Projects, Grants & Research

Ava Konohiki

Can the land of Oʻahu feed its 900,000 residents? What methods did our Hawaiian ancestors employ to produce food so efficiently? AVA Konohiki is a grant funded by the Administration for Native Americans through the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation whose objective is researching ancestral knowledge and food sustainability with a focus on the island of Oʻahu.

Students have been harvesting the 1848 Land Commission Awards (8,500 awards) from the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi records in the Hawaiʻi State Archives, and posting them online for the general public and U.H. students to access. They have researched and posted 81 maps from the 1880s for the 81 ahupuaʻa of Oʻahu, so that all can see how the ancestors managed water for efficient food production. They are now indexing the 10,500 testimonies for the 1848 LCAs, as well as indexing the maps.

Besides web work, students also have classes that take them to visit working farms on Oʻahu. Last semester their conclusion was that there is indeed enough land and water on Oʻahu to feed 900,000 residents, but there are not enough people planting food, and we still do not have enough sources of protein on Oʻahu. Our next focus of study will be ancestral fishponds that can produce 200 pounds of fish per acre on an annual basis. In 1895, there were 4,100 acres of fishponds on Oʻahu while today only about 500 acres remain. How do we best utilize these precious resources?

 

ʻOʻili Ke Ahi O Makana

HWST 301 Perspectives in Hawaiian Studies Mālama ʻĀina. A pilot field course that provides capacity building to Hui Makaʻainānā o Makana on Kauaʻi with the goal of maintaining the Hui’s cultural practices at Haleleʻa and Haʻena State Park. Project also supports restoration and preservation of the ancient terraced agricultural complex at Haʻena State Park.

Project Lead: Carlos Andrade

Objective: To create an opportunity for collaboration between Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and Hui Makaʻainānā o Makana, and to fund the planning and implementation phase of a simple, basic, short term trial/pilot program at their Haʻena State Park site. By utilizing KCHS and Hawaiʻinuiākea’s educational resources and expertise, the aim is to assist the Hui in developing an organized curriculum that can be used to more successfully engage with visitors, school groups, and state-level administrators to share and educate them about the traditional and customary practices appropriate to the area. The collaboration provides a way to improve the capacity of the Hui to pass on this ʻike kūpuna through educational activities developed in the planning and implementation of the pilot.

Community Partners: Hui Makaʻainānā o Makana, Presley Wann, President; Department of Land and Natural Resources through a curator agreement with the Hui.

Communities Served: Residents and practitioners from Haleleʻa and Haʻena State Park; community members such as schools and community groups from throughout the archipelago who access the site for educational and traditional purposes; the University ʻohana through collaboration that establishes future opportunities to serve and future access to the learning site.

Benefits to Communities Served: Support and capacity building to Hui Makaʻainānā o Makana to continue their cultural practices at Haleleʻa and Haʻena State Park; restoration and preservation of the ancient terraced agricultural complex at Haʻena State Park; opportunities to learn about traditional and customary Hawaiian farming practices and Hawaiian values in a safe learning environment.

 

Pacific Islanders in Communications Filmmakers Workshop: Hawaiʻi

A week-long introductory course in Pacific filmmaking to help emerging storytellers and artists advance their own cultures through film. The actors, musicians, camera operators, and grips were mostly majors from Kamakakūokalani. A product from the workshop, a film entitled “Piko” that told the story of a Hawaiian mother seeking solace from the sacred site of Kūkaniloko, has screened at the Deep Waters Film Festival, the ʻOhina Film Festival, and the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival in Honolulu as well as the Center for Asian American Media Film Festival in San Francisco.

Project Lead: Kimo Armitage

Objective: To underscore the importance of collaboration in filmmaking, and to help emerging storytellers and artists identify others in their community with whom they can collaborate on projects to tell their own stories and advance their own cultures through film.  The project involves an intensive 6-day workshop where participants learn various elements of film production (story development, locations scouts, caera work, audio, lighting, editing, directing, etc) and hands-on instruction of filmmaking strategies, techniques, and equipment use.  The workshop culminates in the creation of a short film.

Community Partners: Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies; Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language; Academy for Creative Media; Pacific Islanders in Communication; 1013 Integrated.

Communities Served: Participants in the workshop; the greater community who sees the finished product; the Hawaiian community whose story has been told thoughtfully and accurately; Pacific Islanders in Communications who endeavors to empower Pacific communities to tell their own stories.

Benefits to Communities Served: Emerging filmmaker and storyteller participants receive basic training in filmmaking strategies, techniques, and equipment use; emerging filmmakers and storytellers are able to identify each other for future collaborations; PIC is able to identify on-island talent for collaboration on future film projects, as well as showcase the completed short films in its library of community-produced films.

