Hapa Road walk brings past to life

Historical stroll is one of four events opening Koloa Plantation Days

by Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island

PO‘IPU — Some of the homes of ancient Hawaiians had running water, said Teddy Blake of the Koloa Community Association.

Based on the irrigation and water systems that were in place, residents in some of the homes in the area of Hapa Road simply lifted a stone and had drinking water available, he said.

Blake and Lynette Buhk were on hand Thursday to invite the public to learn more about the area and the historic road that was cleared by the Hapa Road Committee.

“This used to be the shortcut to the beach,” Buhk said, recalling the days she would use Hapa Road to get to Po‘ipu beaches.

The pair accepted a grant from the Young Bros. Community Advisory Board. The money will be put toward printing informational brochures with historical information about Hapa Road.

“We want the local people to learn more about this historical area,” Blake said.

Blake was one of the volunteers — along with Koloa Community Association President Louie Abrams, Hartwell Blake, Jordan Fregosi and Carlos Buhk — who spent hours cleaning the historic roadway.

“It’s a nice place to enjoy an afternoon or morning walk,” Teddy Blake said. “Not all of the rocks that made up the original walls are there, but the overgrowth has been cut back and there is enough of the walls left to give people a sense of its history.”

The historic Hapa Road walk is one of four events which kick off the annual Koloa Plantation Days weeklong celebration.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, this year’s walk will offer participants a wide variety of information with guest speaker Dr. Hal Hammatt, president of Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i, and Francis Ching.

Hammatt will share his knowledge of archeological surveys, history and point out archeological sites and archeological preserves in the area, a press release from the Hapa Road Committee states.

The history of na ahupua‘a o Koloa a Weliweli to the east and west of Hapa Road will be covered and will encompass archaeological sites, history of habitation, how kalo was successfully cultivated in the arid climate with poor soil and the hydrological wonder of ka po‘e kanaka ‘auwai system.

Participants in the free event, which starts at the St. Rafael trailhead of Hapa Road, will have access to maps of na wahi kupuna and a map of the ‘auwai system that irrigated the Koloa Field System. The map will explain how the natural environment was manipulated to grow crops such as kalo (taro), ko (sugar), ‘uala (sweet potato), mai‘a and wauke with limited water.

Ching, whose company did the first archeological survey on this area, will be discussing the history of Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole Pi‘ikoi and the Prince Kuhio Park which is situated close to the birthplace of the royal man.

The walk ends at the Po‘ipu Road trailhead. Shuttles will be provided for participants to return to their cars at St. Rafael’s following lunch.

The walk will be extended to Po‘ipu Beach Park where participants will be offered samples of kalo, ko and ‘uala which are grown and pa‘akai, or manufactured, near the shoreline on the South Shore.

Additionally, T-shirts will be available for purchase. For more information, call the Koloa Community Association at 742-2845.

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