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Pae ʻĀina -  Kamehameha Schools

The Wahi Kupuna Internship Program (WKIP) is an educational and leadership training program that has been funded by KS and run by Nohopapa and its partner organization, Huliauapaʻa since 2010. The internship is for undergraduate students in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Hawaiian Studies, Geography, History, & related fields. The program targets Native Hawaiian & kamaʻāina students to increase their representation in Hawaiʻi’s Cultural Resource Management field by providing them cultural mentoring, professional networking, educational development, & applied field experiences. The program aims to develop & support the next generation of cultural resource managers in Hawaii by offering a learning environment that bridges the worldviews of Hawaiian culture & Western science and by encouraging the interns to appreciate and utilize their cultural values, beliefs, and practices while conducting archaeological & ʻāina based research.

Resources in this collection:

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2013 WKIP Report (Puanui, Kohala, Hawaiʻi)

Summary: The fourth cohort, Kukui A‘a Kū I Ka ‘Āpa‘apa‘a interns conducted archaeological investigations in the ahupua‘a of Puanui, North Kohala, Hawai‘i. The Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program partnered with Ulu Mau Puanui, a non profit organization whose mission it is to understand through research and education how the Kanaka Maoli sustained the massive rain fed agricultural system located on the leeward coast of Kohala. The interns spent three weeks conducting archaeological field work and two weeks completing research and writing at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The interns were trained in archaeological field and research methods, in addition to being trained in Hawaiian protocols and cultural activities, huaka‘i wahi pana, sharpening their observation skills and meeting with knowledgable community members from Kohala. Their hard work culminated in a community presentation held in Waimea at the end of the program along with a presentation at the annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology. 

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2014 WKIP Report (Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi)

Summary: The fifth cohort, He Lua ‘Ole ‘O Mauna Loa of the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program was held in the moku (district) of Ka‘ū on Hawai‘i Island. The interns spent time orienting themselves to the place by reviewing previous ethnohistorical studies as well as joining kama‘āina John Replogle of the Nature Conservancy and Nohea Ka‘awa on several huaka‘i wahi pana. The students then spent two weeks documenting and mapping a number of cultural sites in the ahupua‘a of Punalu‘u. In addition to the field work, the interns engaged in learning Hawaiian protocol and cultural enrichment activities. Their work culminated in a community hō‘ike as well as poster presentations at the 2014 annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

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2015 WKIP Report (Hāmākua, Hikinia, Hawaiʻi)

Summary: The sixth cohort, Ka Ho‘omana Kahiko of the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program took place in the ‘Umi Birthplace Corridor. An area which spans ten ahupua‘a in the east Hāmākua region of Hawai‘i Island. The program partnered with Hui Mālama I Ke Ala ‘Ūlili (HuiMAU), a community-based non-profit organization founded in 2011. The interns were trained in site protocol, archival and Māhele ’Āina research, pedestrian surveys, site documentation, plane table and tape and compass mapping. In addition to documenting a number of sites, the interns also made time to huli ka lima i lalo (turn the hands down) and contribute to regeneration of healthy food and ecosystems with the ‘ohana of east Hāmākua.

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2016 WKIP Report (Piʻopiʻo, Hilo, Hawaiʻi)

Summary: The seventh cohort, Waikūpi‘o was held in the ‘ili kūpono of Pi‘opi‘o located in Waiākea, Hilo, Hawai‘i. Pi‘opi‘o is one of Hilo's richest historical and cultural landscapes in the South Hilo district. Since most of Pi‘opi‘o is currently managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks Division, the program partnered with the State Parks Division and the Queen Lili‘uokalani Childrens Center. This group of interns marks the first time the Wahi Kupuna Internship Program worked exclusively with high school aged students. The interns were trained in Hawaiian protocols, non-destructive archaeological field techniques, oral history interviews, Māhele ‘Āina research, archival research, research writing and public presentations. The students presented their research at both the community hō‘ike held at the Wailoa Center on July 7, 2016 and at the Lyman Museum Saigo Lecture Series held in September.

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2017 WKIP Report (Waiawa,ʻEwa, Oʻahu)

Summary: The eighth cohort, Awawalei was held in Waiawa, Oʻahu. Awawalei is an older and more poetic name for the Puʻuloa area (commonly known as Pearl Harbor). Waiawa is an area that has been overlooked and overshadowed by the heavily urbanized environment, yet was once known to be one of the richest cultural and natural landscapes for on Oʻahu. This group of interns marks the first time the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program was held on the island of Oʻahu. Specifically, in the ʻili ʻāina of Hanakēhau, Kuhialoko, and Kuhiawaho the students learned from community members, familiarized themselves with the ancestral identity of these ʻāina and were introduced archaeology field survey methods. The students presented their research at the community hō‘ike held at the Leeward Community College on July 13, 2017.

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2018 WKIP Report (Hōnaunau & Keʻei, Kona, Hawaiʻi)

Summary: The ninth cohort, Iwikuamoʻo was held in Hōnaunau and Keʻei, Hawaiʻi Island. Through a range of ethnohistorical, archaeological, and ethnographic research training, the haumāna gained an intimate pilina to these ahupuaʻa. Examples of methods they were introduced to include analyzing moʻolelo and Māhele era land documents; interviewing kupaʻāina about their historical memories and current stewardship recommendations, and mapping portions the ala loa and its associated features. By weaving together these different sources of ʻike kupuna, the haumāna were able to paint a more holistic story of this place. Throughout the internship, the haumāna focused on the theme of ala loa and how it is both a physical pathway that connects the sites and resources of the ʻāina, as well as an intangible pathway that connects communities through our moʻokūʻauhau and moʻolelo passed on from our kupuna. By partnering with kupa ʻāina and community organizations in this area, the haumāna learned that the pathways and connections between ʻāina, moʻolelo, and kānaka are still very paʻa in these ahupuaʻa today.

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2019 WKIP Report  (Waipā, Haleleʻa Kauaʻi)

Summary: The tenth cohort, Waiakupalehua was held in Waipā, Haleleʻa, Kauaʻi. Throughout this internship, we are grateful to have partnered with so many kupaʻāina and community organizations such as Waipā Foundation, Waioli Valley Taro Hui, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana, Limahuli, and Hui Makaʻainana o Makana. Over the course of 5 weeks, the haumāna stayed in Waipā spending time with and learning from the community there. In addition, they were taken on a series of huakaʻi mostly in the Haleleʻa area and conducted basic ethnohistorical, archaeological, and ethnographic research. Their learnings and experiences in Waipā, their research projects were focused as a community give back. Projects spanned from the Wahi pana (storied place names) and Inoa Wai (water names) of Waipā, which at present they learned were not easily accessible to the community; inventorying and understanding the historical movements of the Waipā kahawai with hopes to aid in strengthening stewardship support; a walking study to understand the daily life of those who lived on the ʻāina of Waipā over 150 years ago as a means to empower and enrich their educational programs and land use planning for the present and future generations of makaʻāinana; and Documenting the voices of Poi day and it's value which currently demonstrates indigenous agency. Through these experiences and relationships built with the community of Waipā, the haumāna gained a better understanding of the importance of Waipā ahupuaʻa within the greater Heleleʻa.

*Please e-mail us at to request for a specific report. 

To view and learn more about individual the place-based haumāna projects,

please visit Huliauapaʻa 

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