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"I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope"

the future is found in the past

Nā Hulu Kūpuna O Moloka‘i 

The Moloka‘i kūpuna play an essential role in keeping the integrity of the Hawaiian culture intact.

This knowledge has been passed down from one generation to the next.


Nā Hulu Kūpuna–the esteemed kūpuna


The Nā Hulu Kūpuna Project seeks to ho‘ohanohano (uplift and honor) our island kūpuna so these mo‘olelo—stories, knowledge and values are passed on and perpetuated by the generations to come so they too can live the Hawaiian traditions. Our vision is to instill aloha ‘āina values in the generations who now live on Moloka'i through cultural and community education.  


Social Change

The people of Molokai have a clear vision for the island’s future based on the values of pono and aloha āina (love of the land). The land is not viewed as a commodity; rather, it is the foundation of our cultural and spiritual identity. At the heart of the culture are skills and values that center on the growing and gathering of food from the land and sea. The Molokai kūpuna play an essential role in keeping the integrity of the Hawaiian culture. Cultural knowledge, including place names; fishing koa; methods of fishing and gathering; and the reproductive cycles of marine and land resources, have been passed down from one generation to the next through training in subsistence skills. Subsistence is an important part of Molokai’s hidden economy and a key to food security and self-sufficiency. This economy thrives on Molokai today, as 38% of our food is acquired through subsistence activities. The skills needed to perpetuate a subsistence economy are based on cultural knowledge, traditions, and rights.

Subsistence is critical to the persistence of traditional Hawaiian cultural values, customs,  and practices. The sharing of foods gathered through subsistence activities has continued to reinforce good relations among members of extended families and with neighbors. It is our kuleana (responsibility) to help protect these resources for future generations, as well as to kōkua and give and give back to our community. This promotes not only a  strong individual identity, but also a greater identity within our ohana, community, islands,  and world. 

Hui O Kuapā

Hui O Kuapā (“HOK”) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit charitable organization founded in 1989 by communities on Moloka‘i to assist in the grass roots effort to restore the Moloka‘i fishponds back to productivity. The objective being to increase food production from both the loko i‘a and adjacent lands in order to feed and educate the community and serve as a model of a flourishing ahupua‘a mauka a makai, empowering others to do the same. This is in alignment with Moloka‘i’s vision to become a model of self-sufficiency, a center for cultural knowledge and practices training new generations of practitioners, leaders, and producers who can live the values of aloha ‘āina (love for the land) and kuleana (reciprocal responsibility).


Collectively, the HOK Kia‘i have 35+ years of cumulative experience in leading and practicing fishpond restoration and management. These efforts include the restoration and revitalization of ‘Ualapue, Honouliwai, Kahinapohaku, Keawanui and ‘Ohalaha and providing hands on training for cultural, resource management stewardship, and education activities to about 2,000 people annually.

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