Kānehūnāmoku*

Online event, Wednesday, May 25, 9 a.m.

Kānehūnāmoku

For many years, Dawn Yoshimura and Jan Becket visited a small section of the Waiʻanae coast from Kepuhi Point to Kaʻena Point. This exhibit contains their reflections on that place. It includes what are now known as the ahupuaʻa of Keaʻau, ʻŌhikilolo, Mākua, Keawaʻula and Kaʻena. In some Waiʻanae families, however, this land sections is known as Kānehūnāmoku, the hidden land of Kāne. Those families have long memories; the term predates the late 18th century conquest of Oʻahu by Kahekili of Maui and Kamehameha of Hawaiʻi Island. What a treasured gift that such knowledge remains.

Residents of Waiʻanae value this undeveloped section of the coast, using it as a destination for day trips to the beach at Mākua and Keawaʻula. They have expressed the desire that the land section from Kepuhi to Kaʻena remain as it is, undeveloped:

… there should be NO urban, suburban, resort, or golf course development, or any other type of commercial land development, or landfills, permitted or approved north of Kepuhi Point and north of Makaha Valley. There is strong community consensus that no highway be built around Ka’ena Point due to its environmental sensitivity and cultural status. There is general consensus among State and City agencies that these lands should be preserved and protected for open space, environmental preservation, and cultural and religious practices. — Sustainable Communities Plan, 2012

In learning from those families, in talking to other Waiʻanae residents and in visiting that area, Dawn and Jan have each responded to this unique place in these works. If there is an intent behind the exhibit, it is that others on Oʻahu visit the area with an awareness of its immense value, just as it is now. Oʻahu residents recognized the value of open space when they set aside the Kaʻiwi Coast, protecting it from proposed development. As the rest of the island slowly becomes urbanized, may there be a realization for the need of a similar protected space at the other end of the island. And if one is permitted to dream, the Natural Area Reserve at Kaʻena serves as an inspiring model for the regeneration of native plant and animal populations in all of Kānehūnāmoku.

This exhibit is sponsored by Koa ʻIke Marae, Waiʻanae.

ʻO māua nō me ka haʻahaʻa,

Dawn Yoshimura

Jan Becket

Statement by Koa ʻIke Marae

Our larger vision to to reestablish, as much as possible, the cultural landscape from Kepuhi Point to Pōhaku O Kauaʻi at Kaʻena Point, and thus, to permanently set aside that land, from mauka to makai, as a puʻuhonua – a place of healing and refuge for Hawaiian ʻohana, Hawaiian keiki, and others. In the short term, the more limited goal is to acquire the land of the former McCandless Ranch in Keaʻau and ʻOhikilolo.

A cultural landscape functions around pilina, the interconnections among people, among people and their environment, and among various natural elements of the environment: plants, insects, fishes, birds, rain, water flow and winds.

Driving past Keaʻau Beach Park, one sees little but a shoreline and pasture filled with kiawe, a tree brought in to feed cattle. We see in our minds a Native Hawaiian dryland forest reestablished, with stands of kou, wiliwili ʻiliahi and lama. We see an understory of plants original to that place, plants such as aʻaliʻi and ʻilima. On the kahakai side of the road, we see stands of milo and ground cover such as paʻuohiʻiaka. We see a carefully managed fishery that allows near-shore species to flourish. In the uplands of Kaulu, the watershed for a stream that is now dry, we see a native upland forest reestablished, so that water once again flows, and so that the birds of the uplands – such as ʻamakihi – return to their habitats. If this seems like an unreachable goal, think of the success of the Natural Area Reserve at Kaʻena, just down the road. Or think of the amazing success in replanting native plant colonies on Kahoʻolawe, aided by upland catchment systems. It can be done at ʻOhikilolo, and along that entire coast.

Kupuna Albert Silva, who until recently lived there, related that the name ʻOhikilolo (crazy crab) comes from periodic migrations of hundreds of crabs across the road, away from the beach. We hope to see the migration again one day.

A cultural landscape validates the cultural knowledge embedded in Native Hawaiian ʻohana (families), moʻolelo (oral literature) and ʻolelo (language). The work needed to re-create that landscape functions as pilina, to bring families closer together, to heal those caught in cycles of drugs and violence and to provide a safe environment where keiki can learn culture, ʻolelo and history. It can also function as a sustainable source of food, helping to promote healthy diets and traditional ways of life.

