Sunday, January 7, 2007
Kamilonui Valley which lies in the ahupua'a of Maunalua in the Kona district of Oahu is one of the last valleys of significant size in all of Honolulu which remains undeveloped.
The land is used primarily for agricultural purposes at this time. The valley is under threat of development even though farmers leases extend for approx. 15 more years. See letter I wrote to the Honolulu Advertiser Editor in 2005 which addresses the valley and the adjacent heiau called Pahua.
Rock shelters and burial caves were once used in the valley (Sites of Hawaii, p. 264). One of the larger caves above the old Kaiwi road which use to extend to the back of the valley (along the east side) is visible half way up the ridge on the northeast side of the valley.
Although, Kamilonui valley was once included in the larger Maunalua ahupua'a, the valley has nearly all of the elements of a traditional ahupua'a. The base of the valley lacks a large seafront area; however, it does contact the tip of Kuapa pond which is connected to the sea. This valley would be an ideal location to put into practice traditional dryland cultivation and to serve as a model of a traditional ahupua'a system extending from mauka (low mountain peak of Ko'olau mountains above the valley) to makai (mauka tip of Kuapa pond).
There is a stream in the valley that extends to the mauka tip of Kuapa pond that has water flowing through it with aquatic life. The flow does become heavy during rainy weather with the lower portion of the valley adjacent to stream prone to flooding.
Could this valley not serve as a model ahupua'a in which other areas (ahupua'a) developed or not, could learn from? Also, the use, management and cultivation of a dryland type ahupua'a could be observed and studied in contrast to a wetter type ahupua'a such as for example - Kahana valley. Pictures of Kamilonui valley, Pahua heiau and cave on east side ridge of valley are shown above.