I have been working on a painting of Nā Pōhaku o Hauwahine. ʻAhahui Mālāma I ka Lōkahi are the curators of this wahi pana site and my friend, Lehuakona Isaacs, President of ʻAhahui, has taught me much about this area and the native lowland forest restoration work he is leading there. He and his organization have brought thousands of kids, all grade levels, from our community here for environmental/scientific and cultural education. College students from all over the world come here for work service projects and study.
It is a phenomenal site because it sits above and looks out upon a beautiful panoramic view of Kawainui, Mount Olomana, and as far as Kailua Bay. Kawainui, once the center of the Koʻolau volcano caldera, evolved over a period of thousands of years into a huge salt water lagoon. Fossils of ocean creatures and plants are still found at the foot of the huge stones that we stand on at Na Pōhaku to look out at Kawainui and beyond. On the side of one of these sacred rock formations there is clearly the face of an enormous lizard in the patterns of the rock. Could it be Hauwahine? These are her rocks.
I have been working on a painting of Ulupō Heiau. Over the years I have observed the amazing transformation occurring at Ulupō. The extensive restoration work and stewardship going on there has created a thing of beauty and a special niche in our community. Ulupō is now a place we can step into, and experience the values, spirituality and roots of the ancient civilization that existed there over a thousand years ago. The ancient spring at Ulupō that has been flowing for centuries once again gives life to kalo growing there and the native endangered wetland birds of Kawainui/Hāmākua are often found poking around in the loʻi.
Kaleo Wong, the pond keeper of Ulupō for Hikaʻalani and Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club, and a navigator for the Hōkūleʻa, has led the work of clearing and restoring ancient loʻi kalo, growing other native plants here, and is working toward the goal of fishpond restoration, perpetuation of Hawaiian culture, and food sovereignty at this wahi pana. Each year Kaleo and his fellow educators have brought up to 3700 kids and other community members, some from at-risk groups in our community, to Ulupō for cultural education and stewardship. It is a place that has transformed lives.
The Kawainui-Hāmākua Master plan is the hope and promise of providing support for the ongoing restoration work and educational programs going on at Ulupō and throughout Kawainui, as well as the avenue of ensuring the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture in Kailua by Hikaʻalani, ʻAhahui Mālāma I Ka Lōkahi, Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club, Hui Kawainui-Kailua Ka Wai Ola, and the Hui Maunawili-Kawainui Coalition and several hula halau and kumu.
For Kawainui and the descendants who care for her everyday
We Are Kawainui
By Beth Anderson
Kawainui, the piko of your ahupuaʻa. Embyronic, life giving, hot magma entombed fathoms below her waters.
You, born of this place, ask permission, emanate respect, and exude honor. Hauwahine joyfully listens to your chant. Enter descendant.
The kalo grows tall, the ʻuki grass kisses your feet, ʻAlae ʻUla, Ae’o, Koloa, and Alae keʻokeʻo call to you. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors to the four corners— Waiʻauia, Kālaheo, Kapaʻa, Kahanaiki. A thousand five hundred years. You are still here
where the two wai join. Kanaka Maoli. Remain.
Hōkūleʻa, guided your returns to Ulupō, Holomakani, Pahukini, Nā Pōhaku O Hauwahine to recite moʻolelo, oli, mele, dance, and imu here. Pound poi and kapa, slap the ipu here. Honor your ancestors here. Iwi kūpuna burial belongs here. Pamoa will flourish, kūpuna will enlighten here. Listen keiki.
Wahi pana, loʻi, fishpond and forest desecrated by invasives, aliens, non-natives. Fishpond, ʻama ʻama, oʻopu wai, āholehole bled by sugar cane, smothered by rice and cattle. Culture, voice, and soul buried in cement and oppression. Original environmentalists here. Rise up. Sustain.
Two separate worlds, native and non-native. Who gave you authority? Asking permission, having to negotiate, compromise. Fenced off, made invisible in your eyes. Hauwahine recognizes who is healing here. Put down your weapons. Stop inflicting
pain. It was stolen. It once was ours.