Ka Papa Lo‘i o Kanewai
Ka Papa Lo'i o Kanewai
2645 Dole Street
Ka Papa Lo'i o Kanewai (Kanewai) is a Hawaiian cultural research and outreach program organizationally housed in Hawai'inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Manoa. In the ahupua'a (traditional land division) of Waikiki, Kanewai is the only centrally located venue in Honolulu that provides a culturally place-based experiential learning center and a pu'uhonua (sanctuary). Kanewai provides a venue for Hawaiian and Pacific cultural activities with hands-on experiences via experiential learning curricula and lessons.
In 1980, several students from UH Manoa re-discovered the abandoned 'auwai (irrigation ditch) at Kanewai and restored its flow of water, after which they planted the kalo (taro) and other native plants in the areas surrounding the lo'i (taro patch). With the "Hawaiian Renaissance" movement taking shape, they started the "Ho'okahewai Ho'oulu 'Cina" project based on the philosophy "make the water flow, and the land will be productive," which was initiated by the Hui Aloha 'Aina Tuahine Hawaiian language club. Along with the guidance of kupuna (elders) such as Uncle Harry Kunihi Mitchell and 'Anakala Eddie Kaanana, the traditional practices have been perpetuated for future generations to experience.
By serving as a cultural resource center, Kanewai focuses its work on perpetuating and preserving Native Hawaiian customary and traditional practices of natural resource management. As such, Kanewai engages a number of different constituencies with varying interests ranging from research and inquiry to experiential learning opportunities for students. Among these diverse partners are: Native Hawaiian communities and organizations; Hawai'i's diverse local communities; Asian and Pacific Island organizations; classes, faculty, staff, and students from the various UH campuses; Hawai'i-wide taro growers; ethnobotanical experts; and private and public educational institutions.
Every "First Saturday" of the month (except for January), Kanewai hosts participants from the UH System, other educational institutions, community groups, and the general public to engage in malama 'aina at the lo'i and the surrounding mala (gardens). These "hands-on" activities help to grow an individual's understanding of the ha'awina (lessons) that is offered at Kanewai, along with conversing with Hawaiian language speakers, while contributing to the health and well-being of Kanewai.
As part of its research and dedication to perpetuating Hawaiian 'ike, Kanewai maintains a number of traditional Hawaiian varieties of kalo, teaches kalo farming and traditional resource management courses in conjunction with Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, and also hosts Malama Haloa, an annual symposium on kalo every Spring semester.
Because Kanewai receives approximately 15,000 visitors a year, it has formed a partnership with the Kamehameha Schools' 'Aina 'Ulu program. Through this partnership, Kanewai opened a sister site in Punalu'u, within the Ko'olauloa district of O'ahu, which provides an alternative site for participants to experience lo'i and thereby maintaining a sustainable level of use at Ka Papa Lo'i o Kanewai.
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