The majestic Ko‘olau mountains that have become a trademark of O‘ahu’s Windward side have a new adornment. Bright pink ribbons tied along roadsides serve as temporary boundary markers for the 11 ahupua‘a of the Ko‘olaupoko district. The Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club put the markers in areas from Kualoa to Maunalua Bay in Hawai‘i Kai and members recently took a driving tour with city and state officials to get approval of the sites. Once approved permanent markers that look similar to street signs will replace the ribbons as early as June according to Civic Club President Mahealani Cypher.
“We wanted to educate the community so that they know what ahupua‘a they’re living in and so that they can better connect with the land,” Cypher said.
Members of the non-profit civic and community organization followed the last official Kingdom of Hawai‘i map from 1876 to determine the ahupua‘a boundaries. The initiative began after the creation of the ‘Aha Moku council in 2007 which provides community input for natural resource management issues. A more culturally appropriate marker will also sit besides the signs. State officials have been working on a design that looks similar to a stack of stones from ancient Hawaiian times. The name of the ahupua‘a will also be visible on the marker.
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Alyssa S. Navares, PacificNetwork.tv