, which oral histories say was a healing temple.

The Oct. 25 program included an awa ceremony, music, blessings and speeches by dignitaries and area volunteers who have cleared and restored much of the heiau to expose platform terraces, stone paving and other features.

“Today we celebrate the relationships we have to the land and to each other,” HILT executive director Ted Clement told the gathering. “By working together with so many partners, we can assure the entire community will benefit from this educational and cultural resource, and that HILT can fulfill its kuleana of conserving this special place forever.”

Speakers and stakeholders also included Mayor Kirk Caldwell, state Sen. Clayton Hee, DLNR board chairman William Aila Jr., Davianna McGregor (of the former landowners), Cathleen Mattoon of the civic club, Dotty Kelly-Paddock of HCA, HILT’s Christina Aiu and Hau‘ula Elementary immersion students.