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WKIP 2022 Projects


Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa, North Kona, Hawaiʻi

Kahina Hewitt

Ka Wai Ola O Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa


Located in the wahi kūpuna of Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa in the district of North Kona there are identified water sources, retention, and distribution systems; this is contrasting to often predominant discussions about Kona being dry with a lack of irrigation. This research aims to highlight the abundance of water sources, features, retention, and distribution systems found in Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa. These features include kuaiwi, ʻauwai, and pūnāwai and were identified through ethnohistorical research and the examination of historical and contemporary maps to ultimately inventory and create a comprehensive list of these impressive bodies of wai. Conducting fieldwork was an additional component of this project. Fieldwork techniques that were implemented include ground truthing, GPS documentation, and mapping using a compass and baseline mapping technique. Through the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program, the 2022 cohort, Ka Hālona Lewa o ka ʻŪmeke ʻAi, established relationships with the revered ʻāina of Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa and hope to continue to support its growth by encouraging the Kona community to familiarize themselves with the place through wahi kūpuna stewardship.


Kawai souza


ʻO Kūāhewa He ʻĀina Nui Launa ʻOle


The research offered in this narrative aims to assist in the cultivation and development of agricultural practices at Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa, a major agricultural zone in the ahupuaʻa of Kahaluʻu in North Kona. Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa is the largest known remaining portion of the Kona Field System, a rich rain-fed dry-land agricultural complex on the mokupuni (island) of Hawaiʻi. This research highlights the importance of regenerative agriculture methods in ensuring a sustainable maximization of food production and identifies ancestral regenerative agriculture methods currently being or of interest to be practiced at Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa. To aid in the understanding and implementation of these ancestral regenerative agriculture methods, we documented one of the kīhāpai or cultivated patches at Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa. It is the aim of this research to assist in the expansion of current agricultural practices at Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa in order to move toward a future in which food production is primarily self-sustaining.

Kaʻala bertlemann


Paepae Hou ʻIa Ka Pōhaku


“Paepae hou ia ka Pōhaku” comes from a longer saying: Paepae hou ia ka pōhaku i paʻa maila ke kahua hale hou; to prop up the stones once more, so a new secure foundation is formed. With this research I hope to contribute to the foundational knowledge of heiau , their function, and the relevance of heiau to people and place. Heiau and our smaller shrines like ʻahu, Unu and Koʻa were the spiritual pillars of our communities. Through scholarly articles, reports, maps, and by conducting interviews with community members in Kahaluʻu, I was able to create a catalog of the heiau in Kahaluʻu. Additionally, the catalog includes a listing of the different types of structures used for prayer and worship and the names of the heiau within the ʻahupuaʻa of Kahaluʻu. Considering that we were frequently working in the agricultural field system of Kūāhewa in Kahaluʻu, this research additionally highlights agriculture heiau. In this report I introduce what heiau are, there is a bit information of the history of our heiau, and the story behind the decline of our use of heiau in Hawaiʻi.

Kainani merill


No’ono’o hana i ke ka’a’owē  Thoughtful support for the landless


The ʻāina known as Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa is located in the ahupuaʻa of Keauhou in the moku of Kona within the mokupuni of Hawaiʻi and stands at a central location for the West Hawaiʻi Educational complex. This location is ideal for offering ʻāina based educational experiences for the West Hawaiʻi Educational Complex. Through a series of interviews done with educators from a variety of grades, experience levels, and different originating regions, the query focused on the type of support that would be appropriate, convenient, and practical for public education teachers in the West Hawaii Complex area. The response from educators was that a premade curriculum that could be easily and effectively brought into their classrooms, with activities such as coinciding field trips, would be especially beneficial. Another matter that was brought to light was the turnover rate within the Hawaiʻi Department of Education that leads to high hiring rates of new and non local teachers. The lack of familiarity with the region and culture could also be addressed by Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa through family based Professional Development that includes introduction of ʻāina, culture and curriculum development support. By developing a robust infrastructure and a thriving variety of curriculum, Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa has the opportunity to effectively positively impact public education within its complex area.

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