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Welcome to our online exhibit!  

This project was conducted through the National Park Service Hawaii-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Task Agreement (P16AC01702).

Honouliuli 'Āina Ho'ohuli is an online exhibit that allows visitors the opportunity to interact and dive deeper into the history of Honouliuli as an ahupua'a (one of many of Hawai'i’s land and water divisions). Throughout the exhibit, visitors will discover historical maps, a story map project, a news clip video, research documents, artwork, newspaper excerpts, and photographs visualizing Honouliuli over the course of time as a changing landscape. The mo'olelo (stories of place) of Hawai'i’s first people, shared here, serve as a starting point as our exhibit illustrates land and water use over time through the plantation era, military occupation, and into today. Development continues today though so do efforts to restore the 'āina (land) and to create harmony and balance, lōkahi

The exhibit is based upon 2020 to 2021 research and 2016 to 2019 student field school opportunities funded by the National Park Service. The 2020 to 2021 research, overseen by Dr. Christy Mello, builds upon and involves data from Dr. William R. Belcher’s 2016 to 2019 research and field school at the Honouliuli National Historic Site, where the WWII Honouliuli internment camp was located. Former field school students were interviewed for gaining insight into how they interpreted the field site.


Research views the internment camp as a part of one historical period belonging to a much larger span of time. The last year of the project, 2020-2021, focused on change over time by situating the story of the internment camp into the larger story of Honouliuli as an ahupua'a. It is a storied place of deep cultural significance, which has been drastically altered by the closely related activities of the military and agricultural industries. For understanding this changing landscape, research methods entailed archival research as well as interviews with experts including both archaeologists and cultural practitioners.

During Summer and Fall 2020, student research assistants engaged in archival research and conducted interviews. During the Spring 2021 semester, students enrolled in Dr. Mello’s ANTH/CM 404 Museum Exhibits and Visual Methods course engaged in further research and co-created this website with their professor’s guidance and editorial feedback. Various experts came to speak to the class and share their knowledge. In particular, Michael Wahl, with student feedback and Dr. Mello's input, created the Story Map featured on the website. Kēhaulani Kupihea, very familiar with the region's mo'olelo, named our exhibit based on students' ideas and provided relevant resources and guidance. Dr. Belcher also shared materials with students and provided guidance.

Our class hopes viewers will immerse themselves in the knowledge that Honouliuli has to offer as it applies to our lives’ today. If you have any questions about our exhibit, please feel free to contact Dr. Christy Mello at We hope you enjoy your online exhibit experience and find it as memorable as we have!


Our exhibit team consisted of UH West O'ahu students enrolled in the ANTH/CM 404 Museum Exhibits and Visual Methods course. All students were involved in the layout and website design of the exhibit.

Exhibit Team Reflections

Website Development

Kaelyn-Ann Grace

Elan Gandauli

Lauren Schroeder

Kevin Muranaka

Interactive Design

Sandie Gleichweit
Kevin Muranaka
Kahli Hundley


Destyni Grace

Eleanor Biacan

Mo'olelo Research 

Lacey K.

Jacob Tonkin

Troy Yazzie

National Historic Site Research

Nicholas Nii

Nooredine Jubran

Samantha Tolentino

Kahli Hundley

Plantation Era Research 

Kai Arakawa

Simone Jones

Tati Hamilton

"I think that the relationship between people and land should be a reciprocal one, where the land provides for its people, but where people also provide for their land. I think that you see this dynamic in the mo'olelo, and even through into plantation times. I think you see much less of it now, where the land is used to house people, and the fresh water reserves are used to sustain people, but the way of modern development is to take rather than to give. We take up space, and we take up resources, but we do little to enrich or preserve the land for the future."

"Honouliuli is a very unique place with a history of changes that are very unique to Hawaii itself. From (...) changing the land right ownerships, to then King Kalakaua signing over land for military use, to then internment camps has been interesting to learn about. This influx of change happened all over the islands. Water and land rights left the hands of Kanaka Maoli to that of the ever changing western and eastern hands. The research involved in Honouliuli can help shape the future of these land and water rights."

