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Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. A land of enchantment 554 square miles with 90 miles of coastline. Nature and time have sculpted elegant ridges in the towering cliffs of the untamed tropical wilderness surrounding Princeville and the peaceful bay of Hanalei (meaning crescent or wreath shaped).
The 11,000 acres of Princeville overlook Hanalei Bay that features the Hanalei Pier that dates back to the 1890’s. It was built for shipping rice and other agricultural products off island. The pier extends from Black Pot Beach Park. Housing beautiful sandy beaches, incredible snorkeling, hiking trails, horseback riding, river exploring, and of course, its renowned golf courses, Princeville beckons with enchanting romantic scenery.
The Hanalei lookout oversees the Hanalei bridge built in 1912 and the taro patches of Hanalei Valley. Most of the taro in Hawaii is grown here. Kalo (taro) has been cultivated for food since ancient times but holds a much deeper essence. It is a sustenance for body and spirit. Kinship with all life forms is part of the Hawaiian nature based culture. Poi, pounded kalo mixed with water, is a staple food with a sacred meaning to the Hawaiian people. A traditional Hawaiian family opens the poi bowl on the table. Eating around the poi bowl is to be pleasant with no business discussions or arguments, for the spirits of their ancestors are present. Observing the sacredness of poi, is a time of kinship.
The revitalization of kalo and the lo’i kalo (taro paddy where kalo is cultivated in communal and family plots) is seen as the core of Hawaiian identity and culture. The po’e Hawai’i (indigenous people of Hawai’i) believe that kalo, their elder brother, was placed on this earth to protect and sustain them. The naming of the parts of the kalo represent the physical and spiritual identity of the ‘ohana (Hawaiian name for family). The main kalo corm is the parent, called makua and the young offshoots or keiki (children) are the ‘oha, this is the root word of ‘ohana.
This valley also encompasses 900 acres of a National Wildlife Refuge for endangered waterfowl. Pictured below are Hawaiian Black-necked Stilts. The refuge also houses the Hawaiian Coot, Hawaiian Gallinule and the Hawaiian Duck.
Ten miles from Hanalei bay lies the end of the road at Ke’e beach were the eleven mile Kalalau Trail begins with its rugged picturesque Na Pali Coastline.
© 2001 Victoria McCormick
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