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Black Water

Ka‘ūpūlehu Foundation 

Ka‘ūpūlehu, he ahupua‘a ahuahu i ko Hawai‘i ku‘una

Kaʻūpūlehu Ahupuaʻa, where Hawaiian cultural traditions thrive

Our History 


During the start of development in the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ūpūlehu during the 1990s, the kama‘āina families of Ka‘ūpūlehu, development entities, and the Trustees of Kamehameha Schools expressed concern for the impacts of development on the cultural and historical landscape. They envisioned an entity that serve as the custodian for the preservation and maintenance of the historical and cultural sites and resources located within the ahupua‘a, and to develop and implement various cultural programs relating to Ka‘ūpūlehu.

 The Foundation was started by initial support and funding through contributions from the land developments within the ahupua‘a. Funding continues to be committed through existing Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or lease agreements on lands within the ahupua‘a to support the historical and cultural resources, traditions, practices and educational programs that are distinctive to the Ka‘ūpūlehu ahupua‘a.

The Ka‘ūpūlehu Foundation Board was initially formed in 2013. In 2018, the Board approved its first strategic plan and administered the first programmatic activities with the granting of funds to support various cultural and natural resource programs within the ahupua‘a.

Our Values

I ‘āina no ka ʻāina i ke aliʻi, a i waiwai no ka ʻāina i ke kānaka

The land remains that which has the ability to feed because of the chiefs, and prosperity comes to the land because of the people.

Ka‘ūpūlehu is an ali‘i landholding of Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop that has been held in trust by Kamehameha Schools. This ahupua‘a is a significant landholding where Kamehameha Schools continues to uphold their ali‘i responsibility to properly manage and steward these lands and resources.

He aliʻi ka ʻāina; he kauwā ke kanaka

The land is the chief; man is its servant. ‘Āina provides everything needed for kanaka to survive.


It is our responsibility to care for the land so that it continues to provide those necessary resources of food, water, and shelter. When we care for the ʻāina, the ʻāina will care for us.

E ‘ai i kekāhi, e kāpi kekāhi

Said to young people: eat some now and save some for another time.


Pa‘akai is an important resource for the kama‘āīna of Ka‘ūpūlehu. Pa‘akai is important for preservation and perpetuation in Hawaiian culture. It also signifies the preservation of future generations and intergenerational equity and well-being.









Historical Sites 



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