This video shares the Ka'ā mele performed by Kupaoa & Kepā Maly at Mamiya Theater during the Aloha Lāna'i celebration (March 25th, 2012) for the Lāna'i Culture & Heritage Center. The mele, written by Kepā commemorates wahi pana (storied and sacred places)  and traditions of Ka'ā Ahupua'a. Midway through the mele, Reid Del Rosario surprised Kepā and the audience with a beautiful hula he choreographed. Mahalo nui! Speak traditional place names, keep Hawai'i's history alive.

The ethnographic/TCP study, “Hanohano Lāna‘i…” is a thorough and complete work. Because Kepā has personally been gathering information from elder Lāna‘i natives since the 1960s, and has collected archival materials for Lāna‘i from local and national repositories over the last 30 years, it is unlikely that a more detailed and thorough collection would be compiled by other researchers. The ethnography is a stand-alone document with a wide range of research and public interest applications.

​This mini-documentary was produced by the Lāna'i Culture & Heritage Center, filmed by Lāna'i High & Elementary School's Tech Club, and edited by Anthony Ka‘auamo Pacheco. Watch this video and share in the students exploration of their island home’s history.

The archaeological investigations are, on the other hand, severely limited by lack of funding and time in the field. This said, the limited reconnaissance survey conducted under this grant is telling by what has been discovered in just six weeks of survey. Most of the sites documented have not been previously described, and it is logical to assume that the archaeological survey which would be required on the nearly 22,000 acre study/project area will reveal much more. This work is meant to set a foundation upon which to build further field research methodology, and provides us with a base line from which to move forward.


“Hanohano Lāna‘i…” was formally presented to Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs at the Community Board meeting on Lāna‘i on June 15th, 2011. Copies for public review have also been placed in the Lāna‘i Community Public Library, and at the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. 


OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado described Ka‘ā as a “unique, vanishing landscape,” in Hawai‘i. The link below provides all interested parties with access to the study, and it is our hope that the study will provide readers with a new depth of understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural/historical legacy of Lāna‘i. Through such awareness, the landscape might be cared for, and not vanish and be lost to future generations.

The study documents: (1) research methodology & criteria; (2) an introduction to Lāna‘i’s history; (3) the first ever detailed collection of traditions and history of Ka‘ā Ahupua‘a; and (4) a synthesis of findings from a limited archaeological reconnaissance survey of Ka‘ā Ahupua‘a, conducted at the time, under the right of entry agreement granted to the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center from Castle & Cooke Resorts, LLC on September 24, 2010. 


This study represents the first part of four documents which are being prepared as a part of the OHA grant. Kumu Pono Associates LLC and the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center contributed the entire funding amount for development of the ethnographic/TCP study. Funds from the OHA grant were expended in undertaking the limited archaeological reconnaissance survey covering six weeks—including four days of aerial transects—conducted in partnership with Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i, and in completing other aspects of work for study development. 

This link will take you to a detailed ethnographic/traditional cultural properties (TCP) study, titled “Hanohano Lāna‘i" – "Lāna‘i is Distinguished." An Ethnography of Ka‘ā Ahupua‘a and the Island of Lāna‘i” (KPA/LCHC, May 2011), prepared under Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Grant No. 2575. 

KA‘Ā ahupua‘a