Oral History Interview: Mark Kahalekulu

Mark ‘Ehukai Kwock Sun Yoshio Kahalekulu was born in 1956 along the Honouliuli coast, at ‘Ewa Beach. His kupuna father worked for the Dowsett-Parish Ranch on the Pu‘uloa lands, and lived at various locations between Pu‘uloa, One‘ula, and Kualaka‘i. The Kahalekulu line originated in the Ho‘okena-Ho‘opūloa Region of South Kona, and were displaced by the 1926 Mauna Loa eruption. Mark’s entire young life from toddler through high school was connected to the ocean and nearshore lands of the Honouliuli  Ahupua‘a.

During the interview Mark shared his recollection of families, practices, fishing, surfing, and walking the Honouliuli coastal lands. The following topics are among those discussed by Mark:

•  In the early part of the 1900s there weren’t many people out here. Then during the war there was no access to the ocean. After the war the fisheries were very rich. Among the fish were moi, awa, kala, palani, manini (and ‘ōhua), ‘ama‘ama, āholehole‘ōpae, he‘e, ula, and crabs.
•  Limu was plentiful, with beds two to three feet high on the shore. When in season, you could smell the limu inland of Pōhākea Elementary School. Types of limu included līpoa, kala, and manauea.
•  Parents always instilled in him the responsibility that lawai‘a had for care of the fishery resources: taking what could be used; not fishing or collecting out of your own area; and sharing.
•  Descriptions of the various reef regions extending from the shore to the deep water at first, second, and third reefs.
•  During his youth he witnessed a significant change in the ocean environment and resources. There were major sewage spills, and people from all over came and took more limu than the papa could restore.
•  Before, the ranch and plantation controlled access along the shoreline, and there were a number of gates that people had to go through to get access. There were no squatters in the early days.

Interviewee Mark Kahalekulu (MK)
Interviewer Leimomi Morgan (LM)
Place One‘ula Beach, Māmala Bay, ‘Ewa
Date January 17, 2014
Final transcription completed February 9, 2014

LM:  So, if you want, you can share your whole name, the meaning of your name, and your family connection to ‘Ewa.

MK: My name is Mark ‘Ehukai Kwock Sun Yoshio Kahalekulu. My connection with ‘Ewa is my father and grandfather originally came from Ho‘okena, South Kona. They were paniolo working the ranches in that area during the early part of the 20th Century. I looked up census, and they were listed, my father and my grandfather, in the 1920 census in Ho‘okena.

LM: And what were their names?

MK: Kahalekulu. Raphael Ka‘ihikapuonalani Kahalekulu, that’s my dad. And my grandfather was John Kaihikapuonalani Kahalekulu. And, by the 1930 census, they’re here in ‘Ewa. I always wondered why they moved, and then I was reading a book on the historic volcanic eruptions on the Big Island, and there was a real, real big eruption in 1926, and it started from Moku‘āweoweo on Mauna Loa, and it came all the way down and it went all the way down to Ho‘opūloa, and that’s the name of that flow. That was in 1926, but they showed the extent of the flow, and if this is Ho‘okena here (drawing in the sand), and this is Mauna Loa, the flow came down and all the way to the sea at Ho‘opūloa, but some of it actually went and diverted above Ho‘okena. So, I can only imagine my family, looking up at night, and seeing the lava just suspended on the mountain above them. I would get out too, I would get out too. So, they came out here [‘Ewa] and they started working for, as paniolo, for the Kahuā Ranch that was by Barber’s Point. So this was by 1930.

LM:  So your grandfather moved here too?

MK: Yeah, yeah. The stories that I’ve heard, this was way before my time. I was born in 1956, so this was many decades before my time. My father, my grandfather, and my grandmother came and they lived where White Plains, Officers’ beach is now, there’s that stand of ironwood trees on that point right there. That belonged, according to my mother, Leatrice Kam Ing Kulia Chong Kahalekulu, that that belonged to the Shaffer family, and they had lived there before our family came. So, being that my dad worked for the ranch, and my grandfather worked for the ranch, they had gotten permission from the ranch manager, to basically squat on the beach by the ironwood trees. My mother passed away in ’06 [2006]. My dad passed away in 1958 of stomach cancer, but while my mother was still alive, and they had opened up Barber’s Point for the public, I tried taking my mom down there, and asking her, “Mom, where did you folks used to live?” and she would say it was Wai‘anae side of the Shaffers. And when I’d take her to where the ironwood trees are, she goes, “You know, back in the ’30s, didn’t have these big tall stand of trees, they were small.” But it was a marker for them, those ironwood trees, and it still is for everybody. So, I can only imagine that where they actually had, and it was like a shotgun shack, it was like a beach shack. Had plenty room for nets, because my dad and my grandfather were very good fishermen from Ho‘okena. Maybe 10–15 years ago, I went to Ho‘okena for the first time. When I saw the canoes that they had over there, I just totally flashed, ’cause one of my youngest recollections of living in ‘Ewa Beach, was after my father died, my mom still kept his canoe on the side of the house. And it wasn’t a dugout canoe like how you would imagine one normal canoe was, dug out from a tree trunk, it was made out of planks, out of boards. But had an outrigger and it was very narrow. It was, you know, the shape of a canoe, but made out of boards.

LM: And, he [your father] used to use it? He made it?

MK: Yes. And then, at the very, very end, it was squared off, and that’s where they would put an outboard motor on it.

LM:  Ohh, interesting. And they would just take it out?

MK: Yeah. So, when I went to Ho‘okena those few years back, I blew my mind, because, on the beach, it was like, Wow! There was like a dozen of them. And I had never seen um before other than my dad’s. And that was only from when I was a little teeny-weenie kid, like 3, 4, 5 years old, I remember playing on it. So, it was one of those things that showed me that, we were from over there. My family was very, very much into net fishing. So, even after my dad passed away, we still continued that out here [‘Ewa beach]. My dad was a very, very good fisherman, so he would work for the ranch as paniolo. My sister, see that milo tree there over there [points] that’s my sister’s house.

LM: That one?

MK: Yeah, like two houses away from the right way, that’s my sister’s. Like where that wahine is sitting right there [points].

LM:  Ohh. She lives right there still?

MK: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So, she told me a story, ’cause she’s older than me, she’s 18 years older than me. That’s Yvonne [Leilani Mui Kwai Kahalekulu], Moriguchi is her married name now.

LM: And she was a Kahalekulu, too?

MK: Yeah. So, she had told me a story not too long ago that my grandfather liked to drink. So what he would do, he would get my dad to break horses at Kahuā Ranch, because for every horse that you broke, you got 10 dollars. So, he was like 12, 13, 14, and my grandfather would put him on a horse and go make him break the horse, but he [grandfather] would keep the money, so that he could go drink with his friends.

LM:  Ohh… Auē!

MK:  Yeah.

LM:  That was a lot of money! 10 dollars!

MK: That was big money! Yeah, break your neck though, you’re risking your life. So, they would have a lot of drying racks, and even later on, when I came along, we still had these, [points] net, net, net, net, net, net. And it wasn’t that nylon, not string, it was cord. So, even as I grew up, somebody in the family always had to be sewing it, patching it, ’cause we used them all the time. The bottom over here is very, very rough and uneven, so always you gonna have puka. So somebody always gotta be patching that constantly, especially if you have literally miles of net.

LM: Wow.

MK: I remember hearing stories of how much fish over here it used to have. And, there wasn’t that much people over here. I remember, during the war, you couldn’t fish, they closed the beach, and you couldn’t fish. What is that… Martial Law?

LM:  I don’t know.

MK: Yeah, Martial Law. You couldn’t do stuff. You couldn’t have light coming out of your window at night, because they gotta worry about Japanese bombing, and being able to identify what’s happening on the ground. So, even on the ocean, you couldn’t go out and go fish. So, my mom would say that, right after they lifted Martial Law, there was so much fish, because nobody could fish for four years. From 1941–1945, you couldn’t fish out here. So, had fish up the ying-yang.

LM: Wow.

MK: Yeah, but she said, within less than a year, so many people were hitting it, ’cause they hadn’t been able to go all those years, that within a short time, ahh, it was hard to get those big catches of fish again. I remember a story my mother telling, and this is down by Barber’s Point, when they were down there, before we came this [One‘ula] side. My dad had located a school of moi, so he went, and with his canoe, he laid the net from the shore, around the school, and it came back to the shore. I can’t even imagine a school this big. And had it almost penned up like cows or something. So, what he would do is, the first day, he would back his truck up to the ocean, and they would use a scoop net, and they would just bring the two ends of the net close to shore so that it would pile the fish right in front of you. And they would just go and get a scoop net and just load up the back of the truck. They would fill up the truck, they would take it down to Chinatown Market downtown, and they would sell um. And I think my mother said, the first day they went do that, they got like 20 cents a pound. They didn’t even dent the school. The next day, my father did the exact same thing, back the truck up, pull the school close, and just start scooping fish into the back of the truck. They took that into Honolulu, they still had fish left over from the day before, so they gave him 10 cents a pound.

LM: Did you guys eat the fish, too?

MK: Ohh, Yeah. And then, the third day, my dad did that one more time, took it into town, they gave him 5 cents a pound. He was so angry, he came home, and he opened up the net and he let all the fish go.

LM: Good [laughing]. So you guys would subsistence fish? You guys would always have fish to eat? It was like a part of your life?

MK: Yeah. And a lot of it was dried. The awa. I know my mother would dry awa. That was her favorite, she loved the belly part of the awa, that was the best. And, because the awa was such a big fish, yeah?

LM:  What would you say was the most numerous fish around here?

MK:  I would think it’s the kala.

LM: The kala?

MK: Yeah, I always call it the official unofficial fish of ‘Ewa Beach, because it’s very easy to find, and very easy to catch. And they get very, very big, and they’re fat, they’re herbivores, so they eat limu. So, especially in the days before, this beach, would have drifts of 2–3 feet high of limu.

LM: Wow.

MK: Yeah, you would be able to smell the limu from Pohakea Elementary School when I used to go over there. Some days, if the wind was onshore and really strong, up to the shopping center and beyond you could smell the limu, it was piled up so high.

LM: Wow. You know what kind it was?

MK: The majority of it was probably the ones that people would call it ‘ōpala. But you know, now days, there’s no such thing as ‘ōpala limu now. That’s like, in the old days, palani, and kala even, manini, that was considered “shit” fish. Now, to me, there’s no such thing.

LM: Yeah, you take what you can get now.

MK: Yeah, it’s an oxymoron now. So, ‘ōpala limu is the same thing. But the drifts would be mostly limu kala, long, long strands of limu kala. Līpoa, jus long, long, long strands of līpoa, and most people didn’t come to harvest that. And people came from all over the island, especially on the weekend. Monday through Friday, not too bad, just the local, the people from ‘Ewa Beach. But on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, you would have, from all the way down there from the wall, all the way down to Parish Drive, which is the point further up there just beyond those coconut trees is where the Parish family lived. And there would be 2–3 feet all the way, and in the water here, would have limu floating at least, 20–30 feet out. Just thick, thick.

LM:  Wow. What happened to it?

MK: I have a friend that, he went Kamehameha grad ’74 like me, Alan Perry, he works for whatever city department is in charge of the waste treatment plants. So yeah, I talked to him, and I said, “Alan, you think you can…” and before I can even finish my sentence, he goes, “Mark, I know what you goin’ ask me…” And I said, “Okay, what am I gonna ask you?” He goes, “You want me to let the sewage outfall happen, so that the limu comes back to ‘Ewa Beach.” And I said, “How did you know I was gonna ask you that?”

LM: Is that what it was?

MK:  When I was in Kamehameha, I grad ‘74, I was a boarder…

LM: Oh, really? Why were you a boarder? Oh, ’cause it was far?

MK: Any place from Waipahū out, Wai‘anae, Waipahū. Pearl City, you had to be day-student.

LM: Yeah, my mom was day, too.

MK:  ‘Ewa, Wai‘anae, of course, North Shore…

LM:  You guys all boarded…?

MK: We all boarded with the outer islands guys.

LM: Ho, I wish it was still like that! I would have boarded!

MK: Let me tell you, hey, it was awesome. But I remember, when you looked from campus, you looked down, and off of Sand Island, about a mile out, you would see this big, brown V, out in the middle of the blue water. And that was raw sewage, and if I not mistaken, I may be wrong, but I think I remember 11 million gallons of raw sewage a day would go out into that outfall. And all you saw was this big, brown V, and then the current runs, and this is Māmala Bay [points out around us] all the way across, so the current would run from Honolulu, and run along where the airport stay, Pearl Harbor, and then come down to ‘Ewa Beach.

LM:  Wait, what was this bay called?

MK: Māmala.

LM:  This is Māmala?

