Monthly Archives: May 2017

Civic Space Inspired by Hawaiian Alignments: Creating a Hawaiian Presence in Pu’u o Kapolei

Kalaeloa Heritage Park for Shad Kane

by Marion Ancheta

Note: The selections written here are from notes that I took from the interview with Shad Kane during two occasions in the Winter and Summer of 2015 as well as sources from my thesis titled: “Civic Space Inspired by Hawaiian Alignments: Creating a Hawaiian Presence in Pu’u o Kapolei” 

The main theme in my thesis is the integration and expression of indigenous culture in civic and public spaces and establishing a strong educational environment through the use of alignments in relation to living in sustenance. The Hawaiian of old where experts in living sustainably which ultimately brought them to the idea of living off the land. They have used the stars, the moon, the sun and planetary objects to dictate their means of direction and action. With this ideology in mind, my goal is to design a civic space that is inspired by Hawaiian alignments. Alignments based on the idea of directionality, the composition of a place and the use of objects whether if it’s using the sky or inanimate objects to locate or pin point a person, place or thing.

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The Land Belongs to the Sea

©Jan Becket

The Land Belongs to the Sea

By Jan Becket

In 1773, at the age of 15, Kahahana, a descendant of Kuali‘i, was chosen by the O‘ahu moku chiefs to become Ali‘i Nui. A few years later, Kahahana ordered the slaying of his own Kahuna Nui, Ka‘opulupulu, along with Ka‘opulupulu’s son, Kahulupe. Continue reading

Father Bachelot and his Kiawe Tree

It is not hard to miss all the kiawe trees located in Kalaeloa Heritage Park as you drive along Coral Sea Road in Kalaeloa.  Especially our 100 year old signature kiawe which will eventually be the focal point of our Visitor’s Center.  The origin story of the kiawe tree in Hawaii is the story of a Catholic priest by the name of Father Alexis Bachelot who was amongst the first Catholic priests to come to Hawaii around the 1820s. Continue reading

Le Fetuao Samoan Language School

Several months ago I had the wonderful experience of meeting Elisapeta Alaimaleata, Founder and Executive Director of the Le Fetuao Samoan Language School.  The school is a 501c3 non-profit organization. It is a community-based service program designed to provide young Samoan children with an opportunity to learn their heritage, language and culture utilizing interactive, hands-on, and culturally relevant strategies. They have established partnerships with the University of Hawai‘i Samoan Language and Culture Program, churches and local businesses. These community based partnerships are a part of the planning and implementing of the mission and vision of the school. The school is operated by community members, parents, and volunteers. Continue reading

Waialua and Moanalua High School Football Fundraiser

For several years now the Kalaeloa Heritage Park (KHP) has been helping a number of Leeward District and island wide high schools with their school luau fundraisers.  It has become more of a partnership rather than casual help due to its mutual benefit.  A major effort in the building of the KHP is the clearing of kiawe trees.  Kiawe trees have been the major culprit in the disturbance and damage to cultural sites in the park.  Continue reading

Kumu Moira “Ipo” Maeda-Nakamine: Laʻau Lapaʻau Practitioner

The Kalaeloa Heritage Park is not just a place of cultural and historic preservation but a place of cultural practices.  Amongst those practitioners are Kauhale builders, where one learns how to build a traditional kauhale by using traditional lashing methods.   There are Kakau practitioners or cultural tattoo practitioners, feather gatherers or Kahili practitioners where birds are flown to us from Midway Atoll.  Considering the amount of wild populations of native plants, including those planted by visiting students, the Kalaeloa Heritage Park is a place of La’au Lapa’au or gatherers of medicinal plants.  I am speaking of Kumu Moira “Ipo” Maeda-Nakamine and her haumana.

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Native Plants of KHP: Ewa Plains ʻAkoko

(Euphorbia skottsbergii var. kalaeloana)
Description: This endangered shrub with small oval leaves, tiny flowers and fruits grows about four feet tall. It is only found wild in Kalaeloa, O‘ahu.

Best Growing Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; water once a
week until established and then only during drought. During
periods of drought, this ‘akoko will drop all its leaves to reduce water loss.

Interesting Facts: When ripe, the small ‘akoko fruits bend upright
and explode to disperse tiny seeds.The milky sap of some ‘akoko (there are about 15 endemic species in Hawai‘i) was used by Hawaiians to increase the amount of breast milk produced by new mothers (Chun 1994). Damaged ‘akoko leaves turn red and, thus, appear to bleed.

More information about the ‘Ewa Plains ‘akoko can be found at:

Text & photograph by Bruce P Koebele