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Kamehameha Schools


Kapaeloa, Pūpūkea, O‘ahu


20 acres



Kūpopolo Heiau is located in the ahupua‘a of Kawailoa in the moku of Waialua, O‘ahu and is purportedly to have been commissioned by King Kahahana of the O‘ahu Kingdom, a contemporary of Pai‘ea Kamehameha. This large heiau at the flat land of Kawailoa just before Waimea. 


The heiau said to have been created during the reign the last sovereign chief of O‘ahu, Kahahana.  His Kahuna Nui, Kaopulupulu was the high priest presiding over it. It is generally believed that the heiau is generally believed to be a luakini (sacrificial heiau). The project team was tasked with creating  archaeological and planning documents along with organization of information provided by Kamehameha Schools and to create a site analysis of opportunities, constraints and preliminary recommendations to consider in planning for Kūpōpolo Heiau.  The term “Ke Kahua o Kūpōpolo” is an all-encompassing term that includes not only Kūpōpolo Heiau, but the surrounding cultural sites that support the reestablishment of Kūpōpolo as a significant place of learning and connectivity to a Hawaiian world-view. Given the availability of planning studies, and close proximity, of the site referred to as “Kapaeloa Makai,” we considered the potential that site may play in supporting the restoration and management of Kūpōpolo. The site at the focus of this report is known as Kūpōpolo and is situated in the ahupua‘a of Kawailoa in the moku of Waialua, O‘ahu. The site consists of a large rectangular stone structure constructed as a drystack feature on the ma uka side of Kamehameha Highway and potentially other associated features on the ma kai side of the highway on the shoreline.

Kupopolo B.JPG
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