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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The "The Rebirth of an Ancient Hawaiian Village" Story

Aerial photo from Kauai Magazine showing
the ancient site known as Ke Kahau O Kaneiolouma.

At bottom right are the kii I photographed.
It was an ordinary day.  Finished packing and loading the car for our trip to the airport where we were flying with Hawaiian Airlines from Kauai to Maui for the remainder of our vacation.  But, we had one last stop to make before we headed to the car return at the airport.  Both myself and traveling companion Just Sue wanted to take photos of an ancient Hawaiian village that we had passed several times during our six day stay in Kauai.  Place known as Ke Kahau O Kaneiolouma which was located a mile away in Poipu.  It is said that if you listen with your heart while walking near the ancient village you will hear the sounds of this thriving community as it was when it was alive.  
The reconstructed corner wall and kii will be the
cornerstone for the new cultural center in Kauai.
Kaneiolouma once covered the land from the mountains to the ocean, but in the mid-1800s, when the Western world's lifestyle began influencing the island, the jungle overtook the area and covered it with dense brush.  It remained that way for over 150 years until approximately a year ago when Rupert Rowe, a native to the land, began his journey to reconstruct the only intact Hawaiian complex never destroyed by man.  
Ground-level view of the site taken from the photo above.
Using maps that had been drawn in 1959 by Henry E.P. Kaneio- louma, Rupert began his tedious task.  Allegedly there are two big taro patches, remains of a fishpond, a natural spring, 17 house sites, 23 idol sites and a heiau which is an Hawaiian place of worship.  Mr. Rowe and his team of professional have begun the task by building perimeter rock walls around the site to match the one small section that they unearthed when they began their excavation.  
One of the four kii that are a prominent
part of the cornerstone.
The team has planted Niihau palms, plumeria, native white hibicus and kukui nut trees.  It is Rupert's hopes to build a cultural visitors center and two ancient-style Hawaiian houses.  A time-table of four years has been set for the work to be completed.  Standing on the corner of the property are four beautifully carved 16-foot tall kii that are the focus of our photos today.  The kii were a gift from the Big Island of Hawaii.  The kii facing east is the Hawaiian god Kane or "giver of life" while the other three represent gods Logo (peace and prosperity), Kanaloa (the ocean) and Ku (War).  At certain times of the year the kii line up with the stars, helping you to make your journey to wherever you plan to go.  Mr. Rowe has hopes that the Hawaiian culture will live on in this newly developed piece of earth in Kauai which eventually will be open to all who care to visit for a fee.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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