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intern projects

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WKIP 2018

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Hōnaunau & Keʻei, Kona, Hawaiʻi

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Kauʻi Lopes

Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui defines moʻolelo as a story, history and tradition. For my project, I focus on He Moʻolelo Kaʻao No Kekūhaupiʻo, and how this moʻolelo conveys lessons from our kūpuna that can inform the management of cultural and natural resources in particular wahi kūpuna. He Moʻolelo Kaʻao No Kekūhaupiʻo was recorded by Reverend Stephen Desha in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Hoku o Hawaiʻi, and tells of Kekūhaupiʻo, a native of Keʻei, South Kona, and one of Kamehameha’s famed warrior. By recounting the journey of how Kekūhaupiʻo became a warrior, values, frameworks, and even protocols emerge that empower Kanaka ʻŌiwi to become ʻāina warriors that protect ancestral sites and pathways from current and future threats. By interpreting and applying our moʻolelo to our present, we give mana to them, and to our wahi pana.

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Heather Leilani Kekahuna

Henry Enoka Palenapa Kekahuna (1881-1969) was a Kanaka Maoli surveyor, researcher, and archaeologist who worked for the Bishop Museum during the early to mid 20th century. He is most well known for his detailed maps of residential and religious sites found throughout the islands of Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi. What made Kekahuna’s maps unique from other archaeological maps was the ways in which he incorporated place names, moʻolelo, and cultural features onto his maps, details that have played a crucial role in the restoration of these wahi kupuna (ancestral sites) today. Here I focus on Kekahuna’s 1952 map of Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, and how this map can be used as a portal into his life and legacy, as well as his profound insights as to the significance of our ancestral sites. ​

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Māhealani Villacorte

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Paʻakai is an irreplaceable resource that is utilized for various purposes. Whether it is “ka liʻu o ka paʻakai,” the flavor-enhancing taste of paʻakai, or the universal medicinal properties of paʻakai, our kūpuna recognize the great value of this natural resource both in its liquid and crystalized form. In Hawaiʻi, paʻakai is extracted from kai (seawater) that is poured into salt pans. As the sun’s rays evaporates the water, thin layers of salt accumulate within the pans. During the 2018 Wahi Kupuna Internship Program, we documented over 70 salt pans in Keʻei, consisting of the Kāheka (modified natural pāhoehoe basins) and Hāhāpaʻakai (portable salt pans) variety. Documenting and preserving paʻakai pans are vital towards reviving paʻakai-collecting practices today. ​

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Valentine Santarone III

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The Ala Loa, commonly referred to today as “Ala Kahakai,” is an ancient trail system that wraps around Hawaiʻi Island. Numerous mauka to makai trails connect to the Ala Loa, and were used for a range activities related to subsistence, transportation, and communication. In this project, I focus on the contemporary management of the Ala Loa in Keʻei Lalo Lilo (Keʻei 2), to further understand how trail systems are preserved and maintained by the communities that use them. In an effort to support the community’s efforts, interns and instructors of the 2018 Wahi Kupuna Internship Program produced two maps through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and archaeological field techniques. The first map depicts four mauka to makai trails in Keʻei 2. The second map depicts prominent cultural sites, and assess the current condition of the trail. Reference maps, such as the ones that we produced, can be used as a tool by both archaeologists and the local community to facilitate further trail research, land stewardship initiatives and cultural monitoring assessments in South Kona. ​

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Kāwika Hollstallero

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Kukuipahu Heiau is a fully intact wahi kūpuna that has a distinct connection with Hawaiian culture, understanding of ʻāina, and the history of the Kukuipahu ahupuaʻa, the Kohala moku, and Hawaiʻi Island. However, on a surface level, sources related to Kukuipahu are scarce. This website was created to capture memories shared about this heiau, compile information from different resources, and re-spark that ao or light of consciousness for Kukuipahu Heiau. By inventorying sources related to Kukuipahu Heiau from various ethnohistorical resources, online repositories and conducting community ethnography, we can begin to gain insight on specific people connected to this ʻāina, scarcity of documented information, as well as gain a better understanding of the previous functions of this heiau over time. In sharing this inventory and insight in the form of a website, the Kohala Community can not only utilize this resource to aid in current and future stewardship efforts of this sacred site, but also continue the process of restoring the identity and mana this heiau holds. 

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Juniper Ozbolt &  Leah Sausen

During the 2018 WKIP (with kōkua from their kumu), Leah and Juniper created an online give back to the community of Keʻei in the form of a story map (below). A Story Map is an online interactive resource incorporating text, photos, videos, and GIS maps. They are an excellent modern educational resource for connecting the ʻike  of Hawaiʻi's communities with technology. They allow information to be documented  and accessible worldwide. The Story Map focuses on the Wahi Pana of Keʻei, sharing the moʻolelo and significance through the voices of Keʻei kamaʻāina, who graciously shared their ʻike with these interns. The hope is for this Story Map to be utilized as an educational resources by the Keʻei community in the continuous efforts to preserve and perpetuate the moʻolelo and practices of these wahi pana.

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Candance Wharton

My project looks at the current wayside plants found along the Ala Loa and various mauka-makai ala (trails) in the ahupuaʻa of Keʻei 1 and Keʻei 2 in South Kona, Hawaiʻi. Wayside plants are found directly along the edges of roadways, pathways, and trails, directly impacting the cultural and natural environment that they grow in. Historically, some wayside plants, like fruit and shade trees, were protected by legislation for their value to those who travelled along the trails. By learning more about the wayside plants that grow along the trails today, as well as in historical times, I hope to develop a guide for future efforts to plant new wayside plants along the trails. Through understanding this relationship between plants and people, one is able to restore the trails and their surrounding environment. Restoring wayside plants are part of the process of restoring trails and other cultural sites across Hawaiʻi.

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