Connecting with lineal descendants in Hawaii

By Ala Kahakai Trail Association
Adapted from AKTA emails and social media

Photo Credit: Ala Kahakai Trail Association. Above: Volunteers collect trash along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Under the terms of its cooperative funding agreement with the National Park Service, Ala Kahakai Trail Association (AKTA) is obligated to host at least six community events per funding year.

In February and March, the organization hosted two small community hikes in South Kohala, set up booths at the Wiliwili Festival and shoreline cleanups at Old Airport and Puako, and held a community talk story event. In early May, AKTA planned to host a talk story event and community hike along the coast during the Ka’u Coffee Festival, as well as a community event in the Puako area and the Hokule‘a Mahalo Tour event in Kawaihae.

Typically, a few of the events are gatherings focused on lineal descendants. That was the case in March when AKTA partnered with Aloha Kuamo’o to share stories with lineal descendants at Kuamo’o ahupua’a.

Last year in May, AKTA also sponsored an event to bring community members (many of whom are lineal descendants) from Na’alehu down to a coastal village that was abandoned about 100 years ago. When the main road was built, many of the coastal villages moved upland to be alongside the road.

Photo Credit: Ala Kahakai Trail Association.
Above: Sharing stories at the March community talk.

“Despite having lived above this site along the coast for their entire lives, many of these community members we brought down there had never been,” said Christopher Hawkins, AKTA Coordinator. “It gave us goosebumps to see the emotions they had reconnecting with their ancestral place.”

Learn more about AKTA’s outreach events:

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