Wahi pana (storied place names) for Waipā, at present, are not easily accessible to the community. Creating perspective maps on the ground and from the air allows for these wahi pana and inoa wahi to be better integrated into the community in an everyday sense creating not only an easily accessible format but also allows for the sharing of invaluable information to the next generation. When the place names of Waipā are reintegrated to the community, life will be given back to these places, and these places, in turn, will breathe life back into the community.
Inventorying and understanding the historical movements of the Waipā kahawai
can aid in strengthening the communities stewardship and relationship to the
kahawai. This project provides brief descriptions regarding the utilization of the
Waipā stream, accounts from community members, a compilation of historical
maps depicting the stream movement, and a comprehensive list of recent and current Waipā stream projects.
Identifying and recovering the names of Waipā's water resources found in historic documents contributes to the overall significance of Waipā, allowing ancestral names to be returned to memories of today's community and the lands of which these names belong to. The significance of names, the giving of names, and the continued use of these names honors the intimacy that exists between people and their resources.
Many intimate stories of place are embedded in the personal testimonies given by poʻe ʻŌiwi as they asserted their kuleana to particular places and resources following the Māhele of 1848. Using these records as primary sources in conjunction with historic maps and boundary surveys from the late 19th–early 20th centuries, this project begins to bring to life the story of one makaʻāinana of Waipā, an individual named Opio. I begin by compiling historic maps and previous ethnohistorical research to re-map particular wahi and offer a more comprehensive understanding of the entire ahupuaʻa. Overlaying this place-based information on current satellite imagery, I then walked the landscape, traveling from each of Opio’s ʻāpana to another as one method to better understand the daily life of those who lived on the ʻāina of Waipā over 150 years ago. I offer this knowledge to the Waipā ʻohana as a means to empower and enrich their educational programs and land use planning for the present and future generations of makaʻāinana who make this place an ʻāina momona.
The value of Waipā Foundation’s Poi day, not only brings the community together, but also extends outward to other communities. This ethnographic study interviews the staff members, recurring volunteers, kūpuna, and customers on July 18th during Poi day, as well as, on July 25th during a ride along to help document a snapshot in time that compiles the voices of the community and their value of Poi day.