July 2, 2024

Loko I‘a Pa‘aiau

P3I and 14 interns from its partners Nakupuna, USARPAC, SMX, MC3, and Chaminade University recently visited Loko I‘a Pāʻaiau, a fishpond located on Pearl Harbor Bay. This fishpond was one of 30 operating and thriving fishponds up until the 15/1600s. Discovered again in 2014 by a Navy archaeologist, the Navy had formed a partnership with the Ali‘i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club to begin restoration of the fishpond.

Interns had met with Aunty Kehau Lum and Uncle Bruce, who have the kuleana (responsibility) of the fishpond’s rehabilitation, and experienced Native Hawaiian entry protocol into the sacred space. In most practices, a member of the group, or the group as a whole will offer an ‘oli (chant) to ask for permission to enter the space. Joshua Worth, intern at Nakupuna, offered the ‘oli on behalf of our group. An offering of ‘uala (sweet potato) was given to the on-site ahu (alter). Interns learned about the history of the fishpond, the queen that started it and the cohesive ecosystem of the ahupua‘a (subdivision of land). As part of their service, interns watered all of the native plants that have been planted in the past five years and dug up invasive species in the bank and shore of the fishpond. To learn more about Loko I‘a Pāʻaiau visit paaiau.org.