Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole was not only born here in a location close to Poipu, on March 26, 1871.
Kuhio, among his many life accomplishments, created the Hawaiian Homesteads program that returned land to Native Hawaiians as an encouragement to become self-sufficient farmers, ranchers and homesteaders.
What is now the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola Hawaiian Homes community is the first program created on Kauai under Kuhio’s leadership.
“It’s not the first in Hawaii,” said Kaliko Santos of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. “But it was the first on Kauai. I know because my parents were one of the first people to receive land there.”
Ka Hale Pono took the idea of Anahola being the first Hawaiian Homes community and took it a step further, creating the Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration that will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Anahola Beach Park.
“Homesteaders normally don’t like to travel far for these types of events,” Santos said. “To this end, Ka Hale Pono decided to hold it in its backyard so the homesteaders can enjoy and celebrate Kuhio and his legacy.”
There is no admission to experience the day of entertainment and cultural activities, craft vendors — many coming from Anahola — bounce houses and food being offered by local nonprofits as fundraisers.
“Kamehameha Schools is having its outreach van on display,” Santos said. “I’ve never seen the inside of that van so I’m planning on being there to check out the new van.”
In addition to the day of activities, entertainment, and exhibits, Ka Hale Pono has chosen to honor an individual — always from the Hawaiian Homes — whose work in the community exemplifies traits similar to Kuhio.
“This year, it’s Hosea Lovell who will be honored,” Santos said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s passed, but his work will be remembered along with his family.”
Santos said the neat thing about the Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration is that it’s like a ho‘olaule‘a, where the spectacle brings the community together.
“We have had this event for the past nine years,” Santos said. “During that time, we haven’t had to recycle anything because there is so much talent living in Anahola.”
The drug- and alcohol-free event is presented in partnership with the County of Kauai, OHA, DHHL and Ka Hale Pono.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.