According to the ʻohana with ancestral ties to ʻOhikilolo, there was once a marae located there, a place where keiki were instructed and where cultural knowledge was preserved and passed on. Those families preserved the knowledge of that place, which still exists: a large rectangular enclosure now surrounded by grass and kiawe. A large part of our vision is to restore that marae, not just its stones, but to restore its traditional function.

  • An alternate spelling is Kānehunamoku. Hūnā is the verb form: Moku o Kāne i hūnā ai (Land that Kāne hid) or Hūnā ʻia ka moku na Kāne (The land was hidden by Kāne). Huna is the participle form: Moku huna (Hidden land). In some local ʻōhana traditions, Kānehunamoku refers to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

RELATED ʻIKE. Read the lyrics. Buy the album.

Hunamoku: Bury Me, by Keale

Four print-ready projects

Two of these projects are located in Hawaiʻi but touch on far broader environmental, indigenous and political issues. The third is in Great Britain and the fourth is in Paris. All projects come with a commitment to a traveling exhibit and full participation in marketing. At the bottom of each section is a link to additional images. My resumé is at the end.

page 1 — Kīpuka: The Edges of Things

page 2 — Kanu Kahoʻolawe: Healing the Past, Planting the Future

page 3 — Stone Circles: The Sacred Commons

page 4 — The Book of Paris

page 5 — Jan Becket Resumé

I. Kīpuka: The Edges of Things

Hawaiian pre-contact culture was a bronze-age culture without bronze, rooted in agriculture and stone. Like Greeks and Romans, though, Hawaiians are engineers, skilled in fitting stone on stone, expressing abstract thought through physical structures — of which many yet remain in bushes on the sides of roads, hidden behind real estate developments, on land often viewed as “worthless” unless covered with concrete and asphalt, generating income. The Hawaiian term wahi kūpuna (ancestral place) better describes them, replacing the sterile academic label, “archaeological site.”

Those wahi kūpuna that have survived a 200-year frenzy of land development exist in fragmented, isolated pieces. In Hawaiian language the term “kīpuka” refers to the island of forest left untouched by a surrounding lava flow as it splits into two rivers which later rejoin, heading downhill to the sea. Many of these images record cultural kīpuka, images of one landscape being surrounded, sometimes being submerged or sometimes re-emerging in the midst of another. We must assemble the previous forest in our minds. And once the bigger picture begins to emerge, even a little, we are better able to appreciate an aboriginal culture that expressed through stone structures, carefully placed in reference to the landscape, its place in the cosmos.

These structures are some of the few tangible, direct communications passed down from pre-contact times — aside from objects left in museums. They are not merely “archaeological sites” but spatial references to the natural environment that embody religion, philosophy, aesthetics and the natural sciences, treatises that suggest an entire non-western cosmology, connecting culture, land and sky. They are at the same time dissertations on the natural world, scriptures and works of art.

Borders interest me, the edges of things. I spent most of my life on a kind of border, an outlying periphery of American civilization in the middle of the Pacific. On an island it’s easy to notice demarcations between physical spaces: land and water, urban and rural, sky and earth. However, what draws me in particular are the visually elusive borders between contested landscapes occupied simultaneously by several cultures: places occupied by divergent views of the cosmos, views that do not comfortably share the same space, and yet which do share that space. This is a project, then, that examines juxtapositions.

I was born in Hawai‘i, but it took me decades to notice such spaces, where cultural borders overlap and sometimes collide. A few of these images, if they succeed at all, document overlapping world views, both referencing, both claiming the same landscape in their opposing perceptions of the universe and of our place in it. Once in a great while, it is possible to photograph these contested spaces in such a way that multiple, overlapping worlds crystallize in a visual way. Thus, the places themselves become metaphors for the changes that have happened here, the sober reality beneath the fantasy hula-hula façade of slick tourist promos that litter the streets of Waikīkī. In recording a wahi kūpuna (pre-contact site), one ends up, without even intending to do so, recording the effects of contact with the West over the past 230 years, the footprint of Western culture on a non-Western landscape. The camera always faces in two directions. (paragraphs excerpted from the essay “Apologia” at www.janbecket.net/wordpress)

Additional images from this series

CONTACT ZONE 2018, Waikīkī

Contact Hawaiʻi is a yearly juried art exhibit organized by the Puʻuhonua Society: www.contacthawaii.com. April 6-30, 2018 at various locations throughout Waikīkī, Kakaako and at the Academy of Art School, Linekona.

