Kamehameha Schools’ ‘Āina Ulu program

In 2003,  Kamehameha Schools approached the staff of Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai  to discuss the possibility of creating something similar to the Kānewai garden in Punaluʻu. KPLOK formed a partnership with the Kamehameha Schools’ ‘Aina ‘Ulu program. Through this partnership, Kanewai opened a sister site in Punalu’u, within the Ko’olauloa district of O’ahu, which provides an alternative site for participants to experience lo’i and thereby maintaining a sustainable level of use at Ka Papa Lo’i o Kanewai.  This partnership allows KPLOK to increase its delivery of programs to larger size groups, work with Koʻolauloa district community, KS programs, and increase its production of Hawaiian varietals of kalo to the state.

Currently KPLOK hosts 3,000 people at this site.  The range of ages and activities are as diverse as the groups that visit.

The KPLOK staff will soon be planning for the programmatic and maintenance of Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Punaluʻu.  Some of the ideas for the plan are to possibly provide a space for Hawaiinuiakea classes to be held, implement an ahupuaʻa learning model, Kupuna housing, Internships for students, curriculum development, and a Ocean and Konohiki program.  The advantage of Punaluʻu valley is incredible because it is a valley that KS entirely owns.

Watch the video by Hawaiian Airlines that was shown to visitors coming to Hawaiʻi on all Hawaiian Airline flights.  The video features a few of our students who share their thoughts about kalo and Hāloa.


Papa Mahi‘ai Kalo Series

The Papa Mahi‘ai Kalo Series (HWST 351 and HWST 352) are listed with the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies (HWST) and are taught by the director of Ka Papa Lo‘i o Kānewai. It is a reflection of the interdisciplinary nature of Hawaiian knowledge. These classes introduce and reinforce student learning in the realm of Hawaiian traditional practices of kalo farming and stresses the importance of learning by doing. The final examination for HWST 351 involves each student creating their own pōhaku ku‘i ‘ai (poi pounding stone) and papa ku‘i ‘ai (poi pounding board) and using those implements to make their own poi. Students are also responsible for finding their own materials to make their implements. Success is gauged on the quality of food produced with the kalo they cared for over the semester, relationships they fostered in the class, knowledge of traditional practices of agriculture and sustainability, and the quality of the implements and skill to produce food.

Students with final projects for HWST 351.

Students with final projects for HWST 351.


In the HWST 352 class, students learn not only the different varieties of kalo and its purposes, but are also introduced to different plant diseases. Students engage in modern issues affecting kalo farming including water rights. The Mālama Hāloa event is associated with this class as a way of providing students, faculty, and community members an opportunity to become familiar with traditional and modern ways of caring for Hāloa, our Hawaiian ancestor manifested in kalo. As a culminating experience, students are charged with presentations on specific varieties, which they are responsible for harvesting, cooking and cleaning, replanting, preparing of extra stalk for interested participants, and creating an informational display on the particular variety of kalo chosen, including details of certain diseases affecting kalo and environmentally responsible remedy. Success in this class is gauged on the ability as the class as a whole to contribute to the body of information on kalo farming and effectively servicing community participants at Mālama Hāloa.

Kalo Series 2Mauiakama

Mauiakama is one of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language Immersion Camps and is a collaborative effort between UH Mānoa and UH Maui College. Ka Papa Lo‘i o Kānewai provides the venue and support teaching staff for these students in the week prior to the immersion camp and the technical support and expertise for the students upon their return from the camp. Camp consists of 1 week Hawaiian language immersion and work at Ka Papa Lo‘i o Kānewai, 1 ½ week immersion experience on Maui, followed with preparation of final projects, and final presentation to encourage the revitalization of traditional Hawaiian values, concepts, and practices by stressing the importance of the traditional style of listening to the kūpuna and following their guidance; promoting kōkua, laulima, lōkahi and huki like, the traditional social practices of people helping each other, of unity, and of working or “pulling” together; and emphasizing the traditional Hawaiian sensitivity to the land and total environment; that is, the basic underlying concept of aloha ‘āina (spiritual relationship to the land) expressed through mālama i ka ‘āina (caring for the land) and hulihuli i ka ‘āina (gathering from the land) the gifts or products of the land referred to as ‘ai kamaha‘o o ka ‘āina (the amazing sustenance of the land).

Students preparing an imu at MauiaKama.

Students preparing an imu at MauiaKama.

Mālama Hāloa Lecture Series and Kalo Festival

This is an annual event hosted by Ka Papa Lo‘i o Kānewai, providing students, faculty and community members an opportunity to become familiar with traditional and modern ways of caring for Hāloa, our Hawaiian ancestor manifested in kalo. The inaugural event ran from March 31 through April 3, 2010 featuring a tour and lecture of rare plant and micro propagation, Native Hawaiian plants and plant conservation by Lyon Arboretum’s Junior Research Leader, Nellie Sugii. Kalei Nuuhiwa, curriculum developer and researcher from Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation’s Papakū Makawalu, lectured on the Hawaiian moon calendar and its application to traditional farming. Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation’s Alan Murakami spoke on traditional water rights and issues concerning water rights in east Maui. Eighth generation kalo farmer and fisherman from Puna, Hawai‘i shared his vast cultural and technical expertise of growing kalo, ‘awa and koa. Konanui’s lecture on Hawaiian varieties of kalo during this event continues to air locally on the television channel, ‘Ōlelo, reaching to farmers, teachers and students throughout the state of Hawai‘i. The event culminated with Kānewai’s cornerstone activity, First Saturday, where Kānewai staff showed their gratitude to participants who came to show their aloha for Hāloa.

Kupuna Earl Kawa‘a shows the finer points of preparing a papa ku‘i ‘ai and how to ku‘i ‘ai at Mālama Hāloa event at Kānewai.

Kupuna Earl Kawa‘a shows the finer points of preparing a papa ku‘i ‘ai and how to ku‘i ‘ai at Mālama Hāloa event at Kānewai.


The 2011 event again featured Kalei Nuuhiwa, as she spoke on the heavens and the sun in Hawaiian epistemology. The event concluded with Kānewai’s First Saturday Community Workday, featuring respected elder and native speaker of Hawaiian language, Earl Kawaa, discussing and teaching participants how to ku‘i ‘ai through the Hawaiian language.

‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okāhi.

All knowledge is not taught in the same school.

One can learn from many sources.