East Hawaii News

Hawaiian Scholars Unveil Land, Map Research Website

November 11, 2013, 6:23 PM HST
* Updated November 11, 6:24 PM
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Three Hawaiian scholars will give presentations this week in Hilo and Kona on a new website dedicated to Hawaiian land and map research.

Kulani Jeremiah-Wong, Jenny Maonikeala Estrella, and Raymond Kaimana Estrella will discuss “Avakonohiki—Ancestral Visions of ‘Aina and what the website has to offer to those who would like to learn more about land titles and farming practices for sustenance.

The presentations are the latest lectures in the Eia Hawai`i and Puana Ka `Ike series. Both are free and open to the public.

They will be offered from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Wentworth 1 at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday in Keauhou Ballroom III at the Sheraton Keauhou Resort and Spa.

The three will share the challenges and group dynamics that went into creating the website, said a spokeswoman for the Kohala Center, one of the sponsors of the lectures.

They will explain their progress in using the site to increase awareness and revitalization of the cultural practices of subsistence growing, mala‘ai, and the responsible utilization of contemporary techniques.

They will also give an overview of the Kamakakuoka‘aina Grant and how graduate research assistants harvested, transcribed, combined and indexed land documents and provided them on the website in a form that is fully text-searchable for all.

Jeremiah-Wong recently received her master’s degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University Hawai‘i at Manoa.  Her thesis, “Na Palapala‘aina i Loko o Na Mele,” is about Hawaiian land and how the ancestors used songs to create an intellectual map of the HawaiianIslands. It also looks at the mapping of the ‘aina or land well before any Westerners arrived and before the knowledge of the land was put onto paper.

Jenny Estrella holds a degree in information systems from Brigham Young University Hawai‘i and a degree in Hawaiian Studies from UH-Manoa. She is currently a graduate student in educational foundations and a graduate research assistant with Kamakakuoka‘aina, the organization that created the website.

Raymond Estrella, who is earning his master’s degree in Hawaiian Studies at UH-Manoa, is also a graduate research assistant with Kamakakuoka‘aina. He is focusing his research on the ‘oiwi, or indigenous or native, perspective and ahupua‘a land division connectivity within land research of the Kahuku ahupua‘a of Ko‘olauloa, O‘ahu.

The lectures are also sponsored by Keauhou-Kahalu‘u Education Group, Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center.

For more information on this presentation, contact Joy Cunefare at (808) 322-5340 or e-mail [email protected]

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