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For decades, it was hidden beneath thick kiawe, hale koa, and overgrown weeds. It’s an ancient Hawaiian village in Poipu, Kauai that was once home to warriors who fought against Kamehameha The Great.
“This particular place Kaneiolouma is a very special, spiritual, a sacred place here on our island,” Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho said.
In 2010, the group Hui Malama O Kaneiolouma was granted official stewardship of the complex by Kauai County. Grant funds to do initial work.
“This complex is the only complex that is fully intact that has never been destroyed by man,” said Rupert Rowe with Poo Kaneioloumu. “It is a complex made out of fishponds, taro patch, living area.”
But few knew about the complex even though it was steps away from world-famous Poipu Beach. That changed 16 years ago when a small group of volunteers started to clear the land. The goal was to fully restore the village physically and spiritually.
“We sit idle too much and watch these ruins become ruins and don’t look at its importance as perpetuating these place, then all it’s going to be is just a forgotten tale,” High Chief of Maui Keeaumoku Kapu said.
The completed master plan will include educational programs and a world-class Hawaiian cultural center.
“Kaneiolouma can be an economic stimulus as well as a perpetual opportunity to look at how you can bring the communities together,” Kapu said.
On Saturday, kii or tiki will be raised in a sacred private ceremony.
“Having our generations today understand its importance as to why these places need to co-exist within the character and identity of the people of this place because this is us, this is part of us,” Kapu said.
Full restoration is expected to be completed by 2015.
“We have begun the process, the restoration has begun, the momentum is moving, resources are coming. This is Kauai’s gift to the world,” Mayor Carvalho said.