Protecting the sacredness and cultural integrity of Hiʻilawe, the famed water fall of Waipiʻo Valley.

Mālama Hiʻilawe Program

#malamahiilawe #kapuhiilawe #respecthiilawe

PROGRAM SUMMARY  

Waipiʻo Valley is one of the most famous and beloved places in Hawaiʻi. Waipiʻo Valley is often referred to as the “Valley of the Kings” because it once was the home to many aliʻi throughout generations. Ancient heiau, burial sites, and agricultural terraces can still be found there today. Hiʻilawe waterfall is an iconic feature of Waipiʻo Valley, and has been an increasing attraction that has come at the expense of the sacredness, cultural, and community integrity of this special place.

 

The Mālama Hiʻilawe Program will improve the integrity of Hiʻilawe and Waipiʻo Valley as a destination through increased understanding for residents and visitors on how to responsibly care for the land and decrease in trespassing and inappropriate use of land, water, and sacred sites in Waipiʻo Valley. The project will provide active land stewardship and cultural education opportunities near Hiʻilawe waterfall and surrounding areas in Waipiʻo Valley and conduct outreach to media and visitor industry to promote responsible tourism in Waipiʻo Valley at Hiʻilawe and deter inappropriate use of sacred lands. 

This program builds upon nearly two decades of our organization’s land stewardship and revitalization efforts in Waipiʻo Valley, so this wahi pana will thrive with native plants and deepen the relationship between residents and visitors helping to mālama ‘aina. 

PROGRAM GOALS 

 The program will improve the integrity of Hiʻilawe and Waipiʻo Valley as a destination through the outcomes of:

  1. Increased understanding for residents and visitors on how to responsibly care for the land

  2. Increase in the number of cultural practitioners and deepening of knowledge for youth through interactions with kupuna and Hawaiʻian Loea 

  3. Decrease in trespassing and inappropriate use of land, water, and sacred sites in Waipiʻo Valley;

  4. Increase recognition of Pōhāhā I Ka Lani’s program as an effective culturally-based model for the visitor industry to preserve cultural sites and natural resources.

 

Hiʻilawe from the village site Nāpoʻopoʻo

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Holani and her students
Holani and her students

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PROGRAM SITE  

(NOTE: This program utilizes the same parcels as Mālama Nāpoʻopoʻo, with a focus on protecting Hiʻilawe.)

The project utilizes multiple parcels in the Nāpo’opo’o area of Waipi’o Valley. The lower lands includes lo’i kalo (wetland taro patches), māla (dryland patches, the Hi’ilawe po’owai (diversion dam/waterhead) that feeds the auwai (irrigation channels) and mala (dryland gardens) of limited la’au (plants) due to the invasion of wild horses. The upper lands includes hillside forests of native and invasive trees and the famous Ti House structure. These parcels have incrementally been being restorated and cultivated through past organizational programs such as: 1) Ka Wai I Ho’oulu ‘Ai, Ho’omālamalama I Ka Malama Program - the empowering of kane (male) and wahine (female) youth through cultural and land based education activities, primarily in the Nāpoʻopoʻo area; and 2) Kahuli Program - the restoration of lo’i kalo and utilization of felled trees to offer poi board & stone making workshops with community, schools, and other volunteers.