MK: This is Māmala Bay. From Barber’s Point to Diamond Head. So, to me, that’s why [the limu grew]… it was like fertilizer. That’s what it was.

LM:  Oh and the fishes love it then, and I bet the honu loved it too.

MK:  And to me, that’s why, I like talk to you, because to me, that’s what we have to preserve, if you don’t have the base of the food chain. And to me, it’s limu. And then once you get that, because not only the fish eat the limu, there’s other things like crabs, and shrimps, the ‘ōpae, they live inside the limu for protection. Now, there’s other fish that may not eat the limu, they’re carnivorous, but they looking for the shrimp and the crab that look for protection. It’s like a forest. So, that’s why I wanted to talk to you about that, I think that we really need to take care of the limu because that’s the basis for ‘Ewa Beach. And, as far as Pearl Harbor being Pu‘uloa, it’s all one big system, including Pu‘uloa. Like you said, that’s where all had the fishponds and all, yeah?

LM: Yeah, my grandma said she would go out and collect limu when she was young, too. It used to grow in the watercress patches, I guess, too.

MK: You know, if you get clean water, whether it be fresh water or salt water, plants will grow. But, that’s why, I would like whatever kind organization, whether it be the state, or whatever, is if you want the fish and everything that goes along with that, you gotta start with the actual papa itself, and make sure that the limu is protected. Another thing, is that, because Pu‘uloa was protected, and because a lot of the drainage, I think every drainage, Pearl Harbor is the drainage for, except for Honouliuli.

LM:  Yeah, it’s all the way out that way.

MK: Yeah, so, all of that comes in, so you get this balance of salt-water/fresh-water, and it just depended on what part of Pearl Harbor you were actually in. And of course, salt-water’s heavier than fresh-water, so even in some parts you gonna have different kind fish, and to me that’s why they had so much fish ponds. Because the species that could handle being penned up like that, the awa, the awa‘aua, the silver fish, the ‘āholehole, the mullet, the ‘ama‘ama, all of those, they’re brackish water fish. So, to me, a lot of the spawning that happened in ‘Ewa has a lot to do with what’s happening in Pearl Harbor, Pu‘uloa itself. I noticed when I used to go fishing, loaded baby sharks. For me, that’s one example. Loaded baby sharks in the mouth of Pearl Harbor, right outside of Iroquois Point, loaded. Lot of hammerheads, but lot of small sharks, 2, maybe 3 feet. Now, when you come out ‘Ewa Beach Proper, and you start from Iroquois, the Rifle Range, ‘Ewa Beach Park, just go close right here, you would see bigger and bigger and bigger sharks. So, this is my theory, is that they’ll start off at like, Pu‘uloa is like a nursery for a lot of species, and as they got bigger, they would come out, and now you get all of this limu-grinds, that herbivore fish would definitely need. Other fish that were carnivorous, they would find the other smaller animals that lived among the limu. And as you went further and further this way [westerly], you’d almost see a growth within a species. So, that by the time you got down to Barber’s Point, ho, they’re big. You going see the biggest sharks, you going see the biggest enenue, you going see all the big, large adults, the mature adults, over there [Barber’s Point]. And I’m sure that they go back, looking for places that they wanna spawn and lay their eggs, or have their young. So, to me, this shallowness and the outside reefs out there, it’s not like Big Island where, it’s like, right from the shore, boom, the water just deep.

LM: Yeah, this is an old island.

MK: Yeah! It’s an older island. The fish have got plenty, plenty places, the sand pockets, the reef, the rubble, there’s so many places that the animals can come in and lay their eggs and raise their young in a protected kind of area. Of course, you still gonna have, the further out you go, you gonna have the bigger, larger fish. But now, I spoiled, I dive Big Island a lot, and it’s just like, wow, look at this place, the clarity of the water and everything. And that’s another thing, because the clarity of the water is generally dirty, maybe that’s not a real good word, but it’s not clear because of the runoff and infect water from Pearl Harbor. Once it comes out of the mouth, the current catches it, and brings it along this coast, and it just goes right along this way. The only time that it changes, and that’s what I was looking for today, is when the winds blow from the north. When the winds blow from the north, it blows all the dirty, unclear water straight out to sea, and this area [‘Ewa Beach] becomes…

LM: All clear?

MK: Yeah! It looks like Hau‘ula or Punalu‘u or something, which it never does.

LM:  How often does that happen? Hardly ever?

MK:  Very rarely.

LM:  Yeah.

MK:  You know when you feel the really really cold morning?

LM:  Yeah. We feel it Mililani, too.

MK: That’s the days to come! That’s when you wanna go diving over here. Because with the nets, you don’t need crystal clear water to lay a net. But for diving, you need it.

LM:  Yeah…

MK:  Yeah, your boyfriend you said he’s a big diver, ah.

LM:  Yeah.

MK: One thing that we have to play with, you could have nice water and everything, but if there was a lot of limu in the water, you didn’t lay a net, ’cause your net just would be full of limu. So, that’s what you waited for, you waited for the days when had little limu, and still yet, you still going get limu. So, you laid your net, like you could see, it’s kinda light colored about maybe 30, 40, 50 yards out, and then it goes all the way out to that darker area further out, that’s the first reef. It runs parallel, it runs almost from like, pretty much from ‘Ewa Beach Road all the way out here, and you can see the little white caps out there. It starts off over here as really shallow, 2, 3 feet, and then where it gets to be that lighter color, it’s sand and rock. Almost looks like a parking lot, it’s flat, not much limu, and then once you get out to where that darker area is, it’ll come out maybe from 10 feet deep, it’ll come to maybe 5–6 feet deep on a low tide. And then, that reef is maybe only 50–100 yards wide, and then it drops off again into deep, deep sand. And that’s probably about 50 feet deep. On other days, like in summer time when there’s a south swell, you’ll see another set of breakers further out than these ones that you see here, that’s the second reef. And that one is probably about a half mile out, the first reef is about a quarter mile out. Then you get that deep sand that will come to maybe about, on a low tide, to maybe 12–25 feet deep, that second reef. But it’s, ho, the fish out there. They run in parallel bands, so the first reef runs about a quarter mile, and it runs all the way down, goes. And even like the shark country, where the surfers are, I used to surf too, that’s part of the first reef. And then the second reef, it goes, and then it kinda ends about, well it goes actually through Barber’s Point, and even through like where the jetty is, maybe like by where Barber’s Point is, it’ll actually start, it’s not so defined. ’Cause really, it’ll do this, it’ll be shallow, deep, shallow, deep, shallow, deep, and it goes on. I been out to the third reef, but that’s as far as I’ve gone. And I wouldn’t doubt that there’s reefs even further out. Especially like in past millennium, where the sea level fluctuates, there may be reefs that was in shallower water, long time ago, but the reef is still there.

LM:  So, how did you first get into spear fishing? It is spear fishing, right?

MK: I worked for United Airlines after I graduated high school, ’74, and in ’81 there was an air traffic controllers’ strike, and Ronald Reagan was president at the time, and he fired all the striking air traffic controllers. So what that did was, is that airlines couldn’t expand, in fact they had to cut their flights because there’s less ability to control um. You know, air traffic controllers, they gotta follow the airplane, tell um turn left, turn right, go to this altitude. Because of that, United had to lay off a lot of us, throughout the whole system. So, there’s a bunch of guys that I know, that I work with now, that we all got laid off in ’81. And, I didn’t get my job back until ’84. I didn’t wanna work a straight job. I load and unload airplanes at the airport, and it’s kind of a, it’s outdoors, and you’re not stuck in a cubicle. You’re not in an office, you’re not behind a computer screen. You’re outside, you’re doing stuff. It suited me. So, I didn’t wanna work a straight job, I’ll say it like that. So, after my unemployment ran out, I had heard all these stories about my dad, and how he was master fisherman. And our kuleana was the mouth of Pearl Harbor to Barber’s Point. And, later on when I tried diving other places, ho, my mother would scold me, “Boy, that’s somebody else’s fish. Why you need to go anyplace else, this is our kuleana.”

LM:  I like that mana‘o.

MK: Yeah, don’t hana ‘ino other peoples’, you know, their area, that’s for them. So, I told myself, “Okay, I am gonna learn from the mouth of Pearl Harbor, all the way to Barber’s Point.” And, I did it for 3 ½ years, almost 4 years. And, I had heard stories when I was young that my father died when I was a year and 9 months, not two years old, of stomach cancer. But when I was born, my father had wanted to show me all these spots, and some secret spots. And, after he died, I felt like, wow, I kinda, I lose a big part of my heritage, my legacy. That was supposed to be mine. So, when I got laid off, I said, you know what, “It’s still here! It’s not like it ran away. It’s still here!” So, whenever the winds would turn cold, I’d be out here. You know, this is like punching in, this is where I work. And, just depending on what area was the cleanest, and what area maybe I never go for a while, and I would pick and choose different areas, but a lot of it was, not just looking for the fish, or well, I would look for fish and he‘e and lobster, and limu, too. And I would take my catch up to Waipahu, and I would sell it at the markets over there. Mostly it was Yama’s, at Westgate Shopping Center, they bought everything I brought.

LM: Wait, in Waipahu?

MK:  Yeah.

LM:  Yeah, I been there.

MK:  Oh, yeah?

LM: Yeah, the fish market. My boyfriend actually took me there.

MK: Oh, yeah? Is it still there?

LM:  Yeah.

MK: I’ll be darned. Like I said, Yama helped me out plenty, because he would buy, whatever I got was, kala, palani, whatever.

LM:  I’m not sure if it’s still called the same thing, but, there’s that fish market in Waipahu.

MK:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m kinda shocked to hear that it’s still there.

LM:  Yeah.

MK: So, that’s what I did, and what I’d try to do is make a mental map of how this place looked if the water was clean. And, lotta times, you know, say you get like maybe only one day the water clean, and then the wind will switch, and it’ll go back to being dirty. Hate to use that word, but not clear.

LM:  Yeah.

MK: And, so, those days, a lot of times, even though I’m trying to get fish, or whatever, I’m trying to remember everything, so that one day I could pass it on. And that’s what I’m trying to do now with my grandson, is to let him know where everything is.

LM: So you kinda had to like, go and discover it yourself from just the stories of hearing your dad?

MK:  Yeah.

LM:  That’s good.

MK: As Hawaiians, we hear all these stories about our ali‘i from long time ago, and sometimes it’s almost like not real, or they’re just stories.

LM: We’re so far removed from it now days.

MK:  Yeah…

LM: But it wasn’t even that long ago.

MK:  No.

LM: Your dad! Your dad’s generation.

MK:  Yeah. So I said, you know…

LM: If they could do it, you could do it.

MK: That’s right. And that’s what I did. And what I would do is, I surfed a lot before, that’s why I had all my surfboards and stuff, so what I would do is I would get two guns, I carried a hinge and a three prong, and I would put that on the front of my board. I would have a floater and a lead and a rope, and I would also wear a leg rope on my leg, so that way, if I’m way outside there, and I run into something that I don’t wanna be in the water with, I just jump on my board, and it was protection.

LM:  That’s good.

MK: Yeah, and if I went out to the second reef, I’d put two leg ropes together so that I could reach the bottom in 20, 25 feet of water. And just depending on where I was gonna go, that’s how much, I knew I had to have that much rope. So, lotta times, people would come down and they would see my surfboard floating outside, they’d think that’s like one abandoned surfboard. ’Til they see me climb on top and paddle, oh, where’d that board go? I started in ’81, and then I got my job back in ’84, and I told myself, the ocean, ‘Ewa would take care of me for almost four years, and that’s all I did. And, even though I didn’t make a lot of money, I fed my family with the fish that we got, and I barely had two nickels to rub together, but that was one of the riches times of my life.

LM:  Hum. Interesting?

MK: Hoo, I always look back to that so, so fondly.

LM: Like free…

MK: And you know what, I learned the value of a dollar. I know how hard I had to work to get a dollar. And everything was real, crystal clear. And like now days, it’s different now, I live differently. But, that four years really, really taught me a lot.

LM: So, where were you living? Maybe if you could just go back and say where you lived and everything? I know you were explaining on the way here.

MK: Next to the church, yeah, there’s actually some property over there.

LM:  Yeah…

MK: My mom and dad, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they were still squatting down by the Shaffers down by the ironwood trees. And, my dad is pure Hawaiian and my mother is ¾ Chinese and ¼ Hawaiian. Her father, my Goong-Goong, was Kong Chong, he was half-Hawaiian, but he didn’t look it. His father came from China in the 18…, my grandfather was born in 1880, he was born on Kekaha in Kaua‘i. I don’t have any documentation on it, but I’m wondering if that’s where they first worked as far as plantation…

LM: Yeah, they had the sugar plantations. Yeah, my grandpa’s side is the Chong, too, and they were from Kaua‘i, too! It was like, Ah-Chiong, though, and I guess like when they came here they just shortened it to Chong. But he was born in Koloa, Kaua‘i.

