The village of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo is the first of it's kind, aland base for the developing sovereignHawaiian nation, where Kanaka Maoli and our extended `ohana are livingclose to the `aina in a self-determined taroroots community dedicated tocultural, social, political, and economic advancement of the people. Pu`uhonua- the refuge - was born out of struggle and out of hope.
The village was created in May 1994 following the settlers' move from Makapu`uand Kaupo Beach Parks (and a peaceful arrest of 17 wahine who stayed behindto preserve the claim to the beach land), in a cooperative effort betweenthe state and the village, ending over a year of "occupation"by the `Ohana Council. The state cleared some land and put in minimal infrastructureto prepare the area, but most of the development has been the result ofthe sweat and labor of the villagers, along with the kokua of individualsin the surrounding community who support the purpose and values of the village.
At this time, no lease has yet been signed with the de facto state of Hawaii, making the village a unique land "occupation" in Hawaii. From the perspective of the villagers, sovereigntyhas already been achieved - we are living on the land, and governing ourselves.
The village affairs are coordinated by an elected council, with guidancefrom Na Kupuna. Educational classes are hosted at Pu`uhonua for the largercommunity to learn about the political and economic history and rights ofHawai`i. Cultural classes, including language, crafts, hula and genealogy,have been taught and attended by both villages and others from the nearbycommunity.
Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo has served as the administrative headquarters for theIndependent and Sovereign Nation-Stateof Hawai`i, coordinating activities on all islands and communicatingaround the world, in an office equipped with several computers, a fax machine,copier, and modems.
The residents of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo hope to serve as an inspirationand a model for the many Kanaka Maoli struggling throughout the Islandstoday to regain control of their lands and their lives. The long range visionof the village is one of self-sufficiency, with a harmonious balance ofancient and future systems, from lo`i kalo (irrigated terraced taro fields, restoration project image below)and la`au lapa`au (healing with plants and prayer), to renewable energy,the Internet, and other appropriate technologies.
Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo is like fertile soil for the seed of sovereignty,an ancient seed that has lain dormant for over a century. Now we have plantedit, watered it, and are nurturing the seed as it sprouts and begins to growtoward the sun. We have come a long way, and have a long way to go.
With perseverance and aloha, and most of all trust in Ke Akua, we envisiona bright future for Hawai`i and all her children. We pray that the effortsof the villagers of Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo will bear fruit for many generations to come.
You may email the village at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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