Monday, May 5, 2014


The traditional district (moku) of Kāʻanapali consisted of five major stream valleys (Honokōwai, Kahana, Honokahua, Honolua and Honokōhau), all of which were extensively terraced for wet taro (loʻi) in early historic and later times.

Honokahua Valley has been described as having wet taro (loʻi) lands, although not in great abundance; sweet potatoes were reportedly grown between Honokōhau and Kahakuloa Ahupuaʻa, presumably on lower kula lands.  The Kahana Ahupuaʻa was known as a place of salt gathering for the people of Lāhainā.

The Kāʻanapali District is noted for an alaloa (a path or trail) that reportedly encircled the entire island. Walker wrote: "The north end of Maui also is traversed by a paved trail. Sections of it can be seen from Honolua to Honokōhau to Kahakuloa. It is paved with beach rocks and has a width of four to six feet."  (PBR)

There are six bays located on Maui’s west shore whose names begin with the word Hono. These bays and coves are collectively known as Hono a Piʻilani.  From South to North, six of the identified bays are Honokōwai (bay drawing fresh water), Honokeana (cave bay), Honokahua (sites bay,) Honolua (two bays), Honokōhau (bay drawing dew) and Hononana (animated bay).

Kapalua Resort is situated along this coast between Honokeana and Honolua.  (Kapalua loosely translates as “arms embracing the sea”.)

After seventeen years of service, Dr Dwight Baldwin was granted 2,675-acres, the lands of the Mahinahina and Kahana ahupuaʻa, for farming and grazing. From that base, new lands were acquired until the holdings, known as Honolua Ranch, reached 24,500 acres in 1902.

First starting as Honolua Ranch (1912,) then Baldwin Packers (1914,) this area was home to the largest producer of private label pineapple and pineapple juice in the nation.

After mergers and other name changes, in 1969, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc (ML&P) was created; then, the largest employer on the island of Maui.

In 1974, ML&P carved out 1,650-acres of its nearly 22,000-acres to form a wholly-owned subsidiary, Kapalua Land Company.  That year, the master-planned community that makes up the Kapalua Resort (with five white sand beaches) was approved by Maui County.

In 1978, the Kapalua Bay Hotel opened, beginning the change of the former ranch and pineapple lands at Honokahua into a world-class destination resort complex.

In 1987, during the excavation and construction of the Ritz Carlton hotel within the Kapalua Resort, hundreds of native Hawaiian burials were discovered on the planned hotel site.

The scope of the burial site, combined with growing Native Hawaiian consciousness, mobilized protesters.  Native Hawaiians and supporters rallied at Honokahua, and in late-1988 at the state Capitol, finally halting the burial disturbance. The hotel was built farther inland.  (Honolulu Advertiser)

The Hui Alanui O Makena filed for a contested case hearing; eventually a plan was devised in September 1989 for the proper reburial of more than 900-native Hawaiian bodies disinterred.  (Aoude)

Associated with that, the state paid $6-million for a perpetual preservation easement and restoration of the burial site.  A 14-acre site is now a historical and cultural landmark.

In addition, as a result of this, Hawaiʻi's burial treatment law, passed in 1990, gives unmarked burials, most of which are Native Hawaiian, the same protection as modern cemeteries.

In 1988, Kapalua began management programs, under a management agreement with The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, for the protection of the Pu‘u Kukui Preserve in the West Maui Mountains.  (Access to the Preserve is restricted by ML&P.)

Now, Kapalua includes The Ritz-Carlton, the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences at Kapalua Bay, the Kapalua Spa, eight residential subdivisions, two championship golf courses (The Bay and The Plantation,) ten-court tennis facilities, several restaurants, and over 800 condominiums, single-family homes and residential lots.  (In 2006, the Kapalua Bay Hotel was taken down.)

Kapalua serves as the home of two of Maui’s longest running signature events, the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival and the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The intent of the Kapalua Resort was to provide a luxurious resort atmosphere removed from the Lāhainā-Kāʻanapali area.  With that, it serves as an example of a low-key, low-density destination resort community.

Recently a public coastal trail was incorporated into the Resort; eventually, the trail will be approximately 3.5-miles in length, running from Lower Honoapiʻilani Road through the Kapalua Resort to Honolua Bay.

Future components of the Kapalua Land Company in and around Kapalua Resort include Kapalua Mauka (640- residential units, commercial space and up to 27 holes of golf on a total of 800 acres;) the Village at Kapalua (a central commercial component;) and Pulelehua (a new traditional community for working families in West Maui.)

The image shows Kapalua in 1976.  In addition, I have added related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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