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intern Projects


WKIP 2011 Projects


Kahuwai, Puna, Hawaiʻi

Lokelani Brandt


If you plan for a year, plant kalo.
If you plan for ten years, plant koa.
If you plan for one-hundred years, teach the children.

Her project focuses on developing E Hō Mai I Ka ‘Ike, a place-based educational curriculum that promotes stewardship of cultural resources by immersing students in the cultural landscape, Hawaiian traditions, lore, values and introducing students to the field of anthropology at Kahuwai. Kahuwai is the name of the pre-contact Hawaiian village and the name of the ahupua‘a in which the village is located. This remote village, located in the moku (district) of Puna on Hawai‘i Island, is an ideal location to provide a strong foundation for the study of social sciences, natural sciences, language arts, mathematics and many other disciplines. The main objective of E Hō Mai I Ka ‘Ike is the dissemination, promotion and intergenerational transmission of place-based knowledge.
specific to Kahuwai.

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds​


Hawaiian place names are a valued tool that has preserved the histories and unique identities of many areas throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The ahupua‘a of Kahuwai provides us with two names that communicate two different stories of this place.  By dropping the [w] and adding a glottal stop, we are left with the second place name, Kahu‘ai.  The name Kahuwai speaks of a freshwater spring found near the coast that was the water source for the village, whereas the name Kahu‘ai refers to the abundance of food that was stored and produced there.  Through research and translations of 19th century Hawaiian language newspapers (1830-1860) and oral accounts of Kahuwai, both names are consecutively referenced. By focusing on native Hawaiian resources, I have concluded that both names are valid and therefore should be perpetuated and honored for future generations.

Darcy E. Perez​

Na La‘au Kuhikuhina: Utilizing the knowledge from our Environment

My research project focuses on the growing, planting, and agricultural techniques of the po‘e (people) of Kahuwai Ahupua‘a. As part of my research, I examined how they cultivated food crops in the bare pahoehoe lava fields to sustain their village. I have further investigated the many types of native and invasive plant species in the village and documented their effects on the archaeological structures still standing today. As a result of my findings, I have developed a flash card booklet about the plants of Kahuwai and their traditional uses, which can be used to teach keiki and visitors alike to learn about the important relationships between Kahuwai’s natural and cultural resources. By documenting the plants that still thrive in the village today, visitors can have a better understanding of how the people of Kahuwai lived and flourished in their unique environment. My project themes address the importance of research, documentation, and comprehension of the natural environment when conducting cultural resource management projects.

Maka Valdez

E Nihi Ka Helena I Ke Ala: Tred lightly on the Pathways of our Ancestors

Proper cultural protocol not only takes place at a cultural site as a matter of a simple gesture, it is an on-going process. For my internship project I took a more indepth look at what protocol is to Hawaiians when visiting and working at wahi pana. In particular, I focused my project on our internship site, Kahuwai, and looked at themes such as what is cultural protocol and when should it take place; the importance of wahi pana today; and how protocol should be incorporated into CRM work. My end product, in the form of a video, is not intended to be the “Final Say” in all things culturally relevant with regards to Hawaiian protocol, but rather a beginning of a much needed conversation. A conversation about ethics and lawena, or behavior, when anyone (anthropologist, archaeologist, or kanaka) visits a wahi pana.

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