The village of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo is the first of it’s kind, a land base for the developing sovereign Hawaiian nation, where Kanaka Maoli and our extended `ohana are living close to the `aina in a self-determined taroroots community dedicated to cultural, social, political, and economic advancement of the people. Pu`uhonua – the refuge – was born out of struggle and out of hope.
The village was created in May 1994 following the settlers’ move from Makapu`u and Kaupo Beach Parks (and a peaceful arrest of 17 wahine who stayed behind to preserve the claim to the beach land), in a cooperative effort between the state and the village, ending over a year of “occupation” by the `Ohana Council. The state cleared some land and put in minimal infrastructure to prepare the area, but most of the development has been the result of the sweat and labor of the villagers, along with the kokua of individuals in the surrounding community who support the purpose and values of the village.
The village affairs are coordinated by an elected council, with guidance from Na Kupuna. Educational classes are hosted at Pu`uhonua for the larger community to learn about the political and economic history and rights of Hawai`i. Cultural classes, including language, crafts, hula and genealogy, have been taught and attended by both villages and others from the nearby community.
The residents of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo hope to serve as an inspiration and a model for the many Kanaka Maoli struggling throughout the Islands today to regain control of their lands and their lives. The long range vision of the village is one of self-sufficiency, with a harmonious balance of ancient and future systems, from lo`i kalo (irrigated terraced taro fields, restoration project image below) and la`au lapa`au (healing with plants and prayer), to renewable energy, the Internet, and other appropriate technologies.
With perseverance and aloha, and most of all trust in Ke Akua, we envision a bright future for Hawai`i and all her children. We pray that the efforts of the villagers of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo will bear fruit for many generations to come.
You may email the village at firstname.lastname@example.org.