New educational videos explain the ahupua‘a system
KAHULUI — Brilliant Minds Media Inc. has released a series of three educational videos to help raise awareness of the traditional Hawaiian culture of the ahupua’a system.
The videos are part of the Maui Nui Ahupua’a Project, a community-based, collaborative signage program created to educate residents and visitors about Hawaii’s ancient land division system.
To view the videos, visit https://www.mauinuiahupuaaproject.com/ahupuaa.
Brilliant Minds Media contracted Branscombe Richmond to produce the videos that feature Maui’s own Clifford Nae’ole (cultural advisor and Hawaiian practitioner); Hokulani Holt (Hawaii culture historian); Kui Gapero (school teacher and Hawaiian cultural historian); and video host Leiohu Richmond.
The video project was funded through the Kahului Economic Development, Environmental, and Cultural Programs and managed through the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.
“We thank these well-respected Hawaiian cultural practitioners and historians for sharing their aloha and knowledge of the ahupua’a system,” said Richmond, the show’s producer.
“There are many things we can learn from the ancient ahupua’a. It was an honor and land division system set by nature. It guided our way of life, encouraged a sense of place and instilled the concept of sustainability. These are importance lessons that we can all learn and benefit from today.”
Educating people about the traditional Hawaiian ahupua’a system is also at the heart of the Maui Nui Ahupua’a Project.
Since 2017, project Coordinator and Designer Vernon Kalanikau has been working with community stakeholders, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, kumu and people from their respective ahupua’a to review land divisions, boundaries, and to gather mo’olelo (stories, legend, history) to help design signs for the ahupua’a on Maui. Images of these signs are featured on these videos.
The first ahupua’a signage project Kula Kai (Kihei area in the Moku ‘O Kula) was completed in October 2019. Signs for the Moku ‘O Wailuku (Central Maui area) are in the process of being located and installed. Kalanikau is also working with the community on the signage for Kula Uka (Upcountry area in the Moku ‘O Kula).
To learn more about the signage project, visit www.mauinuiahupuaaproject.com.