Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai is located in the waena (middle) section of the ahupuaʻa (land section) of Waikīkī and in the moku(district)of Kona. Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai is the cultural garden center for Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. This site was designated in 2007 and is a vital resource for the students as well as the broader, outside community. The loʻi itself is approximately 800 years old, so there have been many generations that have learned and used this site.
Kānewai sustains a pure collection of kalo and shares its resources with the community. There are a variety of native trees and shrubs growing along the stream and low-lying slopes. Families, students, and community organizations are welcome to engage and immerse themselves in hana Hawaiʻi and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian activity and language). Kūpuna feel welcome and comfortable sharing their knowledge about kalo and nā mea Hawaiʻi (all things Hawaiian). Our staff is skilled in the identification, cultivation, and propagation of a variety of native plants.
In 1980, during a resurgence of interest in Hawaiian culture and language, several Mānoa students rediscovered the abandoned ʻauwai (water ditch system) at Kānewai and began growing kalo and other indigenous and endemic Hawaiian plants. The Hui Aloha ʻĀina Tuahine Hawaiian language club started a project called Hoʻokahe Wai Hoʻoulu ʻĀina based on the philosophy contained in its name: make the water flow, make the land productive. With guidance from kūpuna such as Harry Kūnihi Mitchell, the traditional ʻauwai and loʻi were restored and dry planting areas and a hālau were constructed.
The designation in 2007 of Kānewai as a cultural garden and center under the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge empowered us with needed resources to develop innovative research and curriculum in Hawaiian language, studies, and practices.
- Kānewai is a puʻuhonua – a refuge for plants, ecosystems and people
- The values of aloha ʻāina, mālama ʻāina, kōkua, ʻohana and laulima are practiced
- “Ma ka hana ka ʻike” is the guiding standard at Kānewai
- Kūpuna are an integral part of Kānewai
- Our work supports our moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian culture) at every level of our existence as well as in the ecological environment at Kānewai
- Our hana at Kānewai helps us realize the depth and sincerity of our words and values