View this email in your browser

2021 Summer 


Weʻve been practicing aha awa ceremony at the solstice and equinoxes. For me it is a way to honor time, through the seasons and to put my energy into setting intention for what I want to accomplish within the season. It also allows me to reflect on the accomplishments that have been made, and course correct if needed.

My hope for this summer season is that we all as the Malama Huleia team, including all of our community supporters are energized by the summer sun and longer light hour days and that we use that energy to feed back into the places that nourish us such as Alakoko fishpond. Upon reflection during our Ke Ala Polohiwa A Kane (Summer Solstice) ceremony we realized that the upcoming fall equinox will mark three years since the building of the ahu at Alakoko, our first step in the work weʻve begun there.

Sunrise during our Ke Ala Polohiwa A Kane (Summer Solstice)
Preparing Hoʻokupu - an offering to the ahu during aha awa ceremony

Weʻve gotten the great news that the Rise to Work program has been extended for nonprofits, so we get to keep our awesome crew for another 12-weeks. Our team has really gotten into a groove and after a year of social distancing we are so  pleased to have teams of Kupu’s Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps, along with some of Kauaiʻs youth working and learning down at the fishpond through our first year of summer programming (see below for more). It is so rewarding to see the students  learning the history and connecting with the place and culture and building a relationship with the aina that will follow them wherever their future takes them. 

Our Rise to Work team (left to right): Punohu Kekaualua, Kaniho Giminiz, Jason Makaneole
Summer Programs in session 

While all this fun work is happening on site we continue to build partnerships throughout the watershed. Such as with the Kauai Sailing Association (KSA) at the mouth of Huleia River and US Fish and Wildlife, Huleia Refuge who shares in the waters that feed Alakoko. These partnerships will enhance the vitality of the entire ecosystem of the area and I am honored to be a part of bringing it all together. 

As for the land acquisition, we continue to move forward in this exciting endeavor. We are so grateful for our continued partnership with The Trust For Public Land, leading us through the negotiations and due diligence. Watch for a special edition newsletter with the good news we've all been waiting for soon!

~Sara Bowen
Executive Director of Mālama Hulēʻia

Ka ʻAi Uahi ʻOle 

By Tiele-Lauren Doudt, Nā Kama a Hāʻupu

E nā hoa heluhelu i kaukolo ʻia e ka makani Alaʻoli iā ʻAlekoko kuapapa ē, welina nō me ke aloha pumehana.

Greetings to our readers to another ʻAi Uahi ʻOle segment, where we share and highlight interesting finds from Mālama Hulēʻia’s growing collection of English and Hawaiian literary resources.


The second feature of this series arrives from James H. Kuhau Kaiwi’s original, “MOOLELO O KA LAHUI KANAKA I KAPAIA MENEHUNE, O KAUAI,” which was later translated and published in Thomas G. Thrum’s, “STORY OF THE RACE OF PEOPLE CALLED THE MENEHUNES, OF KAUAI. (A HAWAIIAN TRADITION.),” in The Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 29, 2 114 (The Polynesian Society, 1920), 70–75.

    At the turn of the 20th century, James H. Kuhau Kaiwi was one of a handful of authors who had preserved the moʻolelo (history, narrative) of a race of people named Menehune, who had constructed two kuapā-style fishponds meant for the royal children, ʻAlekoko and Kalālālehua.  Although more research is needed for a completed biography on Kaiwi, light reference material indicates that he was from Niumalu, and held very distinguished titles throughout the Kauaʻi community.  For a time, Kaiwi worked as a lawyer, and later served as a judge for the Līhuʻe district of Kauaʻi during Hawaiʻi’s Territorial Period. Towards retirement, Kaiwi became a Reverend for the Kauaʻi Branch of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association. One account by members of the Kaʻahumanu Society describes a visit to Kauaʻi in 1918, where Reverend Kaiwi blessed their meal at the Hawaiian Church of Līhuʻe; it was written that among the feast was the most decadent āholehole from ʻAlekoki [ʻAlekoko] Fishpond (Pakaalana, 1918).


As a non-profit organization, we are privileged to spend a great deal of time hosting and educating Kauaʻi’s many diverse communities. Throughout these engagements, it is of the utmost importance to be providing the most historically accurate curriculums available. The need for such curricula inspired revisitations to Thrum and Kaiwi’s work. 