MK:  Koloa, is the south side, yeah?

LM: Yeah, and his dad was from China, too. And the mom was pure Hawaiian.

Yeah, his father, so my great-grandfather.

MK: Okay, my great-grandfather was pure Chinese, born in China. That’s Chong Ayau, and then he ends up by the turn of the century on Moloka‘i, and what they did was, he married a pure Hawaiian woman from Hālawa. And, he opened up a poi shop in Kaunakakai. To this day, my family still makes Moloka‘i poi over there, the Chong family on Moloka‘i.

LM: Oh, wow! So, wait, what was his name again?

MK: Chong, Ayau, that’s my great-grandfather.

LM: And he was the full Chinese from China?

MK: Yep, he was the one who came from China.

LM: And he married…

MK: A pure Hawaiian.

LM: From Moloka‘i…

MK:  And her name was Kanaka‘ole. Her family name was Kanaka‘ole.

LM:  Oh, interesting.

MK: Yeah, and so to me, I understand that that’s where originally the poi, the taro, the kalo was coming from, was from Hālawa. And they used to bring it over on mules, mule train to Kaunakakai. He would make the poi there. He had a machine that did the grinding of the taro. So, even when I was young, on Easter vacation, or on Thanksgiving, lotta times we would go to Moloka‘i and we would stay with my mom’s cousin. My great-grandfather had two sons, and one son’s son stayed on Moloka‘i. That’s Fook-ana, we called him Fook-ana, Uncle Fook-ana. And, all the boys was all Fook for that generation. Fook-wah, Fook-sun. My generation is Kwock, so that’s where I get Kwock-Sun from.

LM: Ohh…

MK: So, we used to go there, and he would make poi every other day. But by the time, this is probably late ’60s, the taro came from Maui. So we would have to go with his flatbed truck and go to the Kaunakakai Wharf, and pick up big burlap bags of taro, take um back to the house. His poi factory was a shack that was divided in two, one was to actually puree, mash the cooked taro, and the other half was to cook the raw taro. So, what he had, it was a real, real old machinery. I cannot tell you how old this stuff was, even in the ’60s. You filled this big pan with water, this metal pan, and then get kiawe trees all around his property, so you got his kiawe, and you made this fire under this big, huge pan of water. And then you brought all the taro, bags and all, you unloaded the truck and you put it into this room. The room wasn’t very big, maybe about 10 by 10, but you filled it all the way up with taro. And then, we had boards that you closed up this room, and then there was 55 gallon drums of rags. And, you got rags, and you take it your fingers, and you fill all the cracks in between the boards because you no more door, you just have one open wall.

LM:  That’s how they steamed it?

MK: Yeah. So, to make easy to bring the taro in, there was no wall, so you just unload real easy, just stack, stack. And then, you got boards, and you fitted the boards, there was like one space in between a post, so you get your board, and you make like that, and you get your next one, next one, next one, all the way up.

LM:  Ohh, I see. So smart!

MK: But, get small cracks, and cannot have no cracks, it’s gotta be like a giant pressure cooker, steamer. So you got all these rags, and that was us as small kids, our job was to make sure we got um filled up all the cracks with rags. So, he did that the night before. The next morning, you would get up and, my cousins would be peeling the taro, so that’s what we did, we would help peel taro. And then, he would feed it into the hopper of another really, really old machine, and then that would grind up the taro, and on the other end, would come out poi. So, he would be on the other end, and he would have an old scale, you know the kind that hangs up from above, with a big round face like a clock. So, he had it wired as the poi would come out, and it was hot, he would scoop it up with his hand, and he would put it into the bag, put ’um on the scale, one pound. Perfect. He did it forever. So I remember, couple times, he goes, “Mark, you go make. Take your turn.” So I make. Hey, not only I cannot get it into the bag clean, stuck poi all over my hand, all over the end of the bag, it was awful. Oh, little bit too much, I gotta take out. Ah, little big too little, I gotta add. It was really goofy, I wasn’t good at that at all. And, he was a good fisherman on Moloka‘i too. But going back to over here [‘Ewa], my dad, there was a story about when people just started living out here. It was mostly, it was all dirt roads. This area [Māmala Bay] was mostly beach cottages for weekends for people that lived in Honolulu, and there wasn’t that many people that actually lived out here, full time.

LM:  Yeah, very small community?

MK:  Yeah.

LM: But you guys were out here full time?

MK: Yeah. So, when they actually started squatting, the deal was, is that, you could squat, but when you guys go, there’s all these gates to get to the main road, the Wai‘anae Road. So, when you would drive your vehicle up to a gate, then somebody would have to get out, and then open the gate, then you go forward, and you gotta go through and close the gate. I think there was something like 20 or 30 gates that you had to get through before you got to the Wai‘anae Road, the one that goes like that. And, people started coming out here, I can only imagine, they had this place all to themselves for a while, but then, Filipinos, other immigrant groups, because they were leaving the plantation, too, like how the Chinese did. So now, because ‘Ewa Plantation is right here, some Filipinos started moving to ‘Ewa Beach and buying places, and they started fishing. So, my story was, that this is Barber’s Point. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Barber’s Point, they get one jetty that goes out.

LM:  Yeah, I been there.

MK: Okay, off of that jetty, about maybe quarter mile out, about first reef distance, there’s a reef that the waves come in from three sides. Comes in straight, and then comes from two sides, like this. And when the three waves come together on the shallow reef, I’ve dove there, I mean you don’t wanna be there. It’ll screw you up big time if you’re not careful. So, what the story was that my dad started off at by where the Shaffers is, the ironwood trees, and he was gonna lay his net on the outside reefs, probably first, maybe second reef, I’m not sure. But, he noticed that there was another boat that was following him, so when he would drive, he’d see this thing driving, so he’d stop his motor, and then they would stop their motor. So, he’d start his motor again, and he goes to the next reef, and ho, these guys, they stopped their motor. So, in other words, they’re trying to find out where his spots were. So, what he did was, is he just kept on going from reef to reef, and then, they would come, so they’re always like one reef behind. So, he got to this, some people call that reef “cross-waters.” But that’s Swabbyland, that’s the surf spot at Swabbyland.

LM: Ohh.

MK:  So, he got his boat, he went, went, went, went, went, and he knows that if he stops, they goin’ stop. So, he waited till they were right over that reef, and turned off his motor. So now they turned off their motor, now so they’re sitting ducks.

LM:  Oh, no.

MK: So he waited, and sure enough, one swell, the wave came in, it did that triple-up thing, capsized their boat, so he turned around, and he went go rescue them.

LM:  [laughing]

MK: A lot of the cowboys, my mother would say, ’cause they didn’t use dry boxes, ’cause they had so much fish, a lot of times they would just go dry fish, and then hang it on a clothesline like clothes between the ironwood trees. So the cowboys, my mother said, they on horseback, and they wouldn’t even get off their horse, because the line is like right by their [head]…

LM:  They would just grab the fish?

MK: Yeah, they just go. But, my mother said, you know what was real pretty, was that they would have a, inside their hat, they would have chili pepper, and they would stick, you know like a, you bust one small end of a chili pepper bush, and maybe the thing get like 4, 5, you know, some is red, some is green, some is half-half. So, they would stick it inside their hat almost like one lei or decoration, you know, for them. But…

LM: Aww, cool. They would use it to eat.

MK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, when it came for lunch time, they had it.

LM:  Aww, smart!

MK: And, my mother used to say that every once in a while, the small baby manini would come in, certain times of the year. And you know, I’ve looked for that, that occurrence, and, I cannot say I’ve ever really seen that. But she says, every year, certain times of the year, and they would be about as big as a postage stamp, and you know like when you get like a tide pool, the buggahs just full inside. ’Cause they would come in with the tide. And then when the tide went out, they would be all inside the tide pool all low tide.

LM:  Ohh… wow.

MK: So, my grandmother, Tutu-Lady, she would have an apron. She would use the apron to scoop up the baby manini, and almost like one net. And then she would put that in a bowl, and the big manini, too. And, even that’s how, my mom said, ’cause she was raised Chinese style, and to live with Hawaiians was real different from what she was used to. So, her mother-in-law, she kinda tripped out on her mother-in-law, my grandmother.

LM:  And she was the Chinese?

MK:  No, she was Hawaiian, too.

LM:  Your grandmother?

MK:  Yeah…

LM: What was her name?

MK:  You know, that’s a whole ’nother story. ’Cause, I actually have, I guess my family would say, we have two grandmothers.  They were sisters.  One was married to John Kaihikapuonalani Kahalekulu.

LM:  That was your grandfather…?

MK: That was my grandfather. His wife’s sister came and lived with them. She got hāpai.

LM:  From him?

MK: He said, that’s his. That man… my dad.

LM: Ohh, wow, scandalous!

MK:  I know.

LM: So like, but back then, everyone was like, hānai, so then you have two moms. So your dad had two moms. They would look at it as, ho you lucky you have two moms. Po‘olua they called it.

MK: I know, I know. So true, so true. Po‘olua. So, like my family, ho, they don’t like that Po‘olua theory. They don’t like that at all, because to them, it’s like, for one thing it is scandal. And second, how can you have two mothers. So, that’s old style thinking.

LM:  Yeah, it’s Hawaiian.

MK: Like Kamehameha had Keoūa and Kahekili, they had Po‘olua. So, that’s something that’s gotta be sorted out, and as far as the family, some guys think one way, and some guys think another. And, there’s other people, like my sister, who has her own theory, that it wasn’t Kahalekulu, John Kahalekulu was the father. It was a Portuguese man. So, there’s the Portagee-man theory, too, in my family!

LM: Wow.

MK:  I know. And to me it’s just like, and you now, it’s very divisive, it’s very divisive.

LM:  Yeah, you never know…

MK:  Yeah.

LM:  You could put anything on your birth certificate too, yeah?

MK: And, in the old days, maybe that didn’t matter. But now days, say you get your kid in Kamehameha, they not going go with this Po‘olua or anonymous- Portagee-man theory.

LM:  [laughing]

MK: They want, who was your grandfather. So, that’s how that works. But my Tutu-Lady, [Emily Ka‘iliponi] who raised my dad…

LM: So she was…

MK: She was John Kahalekulu’s married wife.

LM:  Ohh, okay.

MK: Yeah, not the sister. The sister, actually she lived with John Kahalekulu and her name was Philomena [Ka‘iliponi]. You know they get one, like where that slide park is as you going towards Wai‘anae. That used to be one quarry before. And my dad’s biological mother [Philomena], and her husband [Keku], the husband actually was the watchman for that quarry. So, he [my father] had his biological mother close, and his hānai mother with him. So, this [Tutu-Lady] was his hānai mother. So, she would go and catch all these small, little baby manini, and you know, maybe that’s bad now days ’cause you wiping out the babies, yeah? You should at least let ’um grow big, yeah? But in those days, that’s how they ate. So, she would use the limu kala, just the tips, because the whole limu kala is real hard and spikey. [Goes and grabs some limu kala from the shore.] So, some of this [limu kala], they would just use the soft, soft end. Because, as you can feel, the inside part is kinda hard, and you feel this part here, you don’t wanna eat that.

LM:  Yeah, this is soft though.

MK:  But, the very, very end, and she would just pick this off, and that’s what she would put on top of this bowl of those baby fish, and then use hot water…

LM: And pour it?

MK:  Yeah, and that would make one soup, and one broth.

LM:  That sounds good!

MK: I know! My mother used to say, “I used to think, coming from one Chinese family, I was so weird.” But you know, she look at me and she goes, “But it was ‘ono.”

LM:  [laughing]

MK: “I learned to eat that from my mother-in-law, and to this day, I love that.” [Quoting his mother] So, that’s why I used to go look for that, for her, but I never found that. But what my grandmother would also do, was that she would go get manini, and she would broil the manini, and do the same thing. Put the broiled manini inside a bowl, and then put limu on top and kinda dress it up, and then use the hot water and then make a fast fish soup. So, I could do that, I could go get manini for my mom, and my mom would do that. So, when you think about it, I don’t really know very, very much about my family’s history as far as when they first came, and all I have is secondhand stories from before.

LM: Well, you grew up here, too, so you have memories of your childhood. So, how many siblings do you have?

MK:  I have my sister and a brother, there was just three of us.

LM: What are their names?

MK:  This is Yvonne [points to the house close to us].

LM:  And her married name is…?

MK: Moriguchi.

LM: Moriguchi.

