Overlooking Maunalua Bay an ancient Hawaiian heiau sits in the middle of a Hawai‘i Kai neighborhood as a testament to how the historical culture continues to survive.
Pahua Heiau once functioned as an agricultural and fishing heiau more than 400 years ago. Ancient Hawaiians built fishing shrines by placing upright stones near the fishpond while sweet potato grew abundantly throughout the area. Today the Office of Hawaiian Affairs owns the heiau, land given to them, by Kamehameha Schools several decades ago.
“How can this place serve as an icon for dialogue about Hawaiian cultural values (and) sustainability?” asked Kevin Chang, O‘ahu Conservation Land Manager for OHA.
Chang is one of 40 individuals nationwide selected as a 2009 TogetherGreen Fellow. Each recipient receives $10,000 toward a community-focused project that engages residents in conservation of land, water and energy, and contributing to greater environmental health.
He and his team hope to create dialogue among islanders to honor this Native Hawaiian cultural site and to gain a better perspective on the heiau’s significance. They have already spoken to residents but hope to also reach out to the broader community.
An information sharing session will be held in Hawai’i Kai Feb. 25. Anyone interested in participating should call 864-8081 for more details.