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.

Continue reading

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

A “Rebirth, a New Life, a Beginning” on an Island

By Shad Kane

The question that needs to be asked is “how long does it take a migrating people to see themselves other than their place of origin”. It is different living on an island than living on a continent.  It is this important aspect that helps one understand why island peoples define themselves in terms of the aina. It is a personal relationship that grows out of living in isolation where distance and water serves as a barrier to one’s past.  This is the story of a place once known as Kualaka’i, the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. Continue reading

Manoa Heritage Center

On Saturday, January 14, members of the Manoa Heritage Center came to visit us at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park.  They serve as the caretakers and docents at the Manoa Heritage Center.   The Manoa Heritage Center was founded in 1996 by preservationists Sam and Mary Cooke, and is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. Continue reading

Hawaii Bicycling League

by Shad Kane

On Saturday, February 4 the Hawaii Bicycling League came to visit us at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park.  It was a memorable day to see so many bicycles arrive at the park from various parts of O’ahu. They gathered at Blaisdell Park and the West Loch Shoreline Park for their trip to the Park.  Continue reading

UH West Oahu Student Sierra Gouldʻs Interview of Shad Kane

by Shad Kane and Sierra Gould

This article is the result of a request by a University of Hawaii West Oahu Student Sierra Gould.  She participated in a UHWO Work ‘n Learn Botany Project facilitated by Dr. Bruce Koebele at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park on Saturday, February 11.  It was a day that those of us who participated in it will not soon forget.  For it was a day of rain under a flood alert.  However, it did not deter Sierra and her fellow friends and fellow students. Continue reading