Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site

1200 Kailua Rd.
Kailua, HI 96734

It’s 1750. Kailua is the political seat of power for the district of Ko’olaupoko and a favored place of the OÊ»ahu chiefs for its abundance of fish and good canoe landings. The houses of the ali’i (chiefs), their families, and their attendants surround Kailua Bay. Behind the sand beach is the large, fertile expanse of Kawai Nui which has been converted to a fishpond surrounded by an agricultural fieldsystem. Kawai Nui is a large, 400 acre fishpond with an abundance of mullet, awa, and o’opu. Ka’elepulu and Nu’upia fishponds are nearby. The maka’ainana (commoners) provide support for this chiefly residence. Farmers grow kalo (taro) in the irrigated lo’i (fields) along the streams from Maunawili and along the edges of the fishponds. Crops of dryland kalo, banana, sweet potato, and sugarcane mark the fringes of the marsh. The fishermen harvest fish from the fishponds and the sea. The kahuna (priests) oversee the religious ceremonies and rites at several heiau around Kawai Nui. There is Ulupō Heiau on the east with Pahukini Heiau and Holomakani Heiau on the west side.

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