In May of 2015, the Ama OluKai Foundation made its debut at the 7th Annual Ho’olaule’a at Kanaha Beach Park on the island of Maui where over 600 paddlers from around the world gathered to compete in the stand-up paddle and OC1 8-mile downwind events.
For the first time, a Foundation village was created during the Ho’olaule’a event at Kanaha Beach Park that was hosted by the Ama OluKai Foundation and honored our 6 inaugural 2015 beneficiaries, including the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Maui Cultural Lands, ‘Imiloa, Na Kalai Wa’a and Na Kama Kai.
Eight members of The Polynesian Voyaging Society hosted a tent in the Foundation Village that included Heidi Kai Guth, Haunani Kane, Kalei Guth, Kala Baybayan, Snake and Myrna Ah Hee.
Polynesian Voyaging Society member Heidy Kai Guth and Ama OluKai Foundation Executive Director Dan McInerny enjoy a moment at the Ho’olaule’a Foundation Village.
As part of the Foundation Village experience, The Polynesian Voyaging Society teamcreated a star compass chart out of lahala matt and rocks to inform guests of the Ho’olaule’a about the art of celestial navigation and the Hokule’a voyage.
Maui Cultural Lands
We were honored to have Puanani and Ekolu Lindsey from Maui Cultural Lands as part of the Foundation Village where they educated guests of the Ho’olaule’a about the importance of preserving Hawaiian cultural heritage in the Honokowai Valley of Maui.
Hawaiian Lifeguard Association
Ralph Goto and Jim Howe, founding members of the HLA, are joined by Brian Kealana, Todd Bradley and Dan McInerny in the Foundation Village at the Ho’olaule’a event.
Beneficiary Awards Presentation
The Ama OluKai Foundation recognized the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Maui Cultural Lands, The Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, “Imiloa, Na Kalai Wa’a and Na Kama Kai for their outstanding contributions towards cultural preservation in Hawaii and were awarded plaques of appreciation and grants at the Ho’olaule’a event.
Foundation Giveback Day
The Ama OluKai Foundation was proud to host Giveback Day during the 7th Annual Ho’olaulea weekend at Waihe’e Coastal Dunes Wetland Refuge on Maui where 100 guests, including OluKai retailers, staff members and Ama OluKai Foundation beneficiaries were greeted by host Scott Lewis, Director of the Waihe’e Chapter of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.
Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Refuge
Home to two ancient Hawaiian villages, Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Refuge is a 277 acre habitat of native plants and animals that features an ahupua’a system from mauka to makai. In 2004, this property came under the protection of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust to actively restore and preserve the area’s rich archaeological and cultural resources.
Giveback Day Opening Prayer
Puanani Lindsey from Maui Cultural Lands greeted our guests with a special Pule (prayer) to start our Giveback Day at Waine’e Coastal Dunes and Refuge.
Lua’a Cultural Demonstration
To honor 16th and 17th century Hawaiian tradition, Giveback Day featured a form of martial arts and healing practices called Lua’a. The purpose of Giveback Day is to promote education and awareness of Hawiian traditions as a sign of respect.
Waihe’e Giveback Day
Scott Lewis, Director of Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Refuge, led the Giveback Day with his amazing knowledge of the property. Included in the experience for our guests was a hike and history, wetlands restoration and the revitalization of taro patches.
Taro Patch Restoration
The taro plant has been an important staple crop for the Hawaiian culture for centuries. Guests at the Giveback Day got a chance to roll their sleeves and pant legs up to restore an old taro patch by clearing out ponds and re-planting new seeds.
Important in the preservation of the ahupua’a system in the Waihe’e valley is the restoration of the wetlands so plants and animals in the region can thrive to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Guests at the Giveback Day put hard work into helping to clear excess growth in the valley. We thank everyone’s participation and hope that it was an educational day and meaningful experience for all.
In celebration of the Aloha Spirit, Alicia Kalepa taught our guests how to make haka headresses made out of orchids, ferns and baby’s breath.