MK: And then my brother [Raphael Kaleikoa Kwock Sing], he’s two years younger than my sister. So, I think she was born 1940, and I think he was born 1942. And then me, I’m 16 years after my brother, and I was born in ’56, so, no actually, he would be born 1940, my sister would have been born late 1930s, 1938, something like that. So, when I was young, my father had already passed away at ’58. What they did was after World War II, they were squatting down at Barber’s Point. My mother’s birthday is December 7th, she saw Pearl Harbor get bombed on her birthday. You could never celebrate her birthday, ever. Like she would say, “It was such a sad day.” But, because she was Chinese and my father was Hawaiian, they squatted, and my mother told him, “Old Man, we have to buy our own place.” And when you think about it, it’s kinda Hawaiian for him to think like this, but he goes, “Why buy something that’s free?” He was in favor of jus squatting. But my mother goes, “No, no, no, we gotta buy one place.” So after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, a lot of people that owned these properties, here, most of um was along this shore. They wanted to sell and get on the first boat to California, because they thought the Japanese was going to invade.

LM:  I see.

MK: You know, they just bombed Pearl Harbor, this [Māmala Bay] is so shallow, this would be perfect for the Japanese to invade. They [my parents] went and bought next to that church, the bought one lot, and it was three hundred dollars.

LM:  What did your parents do? Oh, the paniolo.

MK: My dad first came over as paniolo, but by the war time, he had gotten a job, him and his dad, his dad first, and then he followed. They were custodians at ‘Ewa School.

LM: Right.

MK: So that was their straight job. And, after paniolo, you don’t wanna do that for very long, really hard on your body. So, he would fish and then work at the school. And then when my mom moved down here…

LM:  Three hundred dollars!

MK: I know, but that was big money that time!

LM: No, yeah, yeah.

MK: So, my mother came down, and eventually she got a job at ‘Ewa School as a custodian. And, later on they moved to other schools, but they usually worked together, McKinley, Stevenson Intermediate down by Roosevelt, Roosevelt High School, too. But they were custodians. That’s why, to me, I’m a very big proponent of education because my mother was. She sent me to Kamehameha, sent my brother to St. Louis, sent my sister to Mid-Pacific. How many toilets she had to scrub to send us to those schools, you know? So, to me, it was like, “Wow!” That’s how much she valued education, she only went up to the 6th grade. And because she had 13 brothers and sisters, when she got to 6th grade, her mother pulled her out of school and said, “Nuff school, you help at home.” And, the boys went on to University of Hawai‘i, but her only to 6th grade.

LM: The girls are gonna get married anyway, and have babies…

MK: So it’s like, ho, lose money, ah? But, I don’t like that way of thinking, but that was them.

LM: That was that time.

MK: Yeah. So, when they bought that property next to the church, it was all kiawe, so they cleared it, they busted their ass, lived in a tent. But after they had cleared the land, one of the regular residents of ‘Ewa, that was here before us, said, “Do you know a certain family?” And, I think now, that might have been Dowsett, but I don’t have no proof. But my mother said that she asked, “Why?” [And he/she answered:] “Because you just cleared their land.” They [my parents] said, “No, no, no, we bought.” They said, “You bought the piece next to it.” But it’s all kiawe.

LM:  Yeah, how you supposed to know?!

MK: How you supposed to know? So my mother and father were crushed, because they had busted their ass to clear, you know how Hau Bush looks.

LM:  Yeah, that’s tough.

MK: So my mother said, “You know what Old Man, you gotta go talk to this lady.” So they went up there, and she says it was one house up in Nu‘uanu Valley, and it was one old haole-looking lady, and they asked if she’d be willing to sell the one that they wen’ clear. And she said, “You know, I wanted to save that for my family, but nobody want it because it’s so far out in the boonies, out in the sticks, ‘Ewa Beach.” But she goes, “You folks, you young, I’ll sell it to you folks because you guys, you guys are gonna make better use of this opportunity than my own family.” So, she sold it to them. So, they ended up with two pieces. So, while the other one, which was the original one that they bought, still had kiawe tree, they had this one cleared, and they lived in like one army tent my mom says, until my dad could clear the other side, the original one, and put up a house. He eventually put up three houses on those two lots, and at the time you could do that. So one was a three-bedroom house. He originally built one two-bedroom house I think, and then next to it he build one one-bedroom house for his mother.

LM:  Aww, okay.

MK: And then later on he went and built a three-bedroom house. When I grew up, my mother had those houses.  But they were built like a little after the war time, right around the ’40s. So that’s where we originally lived was next to that church. The church wasn’t there yet. That was actually my father’s brother’s house. And the church bought from my uncle, that was Uncle [Abraham] Apela, my dad’s brother, his half-brother. His hānai mother’s son, his half-brother. So, he sold it to the Baptist church, about the early ’60s, I only remember little while, about the time I was in second grade it was a church, but they used my uncle’s house as the church for many years.

LM: Oh, wow, interesting, huh.

MK: So, we lived there when my mother was just widowed, and she lived in that one bedroom house, and she rented out the two- and the three-bedroom, and that’s how she made money. Because other than that, after my father died, my mom said that for social security for my father dying, she got $64 a month, and that’s what she had to live for, she and I to live on.

LM:  Wow!

MK: You know, I tell you, I didn’t know we were poor, ’cause we had a lotta love and always had food on our table. So, I didn’t realize that until I went to Kamehameha, and then I saw what other kids had.

LM: When did you get in?

MK:  ’69, in 7th grade.

LM: Yeah, I got in 7th grade, too.

MK: Yeah! Yeah, otherwise I went Pohakea over here. So, when I was about 5, that house that’s right at the T right here [points], that belonged to my Uncle Peter Chong, and he lived in Kalihi with my Goong Goong and my Popo, kinda took care of them.

LM: Peter Chong. Then who was the Goong Goong?

MK: That was Kong Chong, or Chong, Kong, with the last name first, ah.

LM: My grandpa, the Chongs, they grew up in Kalihi, too. On Pohaku Street.

MK: They were right off of King Street, like where Queen’s Market. There’s a supermarket over there, right off the Kalihi Shopping Center, there’s Kalihi Stream. In fact, before they moved over there, they actually lived on the stream next door to Hiram Fong the senator, Hiram Fong’s family. So my family and their family, not now, but they were close long time ago. Yeah, when everybody was broke! [laughing]

LM:  Yeah, anyways! [laughing] So, Peter Chong…

MK: Yeah, we moved when I was about 5, so early ’60s, we moved to over here, this is One‘ula Place. And then, we lived there. And that’s why this beach is very, very near and dear to my heart, ’cause as long as I can remember…

LM:  Māmala Bay.

MK: Yeah, Māmala Bay. And then, around the corner, and we can go take a look at that after we leave. As you come out of this One‘ula Place, to the right about 3 houses is my aunt, another sister of my mother. When my mother them came down here, all our family was Kalihi, and she was the first to marry Hawaiian. So, she was ostracized by my Popo.

LM: Ohh.

MK: Yeah, that was bad! Marry Hawaiian. But, once her sisters, and she had eleven sisters, ten sisters. Once she married Hawaiian, oh, it was like, “Oh, now it’s okay for us to marry Hawaiian!” So, they married Hawaiian, and now they started, it was always every weekend, after pau work, they would all drive from town, and they would all come down, and they would all hang out in ‘Ewa. And then, Sunday night, they would all pack up, they all go back to town, they all gotta go work. So, eventually, as places started opening up, they started buying places over here, too. So it was nice.

LM:  Ohh, it’s like a Kahalekulu and a Chong… that’s so funny.

MK: Yeah! But it was this strip right here, kinda like from that point to that point. This was our playground, our living room…

LM:  And your sister lives right on the beach?

MK: Yeah.  What happened was is that, about middle ’80s, after I got back with United, it used to be, these four houses that was right next to the right-a-way [right-of-way] was one lot and it belonged to a family called the Youngs. And, it was their beach house. And they would come on the weekends. And then, there were two twin boys, and I think they went to like ‘Iolani or Punahou. And they got into a business deal, and they asked the parents if they could use that lot as collateral for that business. They business collapsed, the bank took that property.

LM:  Ohh, wow.

MK: My sister was living in Waipahu at the time. And when she heard, that this lot, what they were gonna do is cut it in half. So it was one big lot, [drawing in the sand] so now, they went cut it in half, here’s the right-a-way [right-of-way], and so it’s two house lots, two house lots [in four pieces]. So, all the bank wanted is their money. They made an auction, and I think my sister bought that thing for maybe a little over a quarter-mil, two-fifty, something like that for two lots, right on the beach.

LM: Wow, she bought two of them?

MK: Yeah, she bought one half of this, but her half is two lots. So, she eventually put up a big two-story house on the front, on the beach side. And then she has a two- or three-bedroom rental on the street side.

LM: Wow, and she still lives there?

MK:  She still lives there. She’s retired from the post office, her and her husband.

LM: Good.

MK: So, after we lived here, around the corner you come out of One‘ula onto Pōhakupuna Road, I have another aunty that’s over there. Her children still live there, in fact, my uncle that my aunt married, he’s a Richardson from Lana‘i. The Richardsons and the Kaopuikis, who raised Kepā, are related by marriage.

LM:  Ohh, I know some Kaopuikis from Lana‘i.

MK:  Ohh, on Lana‘i?

LM:  Yeah, from Lana‘i, yeah.

MK: Oh, okay, okay. And you remember, I don’t know if he was there when you were there, but there was a bus driver, his name was Jerry. Jerry Kaopuiki at Kamehameha School.

LM:  Oh, I don’t know…

MK: He might be after you. I mean, you might be after him.

LM:  Yeah, maybe, I don’t know, probably.

MK: But, as me, going to school in the ’70s, I knew he was family by marriage, twice removed. [laughing]

LM:  [laughing]

MK: That’s why, when Kepā told me he was raised by the Kaopuiki I said, “You’re kidding!” So I started rapping off some names, and he goes, “Now, how are you related to those guys?” And I said, “You know, Kepā, you get relatives you know, you get ‘ohana over here right on Pōhakupuna Road.”

LM: Ohh.

MK: My aunty lived over there. Next to her, in the middle ’60s, you know ’64, ’65, had a Filipino guy and he wanted to sell his house. My cousin was gonna buy that house, and she used to work at Woolworth’s when used to have a Woolworth’s over here.

LM:  I remember… well my mom told me about that.

MK:  The Woolworth’s?

LM:  That it was like the only store…

MK: Yeah, yeah! My cousin worked at, what they call that when they have one, ah, you get soda…

LM: Ohh, a fountain?

MK: Yes, yes! A fountain! So, she was gonna buy that house next to her mother, but my mom asked if she could buy it. And, at first it was like, you know, you get $64 a month for social security, how you going buy this? Even though it was only $13,000 at the time.

LM:  Oh, wow.

MK: That’s what they sold it for. So, my mom, using the property that she got as collateral, she was able to buy that other house. That’s the house that I grew up in.

LM: Wait, which one was that again?

MK: This was the one on Pōhakupuna Road, you haven’t seen it yet. And now, it’s just an empty lot. My mom bull-dozed down that thing in like the middle ’90s because it was just too old.

LM:  And now you still have that property?

MK: I still own that. And, in fact, after I talk to you, I gotta talk to a realtor, I gotta go talk to a realtor.

LM: Don’t sell it!

MK:  That’s what I’m thinking of doing.

LM: Aww, no! We always just say, don’t ever sell, don’t ever sell! ’Cause, all the Hawaiians are just getting pushed out…

MK:  I know, I know. You know, my father was from the Big Island, and even though I get my daughter, son-in-law, I get two grandsons over here, I get family over here, I enjoy the Big Island. I enjoy going to the Big Island.

LM:  But there’s so much land there!

MK:  I know, I know.

LM:  And it’s getting bigger! [laughing]

MK: You never meet my daughter. My daughter is, oh boy. She grad UH with a degree in economics.

LM: Ohh, wow. That’s the one married to, Eric?

MK: Yes, to Eric.

LM: What was his last name?

MK: Rhode.

LM:  Oh.

MK: So, my daughter is trying, ’cause right now, it’s an empty lot, and as far as I’ve been explained, to get the financing, to put up a house, I would have to rent it out. I wouldn’t see any return for many years, I would just be paying it basically for up to ten years before I see any return on it.

LM: That’s not that long! [laughing] Nah, it’s your money, it’s your house, it’s your land, I don’t know.

MK: But I still have that other house that’s next to the church.

LM: Oh I see, and you rent it out?

MK:  Yeah, I rent it out.

LM:  Oh.

MK:  So, it’s not like I would be devoid of anything.

LM:  Too bad you couldn’t like hang on to it and save it for grandkids…

MK: You know, after I started talking to Kepā , and that’s what it’s gonna go down to. My daughter’s gonna get it. All of this, whatever I have, even if I sell this lot here, and get something on the Big Island.

