Manoa Valley Ahupua'a

Manoa Valley Ahupua’a
•An Ahupua’a is a natural
land division, which is
bordered by streams from
Mauka to Makai
Typical Ahupua’a
Ohana: Family Life
Hawaiian tradition
recognizes that
people are
descendants of the
kalo plant
Ohana comes from
Makua = parent
Oha (sprout) = child
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Ohana were guided by family
spirits called ‘Aumakua
They were ancestors of the family who
provided guidance and advise
They took on forms of nature such as mano:
sharks (most revered), honu: turtles, pueo:
Illustrates how Hawaiians are
connected to nature, their surroundings
A premier of indigenous learning
Indigenous •Spiritual
and secular worlds are
•Knowledge embedded in
•No clear distinctions between
intangible and physical elements
•Knowledge is holistic and cannot
be separated from land, resources,
• Early
Strict discipline
What they needed to learn they
learned at home
Child’s age based on his
physical abilities
Chores based on child’s
strengths, size
2 year old = carries water
6 year old = carries coconuts
10 year old = carries sibling
Pre Contact Education
• Education a child received depended on
birth status:
• Ali’I children had kahu (tutor) - they
learned about leadership, royalty
• Maka’ainana children taught by kupuna
(grandparents) -- they learned about
legends, their families kapu (guardian)
Pre Contact
•Goal: teach children to be responsible members of society
• Content:
• Formal ways of learning:
• Imitation
• Oral history
• Observation
• Informal ways of learning:
• Direction from kupunas
• Play
• Older boys learned
as they worked side
by side with the
• They learned to
plant, fish, make poi,
prepare food for imu
•Older girls worked with
the women
•They learned how to
make baskets, mats, and
gourds for carrying food
and water
•They took care of the
children, cleaning,
collected shells,
seaweed, etc.
Post Contact
•First material printed in Hawaiian was by
missionaries -- contained sentences and spelling
words from the Bible
•1830, over 1,000 schools -- taught by native
teachers, under the guidance of the missionaries
•Education in the Hawaiian language
•Ho’ike -- a quarterly exam of students -- which
were festive occasions attended by ali’i where
students demonstrated what they had learned
Post Contact 1900
•Children ages 6 to 15 had to attend school
•No longer run by missionaries but by state government
•Underlying problem: why educate people if they are just going to
work on the plantation?
•Same problems today existed then: too little tax money supported
education -- a federal commission found that too little tax money
supported education - the old Territorial school which taught
teachers became part of the new UH Manoa
Williams, J. S. (1997). From the Mountains to the Sea: Early Hawaiian Life.
Kamehameha Schools Press, 1997
Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian Studies Institute (1994). Life in Early Hawaii: The Ahupua’a,
3rd ed. Available online at,
Chapin, H. G. (1999). Hawaiian Historical Society. Available online at
Menton, L. K., & Tamura, E. H. (1999). A History of Hawaii, 2nd ed. Curriculum Research &
Development Group, Honolulu, HI
Kamakua, S. M. (1991). Tales and Traditions of the People of Old. Bishop Museum Press,
Honolulu, HI 1991
Kamakua, S. M. (1964). The People of Old. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, HI 1964
Manoa in 1924
Manoa in 1936
Manoa in 1949
Manoa in 1969
Manoa in 1987
“Long Range”
Development Plan