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Signs, signs everywhere!

March 18, 2014

In this world, there are signs everywhere you turn. Directional signs, street signs, area signs, stop signs and more. A version of “signage” in the ancient days for Hawaiians were the natural formations found on the land and in the sea.

Ahupua`a are traditional Hawaiian land management units, usually pie-shaped wedges of land that extended from the ocean (wider side) to the mountains. These land parcels allowed practical access to cultivated and natural resources.  Natural formations were used to designate boundaries between ahupua`a.



In Kohala Hema (South Kohala), one of these boundary marker is called Pohakupuka. Pohaku means “rock” and puka is “hole”. When most people hear Pohakupuka, they think of the Training Area between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. But this name is well chosen for the pohaku that stands on the shoreline near Holoholokai Beach marking the border between the ahupua`a of Kalahuipua`a and Lalamilo.

At Hapuna Beach, Kaihumoku is the boundary marker. This grouping of stones lies in shallow water just offshore. It marks the border between the ahupua`a of Lalamilo and Ouli.

What other markers were used by the early Hawaiians? Maybe you have seen one many times and never realized that is just one more “sign”.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Makuakane-Jarrell, Joni Mae permalink
    March 13, 2014 4:09 pm

    doesn’t open – shows error​

    • Pacific Island Ranger permalink*
      March 14, 2014 6:45 am

      I think it’s because it has not been posted yet…it’s scheduled for March 18. GC

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