LIHUE — Do you know what moku and ahupua‘a you live in? You will soon find out, as ahupua’a signs are now being installed along Kaua‘i’s roadways!
The ahupua‘a and moku signs are part of Kauai Nui Kuapapa, a cultural heritage program that aims to raise awareness about Hawaii’s ancient land division system, which was based on the availability of natural resources. Additionally, the program seeks to educate residents about their respective moku and ahupua‘a.
“It is my hope that the people of Kaua‘i will use this knowledge to actively participate in discussions on social issues, and issues related to the environment, agriculture, economy, culture, and development,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “I believe that this information will help all of us make better decisions about our future.”
Kauai Nui Kuapapa represents a partnership between the County of Kauai and the Kauai Nui Kuapapa Hui, a group of professionals with expertise in Hawaiian history, archaeology and research.
The historical moku and ahupua‘a land management system was established by Kauai’s King Manokalanipo in the 1400s. The program was launched two years ago with the installation of the moku signs in Kona, Puna, Ko’olau, Halele’a and Napali. Niihau’s moku sign was placed at Ko‘opueo, also known as MacArthur Park, which looks out toward Niihau.
In January, five ahupua’a signs were placed in Kokee. Earlier this month, four more signs were installed on the South Shore, including: Pa‘a; Weliweli; Koloa; and Lawai. The ahupua‘a signs in the moku of Halele‘a and Kona are being installed, with Ko‘olau and Puna to follow. Upon completion of installation, all 54 ahupua‘a on the island will be recognized.
The project also aims to incorporate educational signage at 24 of the county’s bus shelters as well as neighborhood centers across the island.
The installation of the signs is a collaborative effort between the county, state Department of Transportation, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, and private landowners.
Finally, in partnership with the state Department of Education and Kauai Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki, the Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa initiative will be incorporated into the DOE’s Na Hopena A‘o program.