LM:  So you just have one daughter?

MK: Yep. So, it’ll all devolve onto her eventually. But she was saying, “You know Dad, you go to the Big Island anyway, and you prefer over there.” And I do. Even though I get grandkids, very rarely you see me on O‘ahu. I’m always on the Big Island if I can.

LM:  Oh. What side, you like Kona side?

MK: I like Kona side. But, right now, I’m kinda looking at Honoka‘a.

LM:  Oh yeah, it’s really nice there.

MK:  Yeah.

LM: In the middle kinda.

MK: What do you mean?

LM: Or like, kinda in between Hilo and Kona.

MK: Yeah, yeah. But it’s kinda at the end of the road. When I got off the plane yesterday and I was driving in that traffic, I said, to me, that’s not my idea of… I don’t know, I just enjoy the Big Island ’cause get plenty fish, the water is clean, country. There’s certain parts that have no traffic.

LM:  So you might retire there?

MK: Yeah. I remember one time I went over there during the winter time, and the waves came really big. And, the main spot of Kona is Lymans, it’s a left, I’m a goofy footer.

LM:  Me too!

MK: Oh! So, I was taking pictures, and the whole week had waves. And it was like, 3–4, 4–5, and all of a sudden, they said, “Oh, gonna have a real big swell.” The thing came up to like 8–10 feet with bigger sets. And I looked out, and it was perfect, and there was a half a dozen guys out there. I looked at my wife, and I said, “You know what, I haven’t surfed in long time, but I’m ready to go buy one, if I cannot rent one board, I’ll buy one.” So, I see this guy, and he was walking away. I said, “Bruddah, you know some place I can go rent one board?” He goes, “You see that condo over there, get one surf shop over there, Kona Bali Kai, they rent you boards over there.” I said, “Really?” He go, “Yeah.” Within a half an hour, I’m back with a board under my arm, and I’m all excited, it’s pumpin’, it’s smokin’. And I’m walking up the point, and local guys are looking at me and goin, “Alright, bruddah, go get um, go get um!” ’Cause they’re looking at me, and it’s like, outta six waves, one is ridden. Five empty waves to one. And I was like, I chipped my teeth out at North Shore, surfing the North Shore, and it was dog-eat-dog. Banging’ rails, and it wasn’t like, “Oh, yeah, go bruddah!” No, no, guys will drop in on you, I mean mercilessly.

LM:  Yeah, there’s a lot of people.

MK: So, when guys treated me like that, I was like, “That’s aloha, that.” And, I’m sorry, but, I respond to that. And, even like now, I’ll go over there, and I’ll go look for one he’e, I’ll let the small ones go. Just if I was over here. If I something with eggs I’ll let it go, don’t touch it. If it’s kapu, don’t shoot it. Make sure it’s legal size. Even though I’m not a resident of over here, I feel like this is my heritage as a Hawaiian. So, when I go to the Big Island, and over here [‘Ewa], I’ll gather limu, I’ll go and go catch he‘e, and I’ll take that back with me to Colorado, and I’ll share it with other Hawaiians that are over there. To me, that’s the ability that I have, is to keep, not only for myself, but for other people, this connection. So, to me, it’s not just ‘Ewa Beach specifically, but it is, but more generally, it’s the whole state. I like see the whole state be held in stewardship for our people. Wherever it is. And, I may come back the last time in a box, but my heart is always over here. But I can understand, like you’re saying, and I tell you, I still get second thoughts about selling. That’s why, even like right now, I thinking about that realtor that I’m gonna talk to, friend of my daughter’s, and I’m not sure what I’m gonna tell her, especially after talking to you.

LM: I mean, I don’t know the whole story, but that’s my first response when I hear somebody’s gonna sell their land, especially like family land that you grew up on. I’m just like, “Don’t do it!” You’ll just regret it.

MK: You know, I read George Kanahele’s Ku Kanaka, and one part he says, “If you have ancestral land, don’t sell it.” And, what it is, it’s a place where your family can come and learn the stories of your family, and to be introduced to the history of your family, and a place like this, I mean, this is where we would get the net, lay, go make it, we had two pockets, everybody come in, all the kids, splash, splash, splash, splash, splash, pick up the net with the tube, put the fish in the burlap bag, pick up the net, everybody out, all the kids come back in, the men folks go all the way, start over here by this little cove inside here on the other side of the pipe. And then, go all the way down by Parish Drive, and by the time we got to Parish Drive, we had so much fish. We had more than enough fish for many families, like Uncle Peter, and Aunty Alice, and Uncle Lou, and my brother and my sister. You know, we had all of this as a resource. Whenever we went to Kalihi, we brought gallons of pickled limu with us, you know when we went into town. And for us it was no big deal, but wow, you know when you watch the family, our town family.

LM:  They loved it.

MK:  Aww, it’s like it was gold to them.

LM:  Ahh really? I want some of that now!

MK:  [laughing] I know.

LM:  I want the fish, the manini, that sounds good.

MK:  With the little buds of the limu kala…

LM:  Yeah! I wanna try that now!

MK: But, no matter what, this place will always be home to me, it will always be one hānau. So, it’ll always be this. And even if in the future, I always think that my family, my descendants could be all blond hair and blue eyes one day.

LM:  Not…

MK: Pretty soon we’re all gonna look the same.

MK:  Yeah.

LM: We’ll all be one race again. [laughing]

MK: Yeah. I just want them to be able, I really want them to know that they’re Hawaiian, that they have Hawaiian, and they should be proud of it. And, even more so, they should try to learn their culture, learn their history, learn their language. For me, I’m terrible with the language. I’m a book worm, I get books all over my house. I can digest books on history, all that, but to learn the Hawaiian language, I have not found the key that unlocks that, and I don’t understand how.

LM: Immersion. Yeah, it’s hard. Language, you gotta live it, to really know.

MK: That’s why, to me, I don’t know if I ever will, but I not going give up. And I have friends up there [Colorado] and we tried to.

LM: When did you move to Colorado?

MK: ’91. So, I just want my children and my grandchildren and descendants, I want them to be proud of who they are and what they are. And as long as we get at least one place over here [‘Ewa], we still got our foot in the door as far as being able to have access to this place which has fed my family for almost 100 years. So, at the very least, I still get that, but if I could figure out something as far as this property, I’ll show you after.

LM: Okay.

MK: If I could figure out something, I’d love to be able to figure out something that I could say, you know what, this is the cornerstone of a legacy that I could pass down to my descendants and my family. If I could do that, that would be… I could kick out happy.


Related Documents

The following is a halia aloha of Honouliuli written by Mark Kahalekulu. The narrative is dated August 29, 2012 and is entitled “Diving the Three Stones, Oneula Beach.” It is written as notes to moopuna, and contains important background on ocean resources. Mark Ehukai Kahalekulu kindly granted permission to Kepa Maly on April 25, 2014 to share this one of several halia aloha.

One of the things that I we both enjoy doing is to go luu o ke kai— diving in the sea. That day that we went to Kahe Beach, I saw how fearless you were heading into the water and so determined to try and catch the manini with your hand net. You would let go of my hand and dive head first towards the small schools of fish, fully intent on scooping them up, but they of course were too agile and adept at escaping your net. I had to chuckle to myself as I watched you from above, but I couldn’t help but think how proud my father would have been to see you swimming underwater chasing those fish, armed only with your red scoop net. Right then and there, I knew that in your breast beat the heart of a fisherman. It is what Kahalekulu’s have done in the shallow sea of Ewa for almost 100 years.

If you walk down the right of way next to the Moriguchi’s house, you come out close to the western end of Oneula Beach. In the old days, before they stopped the dumping of raw sewage from Sand Island, the limu on this beach would pile up to three feet thick, brought to shore by the prior night’s high tide. Nowadays, there is not much seaweed to be seen, just a few scattered specimens here and there, the sand bare.

I started seriously diving in the early 1980’s, after having been laid off at my job at the airport. One place that I enjoyed going to was the Three Stones. It was close to where I was living at the time (I rented Gram’s one-bedroom house next to the Baptist Church) and unlike other places, the water was not so dirty and prone to having waves. The best time to dive Oneula, and Ewa in general, is when the North winds blow offshore during the wintertime. Winter is also the time when the swells predominantly come from the north, producing near flat surface conditions on the south-facing shores. The Northeast tradewind generally pushes the coffee-colored water from Puuloa westward along the Ewa coastline, making visibility very limited. This is one of the reasons why fish favor the sea of Ewa.  Of course, you could lay a net in the old days, and it wouldn’t really matter how clean the water was to be able to catch fish. But for diving, and for finding the places offshore where the fish congregated, visibility was very important. The cold North winds, instead of blowing sideshore parallel to the beach, would blow straight offshore, taking the dirty water out with it. If you wanted to dive closer to the shore and wanted the best visibility, you would go early in the morning, an hour or so before bottom low tide, just as the dirty water was being taken out. If you wanted to dive the outer reefs, during the rising tide would be better, because that murky water would be inside of you, pushed shoreward by the incoming tide.

The Three Stones were offshore about 150 yards off of the terminus of Oneula Beach. I would usually leave my plastic 5-gallon bucket that I used to carry my fishing gear in next to the concrete and stone stairway in front of the Young’s place. I used my 7’-7" Bill Barnfield as a safe platform from which to dive from and to save my energy on forays to the outside reefs. I would have a plastic jug as a floater to which was tied a 20-foot length of nylon rope, which was then secured to a metal weight. My bag was then looped through the handle of the plastic jug. The nylon rope was wound around the weight and the weight then wrapped inside of my bag and placed carefully on the nose of my surfboard. The end of my spears would then be placed resting on the bag/floater/weight, and after having made sure my mask and snorkel were adjusted properly, I would gingerly pick up my rig and proceed into the water.

Once in, I would attach the 14-foot leg rope of my board to my ankle. Sometimes when I would dive the Second Reef, I would connect two leashes to my board so that I could reach the bottom in 20 to 25 feet of water. As you make your way out, there are small, dinky, little waves next to the shore, and they have a tendency to upset the bag and weight, knocking them off the board and into the water. I don’t like to wear fins, just reef shoes, because of the uneven, shallow rock-bottom. It takes a little patience and attention to walk out with my board and gear through the shallows, but once out in waist-deep water, I’m then able to mount my board and start paddling.

Even though my ultimate goal is to reach The Stones, the inshore area is prime hee grounds. I would put my mask on and periodically stick my face in the water, scouting the area as I slowly paddled. You would be surprised how many octopi are watching you as you make your way out towards the reef. They hide in their holes among the limu alani, manauea, lipoa, kala and wawaeiole, as well as the padina, caulerpa and acanthaphora, that cover the bottom. The area just off the shore is very uneven, with numerous sandholes and depressions interspersed between the rocky outcroppings. It is along the edges of these depressions that the hee like to make their houses. They are able to see well from their protective rock dwellings, overlooking the sand pockets for crabs and other favorite prey. Even though there are no fish to be seen, just off the seawall of the first house after the beach ends, there is a kumu hole about 40 feet straight offshore in about three to four feet of water. It was one of the first fish holes that I found when I started diving.

As you move further outside, the water deepens to about five to six feet, and the bottom topography changes from the limu-covered, uneven rock-rubble to a flat sand and rock surface. The two main varieties of seaweed that dominate this sandy area are the caulerpa (no Hawaiian or common name that I know of) and the limu lipoa (Dictyopteris sp.). While at first inspection this area may look to be monotonous and unproductive, take notice of the many abandoned squid holes that are present. During the early fall months of September and October, this can be a great place to look for hee. The holes are too appealing to hee and they will be recycled and reused by them every autumn.

As you get further out, maybe 100 yards or so, angle to the right so that you are now directly in front of the black lava rock seawall next to the old Ilaban boat ramp and pipe outfall. The water gets to about eight feet deep and the bottom is almost all sand with occasional clumps of broken coral and rock. There is very little seaweed growing on the bottom, looking much like an underwater desert. Keep on going, because you will soon run into a line of large rocks that run parallel to the shore. Because housing for fish is so sparse in this area, large manini, palani and kala tend to frequent these rocks, hiding underneath.

Sometimes there are slipper lobsters, too, as well as large eels, that share the rocks with the other fish. The last rock on the left is the largest, about five feet across, and is hollow in the middle, with a big opening on the top. Although this rock normally doesn’t have much game associated with it, it is your marker for finding the Three Stones. From this mushroom rock, go straight out about 20 to 30 yards. You are looking for a large boulder surrounded by flat sand and rock rubble in about 10 feet of water directly in front of the black lava wall on shore. This is the first of the Stones. Mostly large manini, kala and palani hang around the first Stone, sometimes with an uhu or honu sleeping nearby if you go early enough in the morning, but because there is no hollow for them to hide in, they will normally swim off in the direction of the other two Stones when approached.

