Oral histories indicate that Maunawila Heiau was once a heiau ho‘ōla (sacred place of healing). For years, the property was left abandoned, becoming overgrown with invasive species and accumulating modern trash. During the last few years, however, many hands have worked to remove overgrown vegetation and modern trash, and HILT successfully purchased the land for permanent protection. Our hope is to one day have a thriving lā‘au lapa‘au (Hawaiian medicine) garden to provide traditional medicines to the community. Last year, our friends at Ho‘oulu ‘Āina gifted us some ‘ōlena mothers from Kalihi Valley, which we planted at the Heiau with community members. Yesterday, our volunteer snapped a photo of our first ‘ōlena plant growing strong at Maunawila. As we continue the work to heal the site, Maunawila Heiau gives back her healing energy to us. Such is the reciprocal relationship between ‘āina and kānaka that is the foundation of Hawaiian culture.
Photo: ‘Ōlena growing at Maunawila Heiau. Courtesy of Ronnie Huddy.