Original Version                                 Transcribed Version

Inspiration behind the name "Ka ʻAi Uahi ʻOle,”
The Hawaiian language proverb from which this series is titled arrives from the ʻōlelo noʻeau, “Ola i ka ʻai uahi ʻole o ke kini o Mānā (ON #2480).” According to the beloved Mary Kawena Pukui, the families of Mānā, Kauaʻi were famed as a region that rarely engaged in making poi from kalo, a process which typically involves a significant amount of labour and generous amounts of smoke. Although some accounts of the same phrase, such as in the moʻolelo of Pele-keahialoa and Waka-keaka-ikawai, “Aloha Mānā i ka ʻai uahi ʻole,” suggest that this ʻōlelo noʻeau pertains to the bounties of ʻōpae that were found in Mānā prior to the developments of the sugar cane industry.

The delectable and famous shrimp were, according to the phrase, consumed with minimal preparation. ʻAi uahi ʻole – food without the labors of creating smoke. In the same way we hope to provide historical resources and information for our readers to readily enjoy.


Restoration | Native Plant Species

By Christopher Kaiakapu, On-site Native Plant Nursery Manager

Apart from removing mangrove and other invasive plants, another critical part of the restoration process is re-planting with native plants. Native plants support both the function of the fishpond and the ecosystem at large in many ways. They provide food and habitat for native fish and birds, they add to the nutrient cycles of the watershed, help prevent the spread of other invasive plants, and provide materials for traditional practices. Below are a few key players which we have been re-planting at Alakoko in our efforts to restore it's function for our community.




This hardy fast-growing water plant is being used to quickly provide ground cover and habitat around the fishpond where the ground is usually saturated. It is our go-to plant during the restoration process to prevent erosion, suppress invasive plants, and provide safe hiding for baby fish.


A native wetland sedge which we plant often to help provide diversity and habitat to the ecosystem. They are identified by their pale green colored leaves which have finely serrated edges that can cut you if you aren’t careful. Traditionally, the stems are pounded into fine strands which were then used to strain Awa for drinking during ceremonies, or for twining light cordage.


A once widely grown and utilized wetland plant, Makaloa is being replanted to not only increase diversity and habitat but also in hopes of reviving the traditional practice of weaving with the gathered and dried makaloa strands. Makaloa mats are regarded as some of the finest mats found throughout the pacific.

Stewardship | Summer Programs at Alakoko

Learning how to make cordage with ahuawa.
Our summer programs are in session and we are thrilled to be hosting several different schools and programs that are dedicated to the youth and connecting them to both Hawaiian culture and care for the land. Through hands on learning our hope is to establish a long lasting connection and respect for the land that carries forward and shapes the future. 
Our current participating programs include:

Na Kopiko o Wai'ale'ale

30-40 Kawaikini 3rd -8th graders for 4 weeks
Kawaikini(NCPCS) is a public charter school on Kauaʻi dedicated to nurturing the language, beliefs and practices of the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi.


20-25 6th graders for 5 weeks
An immersive experience in Hawaiian culture and values rooted in the knowledge and practices of our kūpuna connecting new generations of keiki with ‘āina and ‘ike kūpuna to set the foundation for developing their Hawaiian identity.

Nā Pua Noʻeau

10 high school students for 6 weeks
An island-wide UH program for Native Hawaiian highschool students. In a unique outdoor classroom setting at Alekoko students learn the fundamentals of Hawaiian fishpond stewardship through observation and practice.

Kupu’s Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps

4-6 people each week for 2 weeks
For young adults learning about conservation in a collaborative setting serving those seeking academic support through mentorship to complete a secondary education degree, or have an interest in earning college credit & education awards.

Our vision is to create a free-flowing, healthy and productive Huleia ecosystem perpetuating community pride. We do this by advocating, educating and leading community efforts to restore native wetland ecosystems, that result in an environmental stewardship program honoring Hawaiian values. To find out more about ways to support or partner in our work please contact us.


Mālama ia Hulē‘ia, Hulē‘ia ia Mālama

Take care of the Hulē‘ia, and the Hulē‘ia will take care of you

Copyright © 2021 Mālama Hulē‘ia, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp