Oluwalu Cultural Reserve



Olowalu is (1) under sky, (2) mapped on land, and (3) next to an ocean channel that (4) connects to a greater sea, and is (5) part of the Hawaiian archipelago, and on and on.  The generations of past to present Hawaiians relate all of this as a family that was borne out of the Creation-parents, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Symbiotic and powerful; beneficent and yielding – however we may look at this aspect, Place is inclusive.  The layers of in-migration, to include Polynesia, have carved out and applied their definitions and each who has translated what was to what is binds to the old pattern. (click to map)

Olowalu is part of the pattern which has introduced the Ahu (altar)

pua’a (a fertility symbol, the pig).  There is definitely more to this symbolism that meets the eye.  The Ahupua’a is Olowalu of Kukeolowalu which identifies the connectivity of the sky, the land, and the sea families in the flesh and in spirit to, by, and continuing Creation.  More to come on this matter in time.  The following provides you with what we have in this area and are working with.

Cultural and Archeological Sites

Olowalu Cultural Reserve contains one of the largest collections of ki‘i pohaku or petroglyphs on the island of Maui.  Nearly 70 ancient rock drawings can be found along the base of Pu‘u Kilea.  As the first form of written communication, Hawaiians carved stick figures and drawings into the sides of rocks to tell a story.  Here you can witness “messages” left by those who passed here before us.

Evidence of both temporary and permanent habitation sites may be seen throughout the reserve, along Olowalu's streambed and natural rock cliffs.

Of several burials and heiau located on Olowalu Cultural Reserve, the largest is Kawaialoa (Kawailoa) Heiau which measures approximately 51 meters long by 32 meters wide.  It is interpreted as the site of major religious ceremonies, probably involving high chiefs and rulers.

Remnants of old lo‘i  kalo walls along the Olowalu streambed,
and a loko i‘a, fishpond near the shoreline tell us Olowalu was an important community.

Unfortunately, 100+ years of sugar cultivation has either compromised or destroyed much of what remained of the ancient Hawaiian landscape. Those sites which do remain require and deserve diligent preservation and management.