Kohala Archaeology Field Schools engages community about knowledge of wahi kupuna.
A ua kūpono nō ko lākou hoʻomaka ʻana ma ka ʻāina hānau o ke aliʻi nona ka inoa o kēia kula hoʻokahi, ʻo Kamehameha hoʻi, ma Kohala, Hawaiʻi, kahi a nā haumāna laeoʻo e kālele ana i kēia kumuhana ʻo ke kālai kanaka ma o nā pāhana noiʻi.
“Aia mākou Mauka ma Waiʻāpuka, aia kekahi o mākou ma Mauka a kekahi Makai 015434 a ʻo kā mākou hana, ʻo ia hoʻi ka hana ʻana i ka palapala ʻāina. No laila, aia kaʻu hui ma lalo ma kai o Waiʻāpuka,” wahi a Kauʻilani Rivera, he haumāna laeoʻo i loko o kēia polokalamu Kohala Field School nei. “He mea nui ke kākau ʻana i nā palapala ʻāina no kēia mau mea, no kēia mau hale e kū ana ʻoiai e nalowale- oh, ʻo ka manaʻo lana, ʻaʻole e nalowale ana eia naʻe, ua hiki ke nalowale no laila ua loaʻa ka waiwai ma laila.”
Wahi a Kelley Uyeoka, he limahana o kēia polokalamu ʻo Kohala Field Schoo hoʻi, ua loaʻa nō nā kaʻina hana kūpono a lākou e mālama ana.
“Nui ko mākou paipai i nā haumāna e noiʻi e pili ana i ka ʻāina ma mua o ke komo ʻana i ka hana.” Hoʻomau ʻo ia me ka manaʻo: “Makemake mākou e hana pū me ka poʻe o nēia ʻāina kekahi. No laila, ma mua o ka luʻu wale ʻana aku i loko o ka hana, kūkākūkā mākou me ke kaiāulu. A laila nānā mākou i nā palapala kahiko a palapala ʻāina, nā moʻolelo a me nā inoa ʻāina hoʻi i mea e ʻike ai kākou i ke ʻano o ua ʻāina ma ka wā kahiko.”
Ma waho o ka nānā wale ʻana i nā hanauna o mua o kākou, he kuleana nui ko lākou e waiho i kēia ʻikepili waiwai loa no nā hanauna e hiki mai ana kekahi.
“No kēia mau haumāna, ʻoiai he mau haumāna kula kiʻekiʻe, papa 9 i ka papa 12, ʻo ka mea nui ma kēia wā, ʻo ka hōʻike ʻana iā lākou i ka waiwai o kēia mau mea. Ka waiwai o nā moʻolelo o ko kākou mau kūpuna, ka hōʻike ʻana iā lākou i ka waiwai o ka mālama ʻana i kēia mau wahi a no ka hoʻōla hou.” wahi a Lokelani Brandt, he kumu ma Nā Pua Noʻeau a he haumāna hoʻi ma lalo o Kelley ma mua.
I loko nō o kēia hoʻōla ʻana i ko kākou moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi, ua waiwai nō ka laha o kēia ʻike a puni ka honua. A no laila i lawe mai ai ʻo Kauka Graves i kāna mau haumāna kālai kanaka mai Ke Kula Nui o Nū Mekiko.
“ʻAno loaʻa nō kekahi moʻomeheu ma Nū Mekiko i ʻano like me ko Hawaiʻi nei a no laila ua kūpono nō ko nā haumāna o Nū Mekiko hana like ʻana me nā haumāna Hawaiʻi.” Hoʻomau aku ʻo ia me ka manaʻo: “ʻO ka pahuhopu, ʻo ia hoʻi ka hoʻoulu ʻana aku i mau haumāna mākaukau ma ke Kālai Kanaka.”
“Mahalo wau i kēia ala e holo ʻia nei e nā haumāna mai Nā Pua Noʻeau, nā haumāna ʻano oʻo aku e komo ana i kaʻu polokalamu Wahi Kupuna ma ke Kauwela a laila nā haumāna oʻo o kēia polokalamu Kohala Field School kekahi,” wahi a Kelley.
Kamehameha Schools embraces its kuleana to Hawaiʻi’s ancestral lands through their Cultural Resource Management Plan. The plan has four goals designed to practice, protect, empower, and preserve Kamehameha’s native ecosystems and landscapes.
And what better location to start than the birthplace of their namesake, in Kohala, Hawaiʻi where graduate students are styding some of Kamehameha Schools’ most precious cultural resources in Waiʻāpuka.
“Some of us are working in the uplands of Waiʻāpuka in Kohala and the some are working in the lowlands. My group is working in the lowlands of Waiʻāpuka.” says Kauʻilani Rivera, a Graduate Student who is involved in this Kohala Field School Program. “It is important for us to document and map these features so that they are not lost because once they are lost, they are lost forever.”
According to Staff Member, Kelley Uyeoka, there are proper steps and protocols they are practicing. “One of the methods we really try to promote in this field school is knowing the place, actually before you step foot on the ʻāina and do any type of archaeological mapping or digging.” She continues to say: “We also are working at really engaging with the community here. So firstly, we like to talk story with the community, we talk story with the kūpuna cause they know the place the best. and then we look in the archival documents, we look at the old maps, we look at the moʻolelo, we look at the place names, and all of that really helps paint a picture of the place that dates back generations.”
Aside from looking to the past, their duty is to also document information for future generations.
“My students are 9th-12th graders and this is the time to teach them the stories of our ancestors and then the importance of keeping these places of our ancestors alive,” says Lokelani Brandt, Kumu at Nā Pua Noʻeau and a former Archaeology student of Kelley’s.
A part of keeping the culture of Hawaiʻi alive is extending it beyond our shores. Dr. Graves brought his students from the University of New Mexico to do just that.
“New Mexico is a lot like Hawaiʻi, it’s multi-cultural and it has a deep and rich history. I think the interaction of students from different regions, different cultures, different backgrounds, but who know about multi-cultural interactions is important.” He continues to say: “The training goal is to prepare local students and actually my New Mexico students for possible careers in Archaeology, doing cultural resources management, historic preservation, heritage preservation and so we’re teaching them the techniques and the methods they would need to become professionals in that area.”
“It’s great that we have this pipeline now all the way from Nā Pua Noʻeau in high school, to the Wahi Kupuna Internship program that I run in the summer and now to this Kohala field school program. So there’s a tiered kind of pathway that students can go on all the way from high school up to graduate level and beyond,” says Kelley.