From the first Stone, make your way to the right until you are directly in front of the Ilaban’s driveway. You know you are very close to the other Stones when you can see cars passing on Pohakupuna Road. If you cannot see any cars, you are either too far to the left or the right. Adjust your position until you are able to see traffic on the roadway. Once properly situated, I would drop my weight and use the floater as my marker. I would then circle my floater, moving concentrically outwards. Unless the water is crystal clear, the second Stone will suddenly appear eerily out of the gloom. It is a large boulder, about 7 feet in diameter, surrounded by a mix of sand and rubble in about 12 feet of water.

Unlike the first Stone, this one is hollow underneath, with a cavity about 4 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet with a 2 foot opening in the front and the back. There are usually a few large, free-swimming kala and palani, as well as some big manini, that reside under the second Stone. Shooting from the opening that faces the shore is the best approach, with the fish silhouetted by the light filtering in from the backdoor. Once a fish has been speared, the others will quickly exit through the rear opening of the chamber and disappear. The large (three-foot long) kala that are taken from the second and third Stones should be handled with a healthy amount of respect, as their four caudal (tail fin) knives are extremely sharp and can easily inflict a serious wound. Most times, I prefer to hold the kala by the tail, with my thumb firmly on the top of the penduncle, or the narrow part of the tail fin, and the knives projecting sideways away from my fingers. I would grip his tail very firmly, because he will try to escape by beating his tail at you. Every once in a while, you will find a kala hiding with his head in a hole and his tail sticking out. I would use this opportunity to grab the tail with my hand and to pull him out without spearing him. But with the very large ones, it is safer to avoid having your hand anywhere close to the tail. Even after bagging the kala, the cautious diver needs to be constantly aware of the location of the bag and its dangerous contents.

The fish that escaped from the second Stone would invariably run to the third Stone. It lies straight out from the second one, about 15 yards further. The last Stone is very much like the second, about the same size and in the same type of terrain. The only difference is that the opening in the front is larger, and has an overhanging rock above it that you can hold on to for better lining up your shot. The scenario beneath the Stone is very similar as well—a chamber about 4 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet, with a sand-lined bottom and a back entrance that lets in light. Before shooting at the free-swimming silhouettes in the hole, take time to look at the rock ceiling. Sometimes the fish that fled from the second Stone will plaster themselves on the roof of the cave to disguise their location. Not only will the regular kala employ this tactic, but so will big palani, as well as the much rarer opelu kala.

About 10 feet to the right of the last Stone is a much smaller rock, about 4 feet in diameter.  Underneath it are usually a few medium to large manini and medium palani, some of whom have just run there from the third Stone. Going out from the third Stone, the depth of the water is about 10 to 12 feet deep, the bottom is mostly flat sand and rock rubble, with a sparse showing of lepeahina (Halymenia sp.) and limu kohu (Asparagopsis sp.).

Straight out about 40 yards from the last Stone, you will run into the inward edge of the First Reef. The First Reef rises up from the sand and rubble bottom to about six to eight feet deep. The topography is uneven, full of small to medium sized holes and liberally covered with fist-sized nodules of various crustose coralline seaweeds (Hydrolithon sp.).  As you make your way out over the reef, the depth gets shallower, and the concentrations of fish increase. Free-swimming schools of palani, pualu, maiko, manini, and kala, as well as the introduced taape, sweep in and out between the coral outcrops, occasionally dashing into the innumerable holes that perforate the bottom, disappearing, and then reappearing a few yards further away. Swimming slowly over this beautiful seascape, the bottom undulates, a depression followed by a rise, one after another. Flashing schools of fish, twisting and turning as one, parade ahead of you. At times like this, you forget that you are a man and wish wistfully to be just another one of the lucky denizens of the sea.

The bottom morphs again, telling you that you are approaching the outer edge of the First Reef. The bottom becomes flatter, and the holes become larger, a series of connected rooms and causeways under the rocky strata. I call this the Puka Reef. Very large kumu, as well as lobster and big puhi live in these sand bottomed crevasses, sharing them with the usual large kala and palani. The schools of fish swimming around you now become a distraction as you carefully inspect each opening of the reef, not sure if inhabitants deep in the shadows are predator or prey. Large shapes retreat into the dark recesses and disappear. Hunting here can be very rewarding or very frustrating, just depending on the fortunes of the day. Often times a return visit is required to finally bag something that was seen days, weeks or months previously. As you follow the cracks outward, the reef finally gives way to a bank of deep sand.

At this point, you are almost a quarter of a mile out, all by yourself with just a surfboard and a bag of bleeding fish. You could paddle parallel along the First Reef towards the right-of-way, or if you’re really ambitious, go out another quarter mile to the Second Reef. Or you could go the other way towards Hau Bush and try the outside reef in front of the Mitsuyasu’s place. But by now, though, the wind has probably started to pick up and ruffle the surface of the water. The current that flows from Mamala Bay towards Kalaeloa is picking up and the sun has risen high in the sky. With a few nice fish in the bag, this might be a good time to go in already. But even if I hadn’t caught a thing, just being out there, all by myself, alone with just my thoughts, my aumakua and the ocean, that’s what it’s all about.


Below is a moolelo shared by Mark Kahalekulu, who was also interviewed for the oral history research. In it, Kahalekulu shares his recollections and knowledge about the limu resources in the 1980s at Oneula, Ewa.

After my father, Raphael Kaihikapuonalani Kahalekulu, passed away when I was two years old, my mother, Leatrice Kam Ing Kulia Chong Kahalekulu, and I had lived in the Oneula area for as long as I could remember. My earliest recollection was us living in the one-bedroom house that my father had built for his step-mother, Tutu Lady, between Pohakupuna Road and Oneula Place in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. When I was about four or five, we moved into my Uncle Peter Chong’s two-bedroom house on Oneula Place until my mother was able to purchase the white house on Pohakupuna Road next to her sister, Alice Chong Richardson, and brother-in-law, Lew Richardson, from where I attended Ewa Beach and Pohakea Elementary Schools, and, later, Kamehameha.

When I was a young boy growing up in Ewa, it was great fun when my family and I would all walk the short distance to Oneula Beach in front of my mother’s house to gather limu. During those years, the limu in Ewa was very plentiful and on any given day, the beach was covered with so much and so many different types of seaweed that accumulations up to three feet deep in some places was not an uncommon occurrence. On some days as I walked to school in the morning, the distinct fragrance of lipoa, carried inland by the onshore sea breeze, would fill our neighborhood, all the way to Pohakea, and beyond.

My older sister’s and older brother’s families would come over to my mother’s house on most weekends, arriving after work and school on Friday afternoons and staying till Sunday evening. Early in the morning, their children and I would each have a bucket in one hand, a scoop net in the other, one of my mom’s bath towels slung over our shoulders, and follow the adults down Pohakupuna Road, around the corner to Oneula Place, and the path that led to the kahakai. It was usually low tide in the morning as we emerged from the right-of-way, the sun just having risen off of Diamond Head on the other side of Mamala Bay. Often times, puffy, pink and white clouds would billow over the high peaks of the Koolau’s, while the deep valleys behind of Honolulu laid dark and shrouded behind the curtain of early morning showers. As we stood surveying the beach in front of us, both sides would be piled high with a multitude of various species of seaweed, as well as the other ukana from the sea. If we were fortunate and went early enough before anyone else had gotten there, sometimes we would find the glass balls used as floats for fish nets, large and small, laying among the beds of limu. They would invariably be encrusted on their surface with large barnacles, evidence of their long journey, drawn by the wind and ocean currents from Japan.

While it was easy to have the entire shoreline as far as you could see all to yourself during the weekdays, the weekends were a different story all together. Most times on a Saturday or a Sunday, people from all over the island of Oahu, from Waianae to Waimanalo, would travel to Ewa in order to obtain the limu that was needed for a traditional luau, some other special occasion, or to just enjoy a nice day at the beach with the ohana. The seashore would be dotted with kamaaina and malihini alike, all stooping over the brown mounds of seaweed, using their hands to move the piles around, intently searching for their favorite variety hidden amidst the opala. Dislodged from the sea bottom by the combined action of waves and currents, the limu, still fresh and glistening, was deposited on the shore by the previous night’s high tide. With each and every little wave, more seaweed washed ashore, adding to the already abundant amount.

The adults of my family would quickly ascertain where the most promising areas were, which was usually directly in front and immediately to the sides of the right-of-way. The buckets and other personal articles were left against the coral rock seawall, safe from the rising tide. My mother would wear a pair of knee-length shorts and an old, comfortable Hawaiian print blouse, but I never saw her wear a hat. She and the other family members would each have an old pillow case to hold the limu that they would gather. They would spread out a few feet from one another, but not so far as to be out of earshot and unable to converse while searching through the heaps. The family would be constantly talking to one another as they went about their work, which was not really work at all, but a very convivial time that was enjoyed by all. What was happening within the family, catching up on news or other events, or just plain gossip was all freely talked about as the hands endlessly manipulated the mounds and the eyes diligently scanned for the limu varieties that were favored. Exclamations of delight would accompany the discovery of a rare species, or a bunch that was exceedingly large or one that was particularly beautiful. It was then passed around, from hand to hand, and remarked favorably on by the admirers, the finder as much pleased by the attention as of the success of the find. We children were gathered about, and the new discovery was displayed to us as well, along with the Hawaiian name, a description of its utility, and an admonition for us to keep our maka open for any similar looking examples.

We would diligently work our way down the shore, making a great effort to thoroughly comb through every stack before us to extract the gold that lay beneath the surface. When we finally reached the black, lava-rock wall at the end of the beach, we would turn back towards the right-of-way and retrace our steps, keeping an eye out for an inadvertently overlooked cluster. Finding something on the walk back was somewhat of a coup for the discoverer, who could now crow about their superior eyesight and question if others needed to have themselves checked out for corrective eyewear.

The most sought after variety of limu by Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike was the manauea (Gracilaria coronopifolia), which was also known by its Japanese name, ogo. Its appearance reminded me of miniature deer antlers. Sometimes, the manauea had little knobs attached to these antlers, which are the plant’s reproductive spores. There were different types of manauea that were found, their differences mainly due to their appearance, texture, and, to a lesser degree, to their taste. The most abundant sub-variety of manauea was found in round-top bunches that branched repeatedly, ranging from an inch to about hand length. The clusters were a little longer than they were wide, and ranged in color from brownish-yellow to almost burgundy. This was the manauea native to this area of Oneula, and this variety is the standard by which I judge the others. It grew from the base of the lava rock seawalls, throughout the uneven, shallow inshore, and ended just before the area dominated by the Caulerpa, which was about fifty yards out. Sometimes the ends were lighter in color than the rest of the clump due to the sand that migrated seasonally offshore and buried the limu patches except for the tips, which would stick out and be exposed to the sunlight. Its texture was medium-crunchy, and it had a wonderful flavor, as well, making it a very good limu for eating by itself, or mixing with raw fish to make poke. It was also the best manauea for making pickled limu, because after parboiling, it would wilt to just the right degree, hold the vinegar and soy sauce, and be the perfect size and texture for dropping into the mouth and sliding easily down the throat.

Another sub-variety of manauea, growing in just a few areas, is much larger and thicker, the clusters growing on the bottom up to fourteen inches in diameter. This type is usually found with a crust of coralline seaweed (Neogoniolithon sp.) attached from its holdfast up to the lower extremities of the branches, as well as colonies of sea hares, a one-inch long, algae-eating mollusk (Stylocheilus or Aplysia sp.). This manauea alii (my term) is a very dark burgundy in color throughout its branches, with a yellowish tinge to its tips. I don’t think this is due to being covered with sand, but because it grows in shallow water and is exposed to plentiful sunlight. Because of its thicker diameter, its texture is very crunchy, and because, in my opinion, its flavor is superior to the common manauea, it is by far the best manauea for making poke ia. But because of its thickness and texture, however, it is less desirable for making pickled limu as the common manauea. The branching is too thick to hold the vinegar and soy well, does not wilt ideally, and its crunchiness becomes a distraction, not an asset.

A varietal that grows around the periphery of the manauea alii is one that, rather than growing upright on the bottom, spreads out laterally in large, flattened clumps from a foot to two feet in diameter and between two and three inches thick. Instead of having a single holdfast like other manauea, this noho type has a multitude of holdfasts that keeps the heap attached to the bottom. The branches of this manauea are thicker than the common manauea, though thinner than the alii type, and are intertwined and tangled together, like a thicket, growing somewhat similarly to wawaeiole. Because of this, they are much more difficult to clean, and therefore not as desirable and used only when other manauea are unavailable. An unusual characteristic of this type is that it produces a stem about three inches in length that protrudes from the main carpet, and on the end of this stem grows a ball about an inch and a half to two inches in diameter of finer, intertwined branches, which sways back and forth in the current. Eventually, this “ball limu” detaches and floats away from the mother manauea. I don’t remember having ever seen this variety with the obvious reproductive spores like the other sub-types of manauea, so I am inclined to believe that this “ball limu” eventually reattaches itself to a suitable surface and starts another colony.

