"As a Hawaiian it is important to wrap your head around your responsibility to everything and later find your calling for mastery."
Together we focused on youth leadership development, skills growth, and relationship building.
In the evening, our youth broke into small groups to share about the momona of their ʻāina (abundance, giving of their home places).
"This gathering was very eye opening and useful to myself as a Hawaiian youth."
7.6.17 Pōʻahā, Hoku
With plenty of space for tent camping on the beach and furnished "tentalows" and yurts for our kūpuna (elders), Kumu Camp, an enterprise of the Hawaiian Homestead Association, served as our homebase during the 4-day gathering.
As we waited for the rest of our E Alu Pū gathering participants to arrive, our youth did a beach clean-up at Anahola Bay and learned moʻolelo (canonical stories of place) from Uncle Billy Kinney.
For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, each hui (group) shared updates about their community work over the last year. E Alu Pū welcomed four new groups this year.
In preparation for our work the next day, Uncle Waiola Higa led an ʻuhau humu pōhaku (drystack masonry) workshop to teach background, rules, tips and theories about drystacking and traditional Hawaiian stone masonry practices.
Hapa Trail is a cultural and historical path that once connected the people of Kōloa Town to coastal Poʻipū.
The area once flourished with kō (sugar cane), kalo (taro) and ʻuala (sweet potatoes).
In 1975, land on either side of Hapa Trail contained 18% of all the intact archaeological sites in the State.
In recent decades, 600 sites between Waikomo Stream and west of Hapa Trail have been displaced by a golf course, residential houselots, and townhouse projects.
East of Hapa Trail lies the Kōloa Field System which includes kauhale (groups of house structures), ʻauwai (irrigation systems), agricultural sites and burial sites. Some sites remain relatively intact.
To adapt to a dry and rocky leeward environment, Hawaiians created extensive, interconnected systems of irrigated agricultural fields. These systems were sustained by streams that flowed from the upper regions of Kōloa Komoʻoloa.
ʻAuwai (irrigation systems) provided water for field complexes. They followed curving paths along natural slopes, across bedrock surfaces, often with rock retaining walls.
"I learned the names of the parts of the wall and how we can relate the concept of ʻuhauhumupōhaku (Hawaiian stone masonry/drystacking) to everything we do."
"All of us has the right to mālama our ʻāina, some of us donʻt really know how which is why E Alu Pū is such an inspiration to me."
In 2009, development of the Village at Poʻipū Phase One Subdivision was approved. In an effort to protect the Kōloa Field System, Ted Blake, with support from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, sued the Hawaiʻi State Planning Commission, Planning Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Eric A. Knudsen Trust.
In early 2017, Judge Kathleen Watanabe ruled that the State, the County of Kauaʻi, and the Eric A. Knudsen Trust violated laws preserving and protecting Hawaiian rights and cultural resources.
"The right to mālama represents a shift in power structures. It is the access to restore VS. access to extract."
"I loved participating in the Hapa Trail project, I feel like I was participating in history."
Following a fruitful day of work in Kōloa, we visited with Uncle Rupert Rowe, who shared about his work with the Hui Mālama O Kāneiolouma to restore Ke Kahua o Kāneiolouma, a 13-acre complex of habitation, cultivation, sporting, assembly, and religious structures located in Poʻipū that dates to at least the mid-1400's. At its center, Kāneiolouma holds an area reserved for annual religious and sporting festivities typically held during Makahiki season (a period of about four months where warfare is taboo, and agricultural and other abundance celebrated).
As we talk about the right to mālama, it is inescapable to reflect on our personal everyday habits. How can we increase consciousness and responsibility in all we do?
Many of you live and work in rural places and need to rent portable toilets. What are alternative solutions? The workshop aimed to help us understand the basic chemistry and processes of the essential functions of permitted compost toilet systems. It also answered the question: "in case of emergency (natural disaster/cut off from sewer line), how can I handle my waste safely?"
"The greatest value is to have new conversations in different places with old friends while making new ones."
We celebrated our last night together the best way we know how. Mahalo to the hands that gathered and prepared our ʻaha ʻaina (Hawaiian feast).
Debbie Gowensmith, KUA’s contract evaluator extraordinaire, led a mini-empowerment evaluation and collective measurement workshop.
"The discussion on evaluation so it is a performance enhancement not just a compliance tool."
"I learned better ideas of methods in collecting and sorting data, and growing ideas for best management practices."
It proved to be a very productive and enlightening conversation with a list of next steps for the new E Alu Pū Council to address post-gathering.
The gathering closed with individual reflections—each person took a turn to share on the microphone something they are taking and something they are leaving behind.
Ken Posney (Kawaiola Photography), Kim Moa, Shannon Carpio, Kevin Chang