The nine ahupuaʻa of Kāneʻohe Bay, beginning at the boundary between Koʻolauloa and Koʻolaupoko Districts (west) and moving eastward, are Kualoa, Hakipuʻu, Waikāne, Waiāhole, Kaʻalaea, Waiheʻe, Kahaluʻu, Heʻeia and Kāneʻohe.
The ahupuaʻa of Hakipuʻu (Broken Hill – referring to the jagged ridge top) is located at the northern end of Kāne’ohe Bay, between Kualoa and Waikāne.
Paliuli (green cliff,) a “legendary paradise of plenty” with many proclaimed sites throughout the islands, was said to have existed in the mauka regions of Hakipuʻu.
The legendary and historic navigator Kahaʻi a Hoʻokamaliʻi was said to have landed on the beach here, on his return trip from Tahiti. He is credited for bringing and planting the first ʻulu (breadfruit) tree, in this ahupuaʻa. (Mālama ʻĀina)
“The area is typical of Oʻahu, in contrast to Kauai, Maui, and Hawaiʻi, in combining: (a) bay and reef coast line which make cultivation feasible right to the shore where coconuts thrive; (b) extensive wet-taro plantations with ample water; (c) swampy areas where taro and fish were raised …”
“… (d) sloping piedmont and level shore-side areas well adapted to sweet-potato farming; (e) ample streams whose mouths are ideal seaside spawning pools; (f) fishponds in which systematic fish farming was practiced; (g) upstream terraced stream-side lo‘i; (h) accessible forested slopes and uplands, for woodland supplies and recourse in famine times”. (Handy; Klieger)
“The bay all round has a very beautiful appearance, the low land and vallies being in a high state of cultivation, and crowned with plantations of taro, sweet potatoes, sugar-cane, etc. interspersed with a great number of coconut trees”. (Portlock, 1786)
Fishponds, loko i‘a, were things that beautified the land, and a land with many fishponds was called a ‘fat’ land (‘āina momona.) They date from ancient times. (Kamakau)
Moliʻi fishpond (within Hakipuʻu) has a pond wall about 4,000-feet in length (attributed to the work of Menehune) that separates about 125-acres of shallow water (one of the largest ever built) from the northern rim of Kāneʻohe Bay. The main species of fish raised in ponds were ʻawa (milkfish) and ʻanae (mullet.)
Handy described the taro flats at Hakipuʻu, originally more than one-half mile south from Moliʻi Fishpond, where all the level land along Hakipuʻu Stream was once in terraces.
It was especially interesting as the only swamp plantation on Oʻahu in which a marshland patch was cultivated in the old mounding method. (Devaney)
“An acre of kalo (taro) land would furnish food for from twenty to thirty persons, if properly taken care of. It will produce crops for a great many years in succession without lying fallow any time.” (Wyllie, 1848)
Based on the estimated rates of population decline due to the introduction of European disease, Hakipuʻu would have had a population of about 300 at the time of ‘contact’ in 1778, decreasing to about 225 by 1800. In the first formal census in 1832 the population of Hakipuʻu had declined to 180.
Later, in Hakipuʻu, “fields were fenced and plowed for the cane, small flumes were put up and Chinese coolies imported for laborers”; by 1867, however, it became evident that the land was poor for sugarcane and it was abandoned.
The land was later used for rice cultivation (1860s,) then pineapple. However, by 1923, it was evident that pineapple cultivation on the Windward area could not keep up with that in other O‘ahu areas.
Crops on the Windward side were not yielding tonnages as compared with the Leeward side, fields were smaller, with wilt more prevalent, and growing costs considerably higher. Plantings were therefore reduced. (Libby; Devaney)
Much of the land was converted to pasture for cattle ranching. Some of the Hakipuʻu land remains part of the Kualoa Ranch.
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