The last sub-type of manauea that is found is what I believe most people consider the true “ogo” (Gracilaria bursapastoris). It is very long, reaching over a foot and a half in length, and has a diameter twice the size of the common manauea. Its branching is not as profuse as the native manauea, and its color is a light-green to yellow. Although I have never seen it growing, having only gathered it from the shore, I believe it to be a deeper water species. It has a crunchy texture similar to the manauea alii, but is not so finely flavored. In spite of this, it commands the highest price of all manauea sold commercially, and is the preferred limu for making poke at most fish markets around Oahu.

All of these various wild manauea should not be confused with some of the aquaculture-raised seaweed that is sold under the name of “ogo”. I believe that these are foreign, non-native species. They have a different texture and appearance, resembling pubic hair, and an insipid taste, which is nothing like the flavor of the wild native varieties.

Probably the next most sought after type of limu was the wawaeiole (Codium sp.), which was also called “rat’s foot”, as well as “pok-pok-lo” by the Filipinos. The wawaeiole grew from a few feet from the shoreline to the outer reefs. There were three sub-types of wawaeiole: the first was one that grew in a mat about six to twelve inches across and two to three inches in thickness, with multiple holdfasts (C. edule). The dark green branches were spongy but firm in texture, growing in a tangled mass, about a quarter-inch in diameter, with a felt-like surface, and resembling a rat’s foot in appearance. These clumps required a bit of cleaning to remove the pieces of coral and sand that adhered to it. This limu is very delicious and has a unique flavor and texture. Many people preferred to eat this limu raw, or sometimes added chopped vegetables, such as onion and tomatoes, to make something akin to a seaweed salad. It was very ono with raw fish, but a little went a long way. If kept in a cool, dry, place that was out of the sun and open to the air, it would keep pretty well for a few days, but after only a day or so in the refrigerator, or kept in a container of saltwater, it would soon become slimy and exude a reddish-colored liquid.

The second type of wawaeiole (C. reediae), averaging about four to six inches in length, had a much thicker diameter, about one-half to three-quarters of an inch, and did not have the dense branching like the more common type. It grew from one main holdfast and grew vertically from the bottom. Because it grew from one kumu, it was usually free of much rock and sand, and was thus easy to clean, but its outer surface was a bit too leathery in texture and had a slightly different taste from the commoner wawaeiole.

The third variety (C. arabicum) did not have any branching at all, but grew in flat, lobe-like clumps on the bottom. Found on the shore, they were about one to two inches in diameter and resembled little green ears or shallow cups. The underside that faced the reef had a mucous-like slime that, in conjunction with the usual coral-rubble and sand, made it difficult to clean and had an unappetizing appearance. Once well cleaned, though, it had a surprisingly good taste and texture, especially when other wawaeiole was unavailable.

One of the most abundant (and fragrant), of all the seaweeds of Ewa was the limu kala (Sargassum echinocarpum). It grew in long strands on the reef flats, sometimes in large patches, that would sway back and forth with the current. It was a favorite food of many herbaceous fish, such as the palani (Acanthurus sp.), pualu (Acanthurus sp.) and, of course, the kala (Naso sp.), hence the name. Along a tall, central stem in excess of a foot in length, it was arrayed with tan to brown leaf-like blades that were usually lined with spiky, thorn-like edges (another type of limu kala, S. obtusifolium, was very similar to S. echinocarpum, but, instead, had longer, smoother, softer leaves). They both occasionally had along the stem numerous little, hollow, brown balls, about a quarter of an inch in diameter. Their appearance always reminded me of holly. Although the larger, mature leaves of the limu kala had a very hard texture, the young, growing buds on the tips were a crunchy, flavorful addition to raw fish or limu salads. My Tutu Lady would eat them with raw ohua, the tiny, postage stamp-size stage of the manini, which would gather in large numbers in the tidepools along the shore at Kualakai at certain times of the year. Another favorite dish of hers was to sprinkle the limu kala shoots over a broiled manini in a bowl, pour scalding hot water over the limu and fish, and make a quick soup.

Another very fragrant limu was the lipoa (Dictyopteris sp.). Like the limu kala, it grew in patches on flat sections of the inshore reef. There are two similar looking types of lipoa, both having long, flat, tan to brown blades, about three-eighths of an inch wide and one to four inches in length. The blades are flat with a ruffled edge, and have a midrib running down the center. The difference is that one of them (D. australis) has dark spots all along its blade, whereas the other (D. plagiogramma) does not. The first type is the one that is preferred for eating because it is the most flavorful, as well as being the most pungent. The second variety, D. plagiogramma, does not have as intense a flavor or smell as D. australis, but is still a limu that is well-liked by old-timers, only requiring a greater amount to approximate a similar result. There are numerous moolelo that speak of the scent of lipoa that is a distinctive characteristic of certain places, that scent familiar and beloved by the kamaaina. If you could use only one type of limu with raw fish, lipoa would be the one—the flavor is so ono and so unique, and so classically Hawaiian. Combined with fresh fish, paakai and inamona, you have something that is so simple, yet possesses a complexity that is sure to ring the bell of kupuna and young folks alike.

There are a few other “old-time” seaweeds that were looked upon with favor by the people that knew them and loved them. One of them was the maneoneo (Laurencia nidifica). Along the shore of Oneula, this limu is still one of the more easily gathered types tossed up by the waves, and although not as common as it once was (almost as plentiful as the limu kala back in the day), it can still be found without much difficulty by beachgoers today. Found growing from the edge of the water out to the area dominated by the Caulerpa, it is one of the most ubiquitous of the inshore algae of Ewa. It has round main branches that have numerous side branches that grow outwards in all directions, all about one-sixteenth inch in diameter. The ends of the branches have tiny holes in them, and their color can range from green, to brown, to burgundy. They wash up on the sand in ball-shaped bunches, often entangled with the huna limu (Hypnea cervicornis), about one to six inches in diameter. Their flavor is similar to the closely related limu lipeepee, somewhat like a manauea, but with what some people would call a peppery taste. It is one of the limu that I still use to make poke ia for my daughter and my moopuna, and gives such a classic Hawaiian flavor to fish that is easy for even modern tastes to appreciate, yet difficult to identify.

Another “old-timer” seaweed, and my all-time favorite, is the lipeepee (Laurencia succisa). It grows best along the rockier shorelines, sometimes in tide-pools, out over the shallow inshore reef flats to areas dominated by the Caulerpa or Hydrolithon. Growing from a single kumu, it produces a few slightly flattened main branches up to three inches in length that have two opposite rows of short branches, looking somewhat like a miniature leiomano. Their color is variable, and can range from a light green to brown to ruddy. Even in the days of my youth, it was not common, and my eyes would range intently over the other limu in search of this prize. To me, finding even a few pieces of lipeepee was like finding buried treasure. Often, I would eat it right then, even though I had been admonished many times that it was not right to eat the limu until we had gotten home. I could not help myself, thinking of times in the past when, after reaching our house to clean our limu, my lipeepee could not be found! Only after I learned the trick of turning the pillow case inside-out would I find that the lipeepee had hidden its way into the corner. It has an appealing, crunchy texture, and a delicious flavor, reminding one of its cousin, the maneoneo, but much stronger. Some people say that, to them, it has a peppery flavor.

A favorite limu of my mother was the lepeahina (Halymenia formosa), she calling it the “sea lettuce”. It grew beyond the inshore area, out past the Caulerpa, in eight to twelve feet of water. It would grow from a single holdfast and reach a length of at least a foot, where it would sway gracefully in the current. It grew as a wide, flat blade with a ruffled edge that looked like the comb of a rooster. Its inner surface was textured, although it was slippery, but not slimy, throughout. I always marveled at the color variation—lemony yellow, almost fluorescent green, deep burgundy—and to see how they contrasted with the other mostly brown seaweeds, they reminded me of the uhu and their garish hues. The lepeahina was the easiest limu to clean because nothing ever stuck to it. The only thing that needed to be removed was the kumu, and most times when you found it on the shore, the holdfast was absent anyway. The lepeahina had a rather strange texture in your mouth, sometimes crunchy, sometimes slippery, both from the same specimen depending if you ate from the blade or the ruffle. Its flavor was not like most of the other seaweeds, being mostly nondescript, kind of how the drab taste of lettuce needs something like salad dressing to add interest. Dipping it in shoyu or adding it to raw fish went a long way to making it more enjoyable, although it could be very challenging to try holding it with a chopstick.

A limu that most people of Hawaii are familiar with is the limu kohu (Asparagopsis taxiformis). It was not a commonly found seaweed at Oneula, although there are quite a few colonies of it growing on the First Reef in eight to ten feet of water. The lower kumu section is actually a creeping, entangled system of root-like filaments that have a light, yet surprisingly effective hold on to the reef’s rocky outcrops. From that basal portion, erect stems arise, with a usually bare lower section that forms a bottle brush-like, fuzzy branch on the upper portion. The color is usually a rust-colored red, but the kohu of Oneula is a more subdued tan to brown. My feeling is that the color difference is due to the fact that our limu kohu grows in relatively deeper reef areas without strong sunlight and lack strong wave action that would provide a more oxygenated environment. This highly sought after limu has a soft texture on the upper area and a firmer texture as one bites into the lower stem. The kohu limu has a rich, iodine odor and flavor, much appreciated by old folks as well as the young. Some would say that this is the best limu for mixing with raw fish to make poke, and it would be hard to disagree. It can also be used as a condiment to be eaten in conjunction with other foods, like stew and poi, or just eaten raw by itself. Normally sold as a ball about the size of a golf ball mixed with paakai in the market, we would never find that much in a day of searching the seashore. My brother, Ray, would dry the few sprigs he found, add a pinch of Hawaiian salt to it, and collect it in a little jar on the door of the refrigerator, using it sparingly only for special times. Once when accompanying my brother to the Kekaulike Market when still a young girl, my niece, Nina, spied the little balls of limu kohu in the glass display case and pointed them out to her father. He told her that, yes, she was correct in her identification, but that the flavor of the limu kohu of Ewa was much superior.

Another limu that can readily be found either on the shore or growing just offshore is the alani (Dictyota sandvicensis). The blades are flat, about an eighth of an inch in width, lack any midrib and are yellow to tan in color. The ends of the blades are “Y” shaped. If someone would eat enough of the alani, it would remind one of the citrusy flavor of biting into the skin of an orange or a tangerine. Although in my family this limu was not usually collected, in recent years, due to the lack of limu in Oneula, I have used this seaweed to mix with raw fish in a pinch.

A limu that I use for poke when other seaweed is either scarce or unavailable is the Acanthophora spicifera. I refer to it by its latin binomial because as far as I can determine, it lacks a Hawaiian name. My mother related to me that when she was younger, this limu was not here originally, but she first took notice of it in the 1950’s, referring to it as “Filipino limu”. It grows in the tidepools along the shore out to the Caulerpa zone. It sends numerous round branches out of a single holdfast, with each branch studded with many small, spine-like nubs, ranging in length from one to almost eight inches, the bunches resembling something like a cat-o-nine-tails. Their color can range from yellow to green to light brown to almost black. Their texture is very crunchy, but their flavor is minimal. When used to make poke ia with other limu, their addition adds a pleasing, crunchy texture to other softer, more flavorful, seaweed varieties, but when used as the only limu, it lacks a strong enough flavor to carry the dish on its own.

A seaweed that is not available on a year round basis is the palahalaha (Ulva fasciata). Only seen during the winter months, it seems to die by the summer and return to the same rocks that it appeared on the previous year. It grew as numerous, long, transparent, fluorescent green blades produced from a single holdfast, the blades themselves being one inch wide and upwards of a foot in length. Although this was considered ‘opala that needed to be removed from our desired limu, my mother said that when she and my father “squatted” at Kualakai before World War ll, they would use the palahalaha as a thickener for stews. When I am able to find this seaweed, I have no problem with using it in poke, where it adds a beautiful color as well as additional flavor and texture.