"Honouliuli has changed over time as a place through human interactions and the environment in general. At the beginning of the semester, I only thought of Honouliuli as an old internment camp, since it was at one point in time. Although I knew that it was more than this, my focus was directly fixed on that perspective. As the semester progressed and from putting our project together, I realized that this particular area was deeply rooted with our culture, the Hawaiian culture. There are so many periods of time that has influenced change in Honouliuli, and it shows through all the research that we have been conducting. Not only was this area was occupied by the U.S., but rights were also stripped away from people who lived on that land. Due to this, we have the power to influence change with Honouliuli for the better and restore what has been taken from us."

"Honouliuli has changed a lot over time. People continue to change the land of the site over time, by taking from it but also giving back to it. The land gives people many resources to survive and a place to live, which means it will change over time by the people taking advantage of it. But I think it's important to preserve what is left of this site, so that we can teach others the stories that it holds."


A special thank you to all whose contributions and support resulted in the creation of this exhibit:


The National Park Service (NPS) for providing the funding for this research project in which the website is one significant deliverable. The Honouliuli National Historic Site is overseen by the NPS. In particular, Hanako Wakatsuki-Chong, as well as Drs. Jadelyn Nakaumura and Katie Bojakowski (Katie was formerly with NPS) provided oversight and support of this project. This project was conducted through the Hawaii-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Task Agreement (P16AC01702).


Dr. William R. Belcher is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As former Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai'i West O'ahu, Dr. Belcher oversaw the field school at the Honouliuli National Historic Site from 2016-2019. Many of his research/field school materials were used for this website. He also was a guest lecturer for the ANTH/CM 404 course, and he assisted students with identifying materials for the exhibit. 


Michael Wahl was the GIS Consultant for this project. He is also a GIS specialist at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). Michael worked with existing research materials, SHPD reports, as well as cultural practitioners Kēhaulani Kupihea and Uncle Shad Kane to produce the story map found at this website. He also shared relevant SHPD reports used for this website. 

Marcela Bator is a University of Hawai'i West O'ahu Anthropology Alumnus and one of the research assistants who worked on this project. Marcela conducted archival research for this project and assisted in organizing research materials.

Kēhaulani Kupihea is a cultural anthropologist and the Executive Director of Mauliola Ke'ehi. She worked with students to select the name of the exhibit. Sharing resources on mo'olelo and maps, she educated students about the Honouliuli ahupua'a through a guest lecture and on an individual basis. Kēhaulani shared reports with Michael Wahl so that he could verify the spelling of place names for the story maps. We would also like to say thank you to her husband Kupihea who painted the mural Ke Ala Hele Uhola O Honouliuli, included in this exhibit and the Story Map, and co-developed the associated education materials with Kēhaulani. 

Solomon Enos is a local Native Hawaiian artist, born and raised in Makaha, O'ahu, who has been creating art for 30+ years. Solomon granted permission to feature his artwork in this exhibit in order to illustrate some of the mo'olelo.


Uncle Shad Kane is a kupuna cultural practitioner and Park Ranger at Kalaeloa Heritage Park, which is located in the Honouliuli ahupua'a. Uncle Shad shared mo'olelo of the region with Michael Wahl, GIS Consultant, and reviewed the spelling of and verified place names for the story map.


Jadelyn Akamine  is a University of Hawai'i West O'ahu Anthropology Alumnus and one of the research assistants who worked on this project. Jadelyn conducted and transcribed interviews of former students who participated in the field school and representatives of organizations involved with the Honouliuli National Historic Site. 

Rachel Williamson  is a University of Hawai'i West O'ahu Anthropology Alumnus and one of the research assistants who worked on this project. She now works as an archaeologist at Cultural Surveys Hawai'i, Inc.. Rachel conducted and transcribed interviews of former students who participated in the field school and representatives of organizations involved with the Honouliuli National Historic Site. 

Mary Campany is the Collection Librarian at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i and shared photographs of the internment camp while it was in use. 

Kevin Muranaka is a UH West O'ahu anthropology student with 20+ years of graphic design experience. He was very actively involved in the creation of the website during the ANTH/CM 404 course and continued on as a student employee using his expertise to assist with finalizing this exhibit website over Summer 2021. 


Finally, thank you to Dr. Belcher’s former archaeology field school students who participated in interviews in which, per their permission, their insights were uplifted to share as quotes for this exhibit. 

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