Posted by: lokahipath | May 30, 2011

In Memorium

IN MEMORIUM

Alaloa Kahakai
Early Times-20 May 2011

Coastal alaloa in Lepeuli

Alaloa Kahakai in Lepeuli, Kauai in 2010

Today, we honor the memory of the coastal Alaloa in the Ko`olau District of Kauai. On Friday, May 20, 2011 a full-on fence assault began on Waioli Corporation lands in Lepeuli by Bruce Laymon and his Paradise Ranch crew. Camps on the beach were shot and beach goers were beaten without explanation.

The Alaloa has served as an important cultural and social path, connecting families, farms and heiau, to resource gathering areas, canoe launches and fishing spots. Ever since there were two valleys of people on Kauai, there was a coastal trail connecting the populations. The Alaloa served the community through hundreds of years and many tsunami events. Between Moloa`a and Kilauea, the Alaloa accessed important limu kohu beds and fishing areas. The Alaloa was warmed by the patterns of many bare feet.

In more recent times, the Alaloa fronted Kilauea Sugar plantation fields, and was used by plantation workers to go fishing. The public Schoolhouse Road from Ko`olau Elementary School in Lepeuli brought school kids daily to the Alaloa in Lepeuli some from as far away as Anahola. Kilauea Plantation Manager L. David Larsen (responsible for the stone buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in Kilauea) built his summer beach house along the Alaloa in Lepeuli and hosted many fishing parties.

During World War II, the Alaloa connected coastal bunkers and served as an important perimeter supply route and staging area for island-wide fencing. In less than 6 months, over 10,000 rolls of barbed wire were strung on the beaches of Kauai to protect from an imagined Japanese invasion from over the reefs. The Alaloa carried many soldiers from Moloa`a Marine Camp to the Hanalei camps on daily manuevers.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, locals and plantation workers used the Alaloa to go fishing and pull limu. Ko`olau School children had picnics and graduation parties along the Alaloa in Lepeuli. After the closure of Ko`olau Elementary, Schoolhouse Road was locked up. Larsen’s Beach Road and Right-Of-Way (Lot 4) were sold to the county, but the Alaloa still carried most people to Lepeuli beach and points beyond. Many fishermen use the Alaloa to check fish from Moloa`a, Lepeuli, Waipake and Pila`a.

In the past 3 years, the Alaloa has been judged as bad. Don Wilson, Waioli Corp attorney, maintains that all the “’problems’ at Larsen’s come from the lateral trail.” As Jessica Rabbit once said, “I’m not really bad; I’m just drawn that way.” The Alaloa is not bad and should not be fenced off. The Alaloa is an important archaeological and cultural site. The Moloa`a segment of the Alaloa is state arch site 50-30-04-1033, contiguous to a 700 year old site and is an important piece of Kauai’s pre-history. On the Waipake side, the state recognizes the coastal alaloa connecting kuleana and archaeological sites.
Coastal Alaloa fenced off in Lepeuli, May 20, 2011

Paradise Ranch has erected this fence in what the community believes is the Conservation District. Paradise Ranch produced a map showing the fenceline within inches of the Conservation District boundary, State law specifies the boundary must be determined by the state if development (fencing in this case) is within 50 feet of the CD boundary (HRS 13-5-17). The state Land Use Commission has not located this boundary yet. Paradise Ranch has erected the fence to close off the Alaloa, effectively killing lateral travel on this important ancient coastal trail. The memory of this trail must not be forgotten.

The coastal Alaloa in Lepeuli is part of an island-wide lei of trails circumnavigating Kauai, and connecting with mauka/makai trail systems. Removing one segment of this network of trails leaves this system broken an non-functional, but not forgotten. The mana of thousand year old cultural by-way cannot be removed. A trail made by the feet of our grandparents will not be eliminated and forgotten. This illegal fence, blocking an ancient public trail, should be removed as soon as possible.

Paradise Ranch fencing on Waioli land in Lepeuli

Fenced, but not Forgotten

Alaloa in Lepeuli, Ko`olau, Kauai

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