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He Moolelo No Maui Hikina-Kalialinui I Uka a Me Na Aina O Lalo : A Cultural-Historical Study of East Maui — the Uplands of Kalialinui, And the Lands That Lie Below, Island of Maui, The Waikamoi Preserve

By Kepa Maly

The following collection of archival and oral historical-consultation records pertaining to Waikamoi Preserve and the greater watershed of the Haleakala mountain lands on the island of Maui, was compiled by Kumu Pono Associates LLC, at the request of The Nature Conservancy-Hawaii. This study provides The Nature Conservancy and its partners in management of the Waikamoi Preserve, with a cultural assessment of the Waikamoi Preserve, as required by State review laws governing The Nature Conservancys stewardship of the preserves natural resources. The primary documentation (both archival and oral historical), was collected by the authors over the period of six years, and provides readers with access to a rich and diverse collection of cultural- historical narratives from the island of Maui. The study focuses on lands situated on the eastern slopes of Haleakala, a region traditionally called Maui Hikina, with particular emphasis on those lands which make up and adjoin “Waikamoi Preserve.” These lands represent some of the most significant native forest resources remaining in the Hawaiian Islands, and are part of a unique cultural landscape—in that the native flora, fauna, mist, rains, water, natural phenomena and resources, are all believed to be kino lau (the myriad body-forms) of gods, goddesses, and lesser nature spirits of Hawaiian antiquity.

1848, Kamehameha III granted fee-simple interest of Kalialinui to a chiefly steward, Kamaikaaloa (Kamaikaaloa), who held the land through the remainder of his lifetime, and subsequently conveyed it to his heirs. Kalalawalu—daughter of Kamaikaaloa and Kealohaaukai—and her husband, Douglas Panee, sold the land of Kalialinui to Haleakala Ranch in 1888. Most of Kalialinui, including the land that became the Waikamoi Preserve, has been held by Haleakala Ranch since that time. In the later 1800s and early 1900s, cowboys of the Haleakala Ranch traveled from the lower Kula lands to the mountain lands of Haleakala via the “Aina Hou Trail,” passing Halemau (Halemauu) and Leleiwi, and through Kalialinui, towards the Koolau Gap lands. The Aina Hou Trail passes along the contour at about the 6300-6400 foot elevation to a place known as the “Aina Hou Bowl.” The Aina Hou Bowl is generally situated between the 6300 to 5600 foot elevation, and noted for a spring which was tapped to feed a historic ranch trough. Lands in this area were used as mountain pasturage by the ranch. The 5,230-acre Waikamoi Preserve was established in 1983 through a perpetual conservation easement in Kalialinui Ahupuaa, with Haleakala Ranch Company.


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