Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

KAILU-KONA, HAWAII -- I have discovered a number of very interesting places in the area in and around where we have been staying on the "Big Island," to include the wonderful Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park just a few miles away and off the main highway, 11. Was very glad to be able to spend some time exploring and photographing it!

This U.S. National Historical Park located in the Kona District on the Big Island of Hawaii was established on November 10, 1978, for the preservation, protection, and interpretation of traditional native Hawaiian activities and culture and includes the National Historic Landmarked archaeological site known as the Honokōhau Settlement. In 2000 the name was changed by the Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 observing the Hawaiian spelling. (Shown at top are some reconstructed agricultural structures, essentially large planters, being used by the site staff to grow taro and other traditional crops. Below that is a much larger area in the park that appears to have been used for the same thing.)

"Kaloko and Honokōhau are the names of two of the four different ahupuaʻa, or traditional mountain-to-sea land divisions encompassed by the park. Although in ancient times this arid area of lava rock was called kekaha ʻaʻole wai (lands without water), the abundant sea life attracted settlement for hundreds of years. (Many of the fruit-bearing trees shown here appear throughout the park. They are known as noni and have a pungent, bitter fruit that was used only when needed as a "starvation food.")

Kaloko (meaning "the pond" in the Hawaiian language) is a site of fishponds used in ancient Hawaii is on the North end of the park. The first reference to the pond comes from the story of Kamalalawalu, about 300 years ago. The kuapā (seawall) is over 30 feet wide and 6 feet high, stretching for 750 feet. Constructed by hand without mortar, the angle and gaps between the stones deflected the surf better than many modern concrete seawalls.

Several restored trails include about one mile of the Māmalohoa Trail. It was built in the mid-19th century, and evolved over the years into the Hawaii Belt Road which encircles the entire island. The coastal trail is part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. The Honokōhau boat harbor provides a launching area for traditional canoes, fishing boats, Scuba diving and snorkeling tours of the area.

Honokōhau means "bay drawing dew" and refers to the ancient settlement on the south part of the park. This area can be reached via trails from the park visitor's center, or from the small boat harbor access road on Kealakehe Parkway. Features include loko iʻa (Ancient Hawaiian aquaculture fishponds), kahua (house site platforms), kiʻi pōhaku (petroglyphs), hōlua (stone slides) and heiau (religious sites). The ʻAiʻopio Fishtrap is a 1.7-acre pond, with a stone wall forming an artificial enclosure along the naturally curved shoreline of a bay. Small openings allowed young fish to enter from the sea, but as they grew larger (or at low tide) they were easily caught with nets inside the trap as needed. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 as site 66000287.

ʻAimakapā fishpond is an important wetland area protecting native birds including the koloa maoli (Hawaiian Duck, Anas wyvilliana), ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian Coot, Fulica alai), āeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni), auʻkuʻu (Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax), among others. The area is currently under reforestation, after the removal of non-native invasive plants. It was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1978 as site 78003148."

Text in quotes is courtesy of Wikipedia and will be replaced with my own words as I have the time! All the photos are my own and were taken as of this posting.

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