photo by Ann Marie Kirk

My four Kīpuka images at Saks 5th Avenue:

Iniikawai Heiau, Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi Island

Photo by Ann Marie Kirk

Kualiʻiliʻi Heiau, Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi Island

left: Kapuanoni Heiau, Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi Island

right: The residence of Lonoikamakahiki, Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi Island

 

Accompanying text (excerpted from my much longer essay Apologia) and additional images:

[pdf-embedder url=”http://janbecket.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Jan-Becke-Book.pdf” title=”Jan Becke Book”]

2742 Terrace Drive

Our house is not (yet) listed for sale but it will be! This is just advance notice to help you plan, in case you will be looking in our area several months from now. Our intent is to list in September.

This is a 3 bedroom 2 bath home of 1,149 sq. ft. on a 4,500 sq. ft. lot. It was built in 1926 with redwood double wall construction. (The redwood was probably first-growth.) The driveway is also used by the house behind ours and consequently is assessed at a lower tax rate than the rest of the property.

We acquired the house in 1998 from the estate of a parent and have made many, many upgrades since then. Many of them are listed below. Note that all major work has been permitted.

What if you want to purchase our house right now? That would be great, but terms at this point are rigid and will only suit a limited number of potential buyers. We cannot vacate until October and we must receive $1.1 million – after realtor commissions and any other major costs are deducted. After the house is listed, of course, terms will become much more flexible.

Major Upgrades and Improvements

Kitchen Remodel – 2012

Marble counters, Bosch Dishwasher, solid hardwooood floor, Kraft Maid cabinets. Note: The existing GE Profile gas stove and GE Profile refrigerator (2000) are working well.

Master Bathroom – 2000

Ceramic tile on floor and lower walls, Sunrise Specialty retro claw foot tub and fixtures, Pedistal sink with Sunrise Specialty faucet.

Floors – 2013, 2018

Refinished solid hardwood floors (Australian Boxwood), New hardwood floor in kitchen (referenced above), New hardwood floor in front bedroom. Note: About half of the floors have already been refinished and the kitchen floor installed. Two bedrooms remain to be completed this summer, as well as the installation of the hardwood floor in the front bedroom.

Appliances

Rheem tankless gas water heater (2015), Fujitsu split AC (two units 2010; one unit 2017), LG washer / dryer (2017), New quiet ceiling fans (2018 – to be completed), Whole-house Whirlpool self-flushing water filter (2012)

Garage – 2008

New roof, new concrete pad, shop workroom (approximately 8X15 ft.)

Electrical and Plumbing

Exterior wiring and main panel upgraded to current code (2010), Interior wiring upgraded from knob and tube to romex (2010), All galvanized water intake pipes replaced with copper pipes (2005)

Roof and Security System

Copper gutters (1999), New roof (2007), Ikaika security doors (all 3 house doors, 2006, 2012), Security lights (2016), Exeter Storm Shield security window grills (On 4 rear windows, 2005), DVR wired security cameras (8 cams, 2013)

Other House Upgrades

Marvin Tilt-PAC custom window kits and Marvin sliders in all windows (1999, 2007, 2017), Hurricane roof clips and tie-down cables at all corners (1998), New front stairs and porch  (2017), ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) status for the rear bedroom (2018 – in progress). Note:  The rear bedroom has a separate entrance and bathroom.

Garden

6-zone irrigation system (1998, upgrades in 2012 and 2014), Cut basalt pavers along driveway (2016), Cedar / Redwood rear fence (2017), Raised planter beds (2017) Note: Many of the garden plants are endemic or Polynesian.

 

 

 

Kanu Kahoʻolawe, with Carl Pao

Burke Museum, Seattle, Washington

October 2016 – July 2017

Kanu Kaho’olawe: Replanting, Rebirth highlights the work of two Hawai’i-based artists, Jan Becket and Carl Pao, who document and respond to the reclamation of Native land on Kaho’olawe Island, Hawai’i, through photography and mixed-media paintings.

Located off of Maui, Kaho’olawe is the smallest of the eight main volcanic islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago. It is a culturally and spiritually significant place for Native Hawaiians and was the site of decades-long military testing that environmentally devastated the island.

Marking the 40th Anniversary of the “Stop the Bombing” campaign and occupation of Kaho’olawe, this exhibit tells both an ecological cautionary tale and the story of Native Hawaiian efforts to reclaim, replant and revitalize cultural traditions on this ancestral land.

link to B&W photographs

link to exhibit review