Friday, March 14, 2014

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (KAHO)

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (KAHO) was established in the Kekaha region of North Kona (Kailua to Kalaoa) in 1978 in order to preserve and protect traditional native Hawaiian culture and cultural sites.

The park is the site of an ancient Hawaiian settlement and is considered a locale of considerable cultural and historical significance. Cultural resources include fishponds, petroglyphs and a heiau (temple.)

The physical location of Kaloko-Honokōhau made the settlement easy to manage. Situated on the lower portions of a sloping terrain, the settlement's activities were directed by kahuna chiefs, from a vantage point, such as the bluff overlooking the fishpond of ʻAimakapā, where a commanding view of Kaloko-Honokōhau was available.

“In ancient times, the chiefs would regularly live along the shore, that is, the chiefs of Kaloko and Honokōhau. At the place called Ahauhale, is where the chiefs of Kaloko lived. The place called Waihalulu, is where the chiefs of Honokōhau lived.”  (“Ka Wai o Kahinihini‘ula” (1923) Kumu Pono)

“There were men, women, and children, the houses were filled with large families. Truly there were many people (in Kekaha.) …  The lands of Honokōhau were filled with people in those days, there were many women and children with whom I traveled with joy in the days of my youth.  Kaloko was the same … Those families are all gone, and the land is quiet. There are no people, only the rocks remain, and a few scattered trees growing, and only occasionally does one meet with a man today”.  (“Na Hoonanea o ka Manawa” (1924) Kumu Pono)

The two dominant features in the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Park are Kaloko and ʻAimakapā Ponds.  (Prior to conversion and utilization as ponds, they were originally inland bays.)

The two ponds are different types of Hawaiian fishponds.  Kaloko is a loko kuapā (what we consider the typical coastal fishpond, artificially enclosed by an arc-shaped seawall (or in this case a seawall enclosing the mouth of a small bay) and containing at least one sluice gate (mākāhā.))

ʻAimakapā is a loko puʻuone (an shore fishpond containing either brackish or a mixture of brackish and fresh water, formed by development of a barrier beach paralleling the coast and connected to the ocean by a channel or ditch.)

Nearby (also in the Park) are the remnants of the ʻAiʻōpio fishtrap.  An opening in the trap to the sea enabled fish to enter, and the walled sections of the trap allowed fish to be stored until needed.

At high tide, fish entered the trap by swimming through the seaward opening or over the submerged walls.  At low tide, the fish were trapped in the enclosure and were easily netted.  Fishtraps differ from fishponds in that the fish are trapped and caught, but not raised.

The 1,160 acre park, a landscape of rugged lava rock, was at one time a thriving ancient Hawaiian settlement. More than 200 archeological sites document the Hawaiian’s use of the area over time.

The Hawaiians of this ancient settlement harvested fish from the sea and from fishponds they constructed. They grew coconuts, sweet potatoes and gourds and raised chickens and pigs.

Those living closest to the shore harvested fish and other food from the sea, while others living within the ahupuaʻa (sea to mountain land division) grew staple resources such as taro, breadfruit, paper mulberry, wood, and fiber for clothing. To ensure everyone’s survival, they would trade these items with one another.

Archeological resources at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park also include kahua (ancient house site platforms), heiau (temples,) a holua (toboggan slide), kiʻi pōhaku (petroglyphs), papamu (kokane game boards), stone enclosures, ahus (stone mounds that serve as altars, shrines, or security mounds), lava tube shelters and parts of the Māmalahoa Trail (Kings trail.)

Of all the Aliʻi associated with Kaloko-Honokōhau, the most famous is Kamehameha l, who settled and established his Royal Center at Kamakahonu in Kailua-Kona.  (Some believe Kamehameha was buried at Kaloko.  Kaloko is also believed to be the resting place of King Kahekili from Maui.)

Hale Ho'okipa Visitor Center, the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association store, and the adjoining parking area are open from 8:30 am to 4:00 PM daily.  (The Kaloko road gate is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 PM daily.)  Admission to the park is Free.

The image shows Kaloko Fishpond at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (USGS.)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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