Beginning in January 2020, a crew of traditional Hawaiian stone masons and cultural practitioners will begin Phase Three of the Kāneiolouma project — the full restoration of this ancient Hawaiian village located on Kauaiʻs beautiful south shore.

Located only steps away from world-famous Poipu Beach, Kāneiolouma is a largely intact 20-acre Hawaiian village dating back to the mid-1400’s. At its center, the complex contains the sacred spring of Waiohai.

Aerial photo of Traditional Hawaiian stone mason Peleke Flores talks about the exciting next phase of restoration work on the inner walls of the ancient Hawaiian village at Kaneiolouma village in Poipu showing rock wall and hale sites, part of the upcoming 2020 restoration plans for the ancient Hawaiian village.
Aerial photo of Traditional Hawaiian stone mason Peleke Flores talks about the exciting next phase of restoration work on the inner walls of the ancient Hawaiian village at Kaneiolouma village in Poipu showing rock wall and hale sites, part of the upcoming 2020 restoration plans for the ancient Hawaiian village.
Hawaiian stone mason (Uhau Humu Pohaku) Peleke Flores inspecting the first wall to be restored using traditional drystack methods in Koloa, Hawaii.
Hawaiian stone mason (Uhau Humu Pohaku) Peleke Flores inspecting the first wall to be restored using traditional drystack methods in Koloa, Hawaii.

“A lot of people would look at this and see just rocks. They don’t know that there were taro patches here, and fish ponds, and a whole Makahiki arena. Hopefully we can bring back some of those traditions and be able to teach that to the next generation,” says Peleke Flores, Director of Kāneiolouma Cultural Programs.

With Floresʻs guidance, Uhau Humu Pōhaku (stone mason) practitioners will soon begin authentically restoring the inner walls of the Kāneiolouma village. The first walls restored will be highly visible from bordering Hoowili road. Initial funding will come from a recent award announced by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support of the County of Kauai and community members who have made the project possible,” says Guy Nakashima, Kāneiolouma Fundraising Director. “Now, thanks to the generous support of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the exciting next phase of the restoration work will soon begin.”

With the continued support of the County of Kaua’i, dedicated foundations, the community, and HTA, Hui Malama O Kāneiolouma plans to open the interior village to visitors and tours by 2024.

Rupert Rowe, Executive Director of Kāneiolouma, shares the project’s overall vision by stating that, “This project honors our ancestors while creating a living cultural complex that will annually engage tens of thousands of people from Kaua’i and around the world and teach them about Hawaiian history, culture and values.”

About Hui Mālama O Kāneiolouma

In a 2010 landmark agreement the County of Kauai granted stewardship of Kāneiolouma Heiau Complex to Hui Mālama O Kāneiolouma, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since then over $2 million in public grants and private funding have led to the successful completion of Phase Two of the Project. Phase Three is scheduled to begin in January 2020. Full project details are available at Kaneiolouma.org.

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