Thursday, April 22, 2010

Honoring Hui O Pikoiloa for Protecting Kawaewae Heiau

Historic Hawaii Foundation honors Hui O Pikoiloa with a preservation commendation for its successful grassroots efforts to protect the Kawaewae Heiau complex from the threat of commercial development.

In 2007, the owner of a 56.6 acre tract of conservation-zoned land in Kaneohe notified the residents of the nearby Pikoiloa subdivision that it planned to reclassify the property to urban zoning, add housing, expand the cemetery and develop part of the land for commercial activities.

The notification raised red flags in the surrounding community. They were concerned about how the proposed new development would the impact the Kawaewae Heiau complex, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
Maps and phtos courtesy of Hui O Pikoiloa

The Kawaewae Heiau is known to be one of five heiau built by Olopana at the turn of the 12th century. It is a luakini type heiau, believed to be associated with both human and animal sacrifices.

Concerned community members formed “Hui O Pikoiloa,” a grassroots hui which developed into an informal but determined group focused on protecting this special Hawaiian site. As a result, they developed expertise in land use rules, archeological inventory and ways to protect this important cultural site.

Because of the efforts of Hui O Pikoiloa, in October 2009 the Land Use Commission voted unanimously to deny the developer’s petition to reclassify the land, and continued its designation as a conservation zone.

Read one of the legends of Kawaewae Heiau..
More about the 2010 Preservation Honor Awards..
About the HHF Preservation Honor Awards..