Maui News

Moku ʻO Wailuku Ahupuaʻa Sign Project Continues to Seek Community Input

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On November 26th, over 35 residents participated in the first community meeting for the Moku ʻO Wailuku Ahupuaʻa Sign. Vernon Kalanikau is looking to gather additional information and to continue the conversation during the next meeting on January 6, 2020. Photo by: Linn Nishikawa

A second community meeting for the Moku ʻO Wailuku Ahupuaʻa Sign project will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6th at the J. Walter Cameron Center Auditorium in Wailuku.

The Moku ʻO Wailuku Ahupuaʻa Sign project is a cultural grants program funded by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. It aims to bring awareness of Maui Nui’s ancient land division system.

On the island of Maui, there are a total of 12 traditional land divisions or moku. Each moku was then divided into ahupuaʻa, narrower wedge-shaped land sections that typically ran from the mountains to the sea.  The Wailuku ahupua‘a is comprised of Wailuku and Kahului areas including near Spreckelsville and Maui Veterans Highway (formerly known as Mokulele Hwy).


Input is being sought on traditional Hawaiian boundaries and sense of place for Wailuku, Waikapū, Waiehu, Waiheʻe and Kahului.  This will help to determine where each new ahupua’a sign will be installed.

“We are extremely grateful to those who participated so far,” said project coordinator Vernon Kalanikau. “During these sessions, we gain invaluable information from the community… We’ll continue to seek the public’s manao on what they know about these ahupuaʻa, the traditional Hawaiian boundaries, and each area’s sense of place,” he said.

The meeting is hosted by the Maui Food Technology Center, which is assisting Kalanikau with the administrative work, community outreach and marketing for the project. MFTC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, educating and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking to earn a living through value-added products, agriculture, cultural practices, environmental sustainability, technology and economic diversification.


For more information, contact Vernon at (808) 385-0731 or email MFTC at [email protected].

Vernon Kalanikau shared information on the Kula Kai Ahupua‘a project during this year’s Hawaiian Airlines Made in Maui County Festival held on Nov. 1 & 2 at the MACC. Photo courtesy of the Made in Maui County Festival.


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