Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui
Fall/Spring/Summer intercession programing for ʻōpio 11-14 yr old
KA PAHUHOPU O KAWAINUI is an out-of-school, Hawaiian culture-based, ʻōlelo-rich, ʻāina education program designed for middle school to early high school-aged learners (11-14 year olds) from Kailua and neighboring ahupuaʻa in Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. Held during Fall & Spring (invitation only) and Summer sessions, the program focuses on engaging youth with cultural practitioners, community leaders, kumu, and kūpuna of Kailua in intergenerational transfer of Hawaiian knowledge and practices including story-telling, mele, food cultivation and preparation, and community-based land stewardship and restoration. We aim to nurture and develop ʻōpio who are caring, community-minded people, have a strong sense of kuleana, and exemplify Hawaiian values and ʻŌiwi leadership. During the Summer, two sessions are held in English and one session is a fully dedicated Hawaiian language immersion experience for our ʻōpio ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. We turn to one of the most important living narratives of our ahupuaʻa as the foundational text to guide the development of all aspects of this program. The traditional Kailua moʻolelo for Mākālei, the fish-attracting branch of Kawainui fishpond, provides a culturally grounded, contextually relevant framework upon which to build the program. Even the name for the program - Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui (literally, “the goal is Kawainui”) - comes from a catchphrase that occurs throughout the story. It reminds us of what we should be striving for in our ahupuaʻa: the return of productivity to Kawainui and well-being to Kailua. The moʻolelo of Mākālei teaches us through the journey of a Kailua boy (around the same age as the learners we target for the program), his grandmother, and their Kailua chiefs, that this goal can only be accomplished through the efforts of a community intent on care at every possible level: care for land, care for water, care for people, care for relationships, and care for legacy. It is through the moʻolelo for Mākālei that we see the youth of our Ka Pahuhopu program as agents of this care.
Fall/Spring/Summer intercession mini-internship for ʻōpio 15-18 yr old
ʻAʻE KŪ is an offshoot of our Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui program. It is an invitation only mini, work-based learning internship held during the Fall, Spring and Summer sessions for past participants of Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui but who have aged out of the program (15-18 years olds). As with every part of our Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui program, ʻAʻe Kū is inspired and informed by our foundational moʻolelo of Mākālei (the fish attracting branch of Kawainui fishpond). Kahinihiniʻula, the young boy and main character of the story, begins the moʻolelo as a keiki and then goes through training and leadership development with his kūpuna, akua, and aliʻi in order to prepare him to carry additional kuleana for his community at the end of the story. Similarly, becoming an ʻAʻe Kū is an opportunity for former Ka Pahuhopu ʻōpio to grow and transition into a new space of learning with us on ʻāina in order to support and nurture their growth as young ʻāina leaders, which we define as someone who knows the stories and histories of their ʻāina, who has experienced their place firsthand by “komo i ka ʻāina” (being in/on the land), who has developed an understanding of the cultural values and lessons of their kumu and kūpuna, and who has a developed sense of kuleana to cooperatively work with and support their community.
Family poi program centered on returning the practice of kuʻi ʻai to families
PILI MAI (meaning “to come together”) brings together families and educators to facilitate their reconnection to Hāloa (the first kalo plant and elder sibling of the Hawaiian people), each other, and our homeland in order to celebrate, inspire, and organize the regeneration of our community around the cultural practices of poi making. The primary component of this program is a multi-month program for a cohort of Kailua-connected families and educators, centered around learning and perpetuating the process of growing, harvesting, preparing, and pounding kalo into poi. Participation is by invitation only. ʻOhana carve their own poi boards and stones and engage in workshops led by cultural experts, learning to take Hāloa (kalo) from mud to mouth. The project culminates in a large community event called Kūʻokoʻa Kūkanono, where participants honor their teachers by passing on the knowledge and skills they learned throughout the program to the larger Kailua community.
(Lā) Kūʻokoʻa Kūkanono
Kūʻokoʻa Kūkanono is a community hoʻolauleʻa in commemoration of Lā Kuʻokoʻa (Hawaiian Independence Day first celebrated on November 28, 1843 after Hawaiʻi was internationally recognized as a sovereign nation) and the culminating activity for our Pili Mai program participants.
KŪʻOKOʻA simultaneously means both to stand/exist independently, differently, separately; and to stand/exist fully, wholly, completely. KŪKANONO: It is both the name of the ʻili ʻāina that serves as the piko of our work as Kauluakalana and it is also one word for abundance. We have been offering Kūʻokoʻa Kūkanono every year since 2018 as a large, free community hoʻolaulea. Its components of moʻolelo, hula, mele, and food all focus on feeding event attendees and participants in various ways: nutritionally, culturally, intellectually, and spiritually. The food we eat. The ʻāina we care for. The practices we perpetuate. The stories we live. The people we love. These are the things that help us to KŪʻOKOʻA - stand together fully as a community with aloha for our people, land, & culture.