Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa Project Update
Updated: Mar 9, 2021
In May 2014, colorful marker signs for Kauai's five historic moku (land divisions) hit the roadsides. This was Phase Two of the Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa project, a memorial to Kauai’s King Kamuali‘i, identifying the moku borders of his day.
Kaua‘i was the first island to develop these pie-shaped mauka to makai (mountain to sea) land management systems, ensuring that food and other resources would be plentiful and sustainable. Each moku incorporated multiple ahupua‘a (smaller slices of pie). Each moku had a chief and each ahupua'a had a manager.
For the Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa logo project, each moku's logo includes an emblem of nature from the mauka lands and an emblem of makai, the sea, to represent balance in nature and the ongoing need for sustainable practices in our communities. Including the island of Ni‘ihau, there are six moku.
I was honored to help create the logos for each moku back in 2014. The project has been lovingly coordinated by Keao Smith and Kanoe Ahuna, supported by Nā Hōkū Welo and the County of Kaua‘i. This month I was commissioned to makeover the logo for Ni‘ihau. The new design incorporates the leaf of the ‘uala (sweet potato), the Nā Kiwi o Hōlei variety unique to Ni‘ihau, along with the ‘opihi.
Both emblems represent the durability of the people of Ni‘ihau in clinging to the old ways and the native language of Hawai’i’s aboriginal people. The people of Ni‘ihau continue the language from parent to child today like the perpetuating of ‘uala seedlings from parent to sprout.
The six land divisions and their emblems include:
See more on this project at www.kauainuikuapapa.com