HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs acquired 30 acres of makai property in Kaka’ako south of Ala Moana Boulevard. It was transferred to OHA from the State of Hawai’i in a deal that will allow OHA to begin reclaiming the area from 19th and 20th century industrial development and bring it back to life.
Hakuone is the new name as designed by Kumu Cy Bridges.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
The word Hakuone has it origins in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. “Hakuone is defined as a small division of land that was cared for or cultivated for the aliʻi. Both aliʻi and kahuna maintained residences at Kakaʻako when it was a well-known fishing grounds,” said Bridges.
Bridges explained that “‘Haku’ means to compose, create, invent, put in order, arrange, to braid, such as a haku lei, with flowers, leaves, shells or feathers, as well as haku mele to compose a song or chant. ‘One means sand, or land of my birth. The Sands of Kakuhihewa are the most celebrated aliʻi of Oʻahu.”
“The word is also tied to hoʻōne which is the pumice stone that is used by Hawaiians to smooth out their final artwork from ‘umeke [calabashes] and canoes. Poetically, it’s used to indicate smoothing out situations within the ʻahahui [society]. As a name, Hakuone recognizes the kūpuna, the kumu, beginning, source, foundation, reason and teacher of who we are as a native people,” Bridges further expounded.
Kumu Bridges was a docent and dancer at the Polynesian Cultural Center for 46 years and eventually became the vice-president of cultural presentations. He is a renowned chanter and is a founding board member of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association. Bridges also advises the Department of Land and Natural Resources on sacred and historic sites.
Bridges has served on the Cultural Advisory Committee for the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau and the University of Hawaiʻi School of Travel Industry Management, according to OHA.
Once the property transferred to OHA, it no longer remained public land.
The ‘āina was once known for its “brackish marshes, fresh water springs, poho pa‘akai [salt pans], and small loko i‘a [fish ponds].” However, as capitalist endeavors came to O’ahu, the land was “urbanized in the early and mid-nineteenth century, [and] activities in Kakaʻako transitioned from salt-making and fishing to large industrial complexes. Dredging and infilling turned the once productive wetlands into a dumping ground,” explained OHA.
OHA’s goals are to transform the industrial property to land that will benefit native Hawaiians. They intend to collaborate with the community on how best to use and restore the land.
“Hakuone is a kīpuka [cultural oasis] where Hawaiian national identity can flourish in a community that embraces the live, work, play ideal. It also supports a hālau ola [center of life and healing] that invests in native intellectual capital and innovation,” said OHA.
OHA hopes to converge traditional Hawaiian culture with 21st century commerce as it works toward an innovative plan for the land.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
In the meantime, the public can enjoy the food truck park that is open throughout the week, except Mondays, and the Kaka’ako Farmer’s Market that takes place each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.