 

Fat Ulu: A Creative Writing Curriculum Guide

To create and publish a curriculum for secondary students that will cultivate a literary community grounded in place-based consciousness.

Project Lead: Kimo Armitage

Objective: To cultivate a literary community conscious of and committed to the arts as a vehicle for positive change in Hawaiʻi’s communities. Exposure to, and creation of, literary works that demonstrate our diverse perspectives and unique challenges as opposed to those that perpetuate the prevailing romanticism of Hawaiian art can reaffirm our Hawaiʻi identity as shaped by place. To engage and enhance student learning by presenting works that bring Hawaiʻi literature to the forefront of secondary education curriculum by illustrating the works of local writers. To re-imagine a post-colonial identity established through non-native texts; To encourage secondary students to explore mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of “place” in their writing.

Community Partners: Educators and writers affiliated with U.H. and Oʻahu secondary schools; the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; the University of Hawaiʻi. Over 25 of Hawaiʻi’s most recognized authors committed to the 250-page project.

Communities Served: Secondary education teachers in the DOE; students who access this curriculum; the greater community. Over 200 copies of the published curriculum were donated to Hawaiʻi public, private, and charter school educators.

Benefits to Communities Served: The publication is a self-contained semester of work designed to assist teachers no matter their level of knowledge of place-based literature; the students’ level of engagement is heightened when they read literature that is about them and pertain to real life situations and circumstances that they can relate to.

 

Video Documentation of Hana Maʻawe

Video documentation of the process of making hīna‘i lauhala (lauhala baskets) and kapa.

Project lead: Maile Andrade

Objective: Video documentation of the process of making hīna‘i lauhala (lauhala basket) used in the burial of ‘iwi. Video documentation of the process of kapa making for the Hula/Kapa Collaboration Project at the Maui Arts & Culture Center designed to showcase Hawaiian kapa in its functional, cultural, and traditional uses. Documentation of interviews with founding members of Hui Mālama i Nā Kūpuna o Hawaiʻi.

Community Partners: Hui Mālama i Nā Kūpuna o Hawaiʻi, Kīhei Nahale-a; Hula/Kapa Collaboration Project.

Communities Served: Lauhala hīnaʻi and kapa practitioners past, present, and future; the greater community in its appreciation of Hawaiian fine arts.

Benefits to Communities Served: Learning today and preservation needs for the future.

 

Moʻolelo Hāloa

Production of a seven-to-eight-minute animated film about the Hāloa brothers and their connection to the Hawaiian people and land.

Project Lead: Kimo Armitage

Objective: Re-territorialization of Hawaiʻi’s educational system from a Western-dominated structure to one more reflective of Hawaiian culture and values; establishment of Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies as a cultural resource for advice and guidance on culture-based community projects; production of a short film about Hāloa, a central creation moʻolelo.

Community Partners: Twiddle Productions and Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. The film was a massive collaboration between Hawaiian language charter schools and Kamehameha Schools art classes and will be used to develop curriculum for students in grades K-6th.

Communities Served: The greater community in its understanding of this important creation moʻolelo.

Benefits to Communities Served: Provides new media focused on Hawaiian culture for keiki and adultscreates opportunities for local talent in animation; strengthens collaboration between Twiddle Productions and Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

 

E Hoʻi Ka Nani I Waineʻe

A historical partnership between Hawaiʻinuiākea and Waiola Congregational Church in Lāhaina, Maui to create a comprehensive preservation plan.

Project Lead: Ron Williams

Objective: Working with Nā Kīa‘i o Waineʻe (The Guardians of Waineʻe), this partnership has amassed primary source documents regarding the historical significance of Waiola Church, creating an official preservation plan for the repository of ʻiwi kūpuna kaulana on the church grounds. Founded in 1823 under the direction of Queen Keōpuolani, sacred wife of Kamehameha Paiʻea, the cemetery at the Waiola is recorded to house her remains, as well as those of their daughter, Nahiʻenaʻena, two other of Kamehameha’s children from chiefess Kalama, and other aliʻi nui such as Ulumāhiehie Hoapili and his wife Kaheiheimālie, Kaumualiʻi (the last ruler of Kauaʻi), Kekauʻōnohi, Kalakua, and Liliha.

Community Partners: Nā Kīaʻi o Waineʻe; Waiola Congregational Church

Communities Served: The greater community; families of ʻiwi kūpuna interred on the church grounds; Waiola Congregational Church

Benefits to Community: The collection of primary source documents regarding the historical significance of Waiola Church, the creation of an official preservation plan for this repository of ʻiwi kūpuna kaulana on the church grounds, and the creation of an opportunity for community ownership and pride in a wahi pana in Lāhaina.

E kuhikuhi pono i na au iki a me na au nui o ka ‘ike.

Instruct well in the little and the large currents of knowledge.

In teaching, do it well; the small details are as important as the large ones.