Although not a limu that we wanted to eat, the huna (Hypnea cervicornis) was as much a part of my life with limu as any of the others. This was one of the main opala that we worked so hard and diligently to remove from the other preferred limu. Growing as a tangled bramble, it had thin, round, main branches about one-sixteenth of an inch thick, with numerous, smaller side branches that expanded in all directions. It grew on the inshore reef inside of the Caulerpa belt, and used whatever it could as a support for its growth, including many other sea plants. On the shore when the windrows of seaweed would build up, often times it was the huna limu that comprised the bulk of the accumulation. Like the palahalaha and the Acanthaphora, I have on more than a few occasions added the huna to make poke. And like other “rubbish” limu, I have used huna as a fertilizer for plants and trees around the yard.

I would like to add at this point of my moolelo that although I have heard that other kamaaina families of Ewa would go to a specific place to gather huluhuluwaena (Grateloupia filicina), my family did not. That is all that I have to say about that variety of limu.

The harvesting of any limu in the ocean must be done with care and consideration for the health and sustainability of the aina and its finite resources. In the ancient days, our ancestors put kapu on these resources knowing full well the consequences of overfishing or overharvesting. These sensible restrictions were backed up by severe penalties. The purpose of these kapu was to allow animal species that reproduced close to shore the opportunity to lay their eggs and have their young during the most critical time of regeneration. Konohiki would also be responsible for assessing the condition and growth of limu resources as well, closing areas of coastline for a time to allow sea plants the ability to develop, propagate and flourish. This attitude on the part of our ancestors did not end at the outer reef but continued out into the deep sea with the alternating kapu that regulated the fishing for aku and opelu. When the season for aku was open, the opelu were kapu, and conversely, when it was the opelu that were able to be taken, the fishing for aku was prohibited.

This wise stewardship of the finite resources of the ocean stands in stark contrast to the introduced practices from the Orient and Occident. Whereas the Native Hawaiians had for centuries considered the stocks of fish and other marine food sources as a resource that was held in common and managed for the benefit of all, foreign ideas such as the free market system and the accumulation of capital transformed them from sustenance to commodity. The deeply rooted Hawaiian value of sharing what you had with others was rapidly overcome by the single-minded desire to create individual wealth. That desire has led to the depletion and eradication of once healthy, self-sustaining food stocks of fish and other marine resources.

Hawaiians today would be wise to re-remember the practices of their forefathers and to re-inculcate the ideals of conservation and responsibility to the aina that maintain the ecological balance and sustainability of these precious kupuna that were thriving here way before the first kanaka ever set foot on these shores that we call Hawaii.

And now I approach the end of my story of the limu of Oneula. Our family’s history of living along the shallow sea of Ewa is intimately entwined with its original inhabitants, some of which, that are so near and dear to my heart, are the sea plants that have grown wild and untamed here for untold millennia. They were such an integral part of my growing up that they have become a part of our family history. Or perhaps, more correctly, our family history has become a part of theirs.

Famous are the limu of Ewa, ka ia maewa i ke kai—the fish that sways in the sea!




Abbott, Isabella Aiona. Limu: An Ethnobotanical Study of Some Hawaiian Seaweeds. Lawai, Kauai: National Tropical Botanical Garden, 1984.


Magruder, William H. and Jeffrey W. Hunt. Seaweeds Of Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii: The Oriental Publishing Co., 1979.


Pukui, Mary Kawena and Samuel H. Elbert. Hawaiian Dictionary. Honolulu, Hawaii: UH Press, 1986.


Pukui, Mary Kawena. Olelo Noeau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press, 2001.


Manu, Moke, et al. Hawaiian Fishing Traditions. Honolulu, Hawaii: Kalamaku Press, 1992.


Schweizer, Nicklaus R. Turning Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Hawaiian Nationality. Berne, Peter Lang, 1999.


Recording oral history interviews is an important part of the historical review process. The experiences conveyed through interviews are personal; also, the narratives are rich and more animated than those that may be typically found in reports that are purely academic or archival in nature—the personal narratives tend to present modern audiences with descriptions of cultural values, practices, and transitions in the landscape. Thus, through the process of conducting oral history interviews, things are learned that are often overlooked in other forms of documentation. Interviews also help demonstrate how certain knowledge is handed down through time, from generation to generation. Of course, with the passing of time, knowledge and personal recollections undergo changes. Sometimes, that which was once important is forgotten, assigned a lesser value, or lost because of alterations to the landscape, economic pressures, and loss of access. Today, when individuals—particularly those from outside the culture which originally assigned the cultural values to places, practices, and customs—evaluate things such as cultural properties, resources, practices, and history, their importance is often diminished. Thus, oral historical narratives provide both present and future generations with an opportunity to understand the relationship shared between people and their natural-cultural environment.

Through oral history interviews, it is also evident that with the passing of kupuna and elder kamaaina generations, facets of history and knowledge of place are sometimes lost. Readers are asked to keep in mind that while this component of the study records various facets of cultural and historical knowledge of land and resources in Honouliuli Ahupuaa, the documentation is incomplete. In the process of conducting oral history interviews, it is impossible to record all the knowledge or information that the interviewees possess. Thus, the oral history narratives provide readers with glimpses into the stories being told and of the lives of the interview participants as related to the landscape in which they live, work, and play.

As would be expected, participants in oral history interviews sometimes have different recollections of history, or for the same location or events of a particular period. There are a number of reasons that differences are recorded in oral history interviews, among them are that:

•  Recollections result from varying values assigned to an area or occurrences during an interviewee’s formative years.
•  They reflect localized or familial interpretations of the particular history being conveyed.
•  With the passing of many years, sometimes that which was heard from elders during one’s childhood 60 or more years ago, may transform into that which the interviewee recalls having actually experienced.
•  In some cases it can be the result of the introduction of information into traditions that is of more recent historical origin.
•  Some aspects of an interviewee’s recollections may also be shaped by a broader world view. In the face of continual change to one’s cultural and natural landscapes, there can evolve a sense of urgency in caring for what has been, and history might be embellished.

When based in traditional knowledge, diversity in the histories shared should be seen as something that will enhance interpretation, preservation, and long-term management programs for the lands of Honouliuli. Noticeable differences in histories being recorded may help direct new paths of research and questions which may be answered through further research, or in some cases, pose questions which may never be answered.

In the broader context of the narratives shared through the oral history interviews, it will be seen that there are consistent themes. These themes include, but are not limited to:

•  Care for the land, water, and ocean resources;
•  Honor the natural/cultural history of the aina and kupuna.
•  Respect ilina and cultural sites.
•  Promote maintenance and integration of cultural/natural resources and practices into project design.
•  Integrate the history of place and people into programs that pass that information on to present and future generations through educational/interpretive activities.

Two of the oral history interviews were conducted by Leimomi Morgan, descendant of an ohana with generational ties to Honouliuli Ahupuaa. The interviewees were provided with the following introduction to the study undertaking, and overview of the types of questions that would be asked:

Honouliuli – Hoakalei Oral History/Consultation Study

Aloha – Thank you for agreeing to participate in the Honouliuli Oral History Consultation Study being conducted as part of the Haseko (Ewa), Inc. — Hoakalei Master Plan Update Environ-mental Impact Statement (please see project overview on pages 2–3). While conducting the interview, we hope to record information from people who know the moolelo (history) of the land and natural/cultural resources. The information gained from these interviews will be used to identify resources in or near the project area and help in determining how they may be affected by the project.

With your permission, the interview will be recorded. The recording will be transcribed and a draft transcript, along with the recording will be returned to you for review, corrections and/or additions. If the interview is not recorded, but notes taken, those notes will be developed in an effort to capture key points shared, and returned to you for your approval. When you are satisfied with the transcript (recorded or expanded notes), we would like your permission to incorporate the transcript into the documentary study for the Honouliuli project area. When the study is completed a full copy of the report, including historical background and oral history/consultation interviews will be given to you for your family record.

To begin the interview we would like to establish a background section on your personal history and experiences – how you came to possess the knowledge you share.

•  Interviewees Name:
•  Interview Date:
•  Location:
•  When were you born?
•  Where were you born?
•  Are you affiliated with a Native Organization or family group? (name):
•  Parents?
•  Grew up where? Also lived at?
•  Where did you live? Share with us recollections of elder family members and extended family that influenced your life and provided you with knowledge of place and practice?
•  Family background—grandparents, hānai etc.; generations of family residency in area… (time period)?
•  Kinds of information learned/activities and practices participated in and how learned…?
•  Sites and locations (e.g., heiau, pa ilina, kahua hale, ma la ai, ala hele, and koa etc.); how learned, and thoughts on care and preservation…
•  Do you have knowledge of wahi pana — places of religious and cultural significance in or near the project area?
•  Where are these places located in relation to the proposed project (see maps)? How did you learn about these places?
•  Are these places important to the you, your ohana, the larger community (or all three)?
•  What makes these places important in terms of traditional practices or beliefs?
•  How would you define their boundaries?
•  Will these places or their use be affected by the project? If so, how might they be affected, and what steps might be taken to minimize impacts on the sites?
•  Have these places been affected by modern development, and is it relevant to what makes them important?


•  Did you/your family cultivate the land? Describe methods of planting and types of plants? Use of particular plants and other natural resources; customs observed when collecting or caring for such resources; and how/when accessed?
•  Discussion of water flow and weather patterns.
•  Types of fishing practices:  localities of fishing grounds or limu collection areas; and changes in fisheries?
•  Historic land use practices, fishing activities?
•  Thoughts on the care of cultural and natural resources…?
•  May information about these places be shared, or should it be protected from public release?

Project Overview

Haseko is seeking a zone change for a portion of its Hoakalei Project to accommodate an update to its project master plan. The existing zoning for this area was last modified on July 20, 2007 in anticipation of the existing basin being completed as a small boat marina. The lack of sustainable market demand in the foreseeable future for the boat slips and other marina facilities, together with ongoing and possible future legal challenges to governmental approvals for the marina entrance channel, make it impractical for Haseko to pursue development of a small boat marina for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, it is now requesting rezoning of the land surrounding the existing basin consistent with its use as a recreational lagoon that would have no direct connection to the ocean.

The updated master plan would not increase the total number of planned dwelling units or visitor accommodation units specified in Haseko’s Unilateral Agreement with the City. It is possible that there will be some adjustments to the proposed zoning boundaries that may affect the sizes and locations of individual zoning districts as a result of consultations with the City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP). Anticipated permits that require environmental assessment compliant with HRS Chapter 343 include the zone change, and potentially a Special Management Area Use Permit and a Shoreline Setback Variance. Haseko will also seek a modification of the Special Management Area boundary in the area around the recreational lagoon, since it will not be connected directly to the ocean, as the boat marina would have been.

If these approvals are granted, Haseko will continue development of the same kinds of resort, residential, and commercial retail/office/restaurant uses that had previously been approved for the area. In addition, lighter industrial mixed uses will replace the more intensive waterfront industrial uses previously planned in connection with a marina development. By providing for these uses, the updated master plan for the area covered by this request will continue to create employment and business opportunities as envisioned when the zoning was originally granted. In addition, the plan includes a public swimming cove that would provide a protected swimming area; it also includes facilities that would collect and treat storm water runoff, minimizing the amount that flows into the proposed lagoon. The revised plan also includes pedestrian pathways and other amenities that were not included in the previous plan.

Haseko will continue to have primary responsibility for constructing the proposed facilities, including possible residential and/or resort units; commercial and lighter industrial-mixed use structures; infrastructure; public facilities and amenities such as the swimming cove, activity center, comfort station, parking lot, cultural center; and for further enhancing the existing Wetland Preservation Area.

Mahalo nui.

Leimomi Morgan
(808) 295.1911
Email: oleimomimo@gmail.com

Four additional interviews were previously recorded by Kepā and Onaona Maly. Three of the interviews were conducted with Kupuna Arline Wainaha Puulei Brede-Eaton and Sister Thelma Genevieve Parish, elder kamaaina of the Puuloa-Honouliuli, as a part of the process of developing the initial Hoakalei preservation plan in the 1990s. Aunty Arline and Sister Parish are two of the eldest, lifelong members of the Honouliuli-Puuloa area. These kupuna were sought out to elicit historical narratives, records of Hawaiian sites and practices, and recommendations regarding the Haseko development project. Kupuna Arline and Sister Parish were recommended as the most knowledgeable residents of the region. A fourth interview was conducted with members of the Shibuya-Dayanan family. All interviews provide information of time depth and attachment to place, and document personal experiences on the land and in the ocean. Through the generosity of the interviewees, were are also informed of changes in the environment during their lifetimes. 

We are deeply indebted to the interviewees and their ohana for their willingness to participate and share in the history of the land.

Mahalo nui no ka lokomaikai kau palena ole: Mark Ehukai Kahalekulu, Harry Alama, Jose Dayanan, Roxanne Marie Tagama, Barbara Shibuya, Mona Shibuya, Janice Trinidad, Arline Wainaha Kuuleialoha Nā kīhei Brede Eaton, and Thelma Genevieve Parish.