Kalihikai is the The ocean edge


Kalihikai: The ocean edge

The ahupuaʻa of Kalihi-kai (Ocean edge) has no large stream draining its land, one of the very few on Kauaʻi. The majority of the land is a rolling plain that has been gouged by small streamlets which, for the most part, drain away into the neighboring ahupuaʻa of Kalihikai and Hanalei. The plain drops over low hills broken by four little gulches onto a flat strip of land. It was here that the loʻi (irrigated field ponds) were dug and taro grown, and the people lived.  Along the entire front of Kalihiwai is a sandy beach and a wide shallow reef. The ahupuaʻa contained 2363 acres.

It is difficult today to understand why Kalihiwai was a separate political unit. The most prized of the Makahiki offerings was the feathers of mountain birds, but Kalihiwai could not make such offerings since Kalihiwai barely reaches the hills. Its southern-most point is the peak of Ka-paka (Rain drop). The great plain, however, was undoubtedly covered with pūhala trees but it was Hanalei’s trees on this same plain that became famous.  

All the inhabitants lived in the narrow land between the sea and the low hills. At the Mahele 14 claims were made.  Until recently, rice was grown in the irrigated land and cattle roamed the kula land. Today, there are many large homes, an airport, and a golf course on the upper plains, while the beach is lined with homes and a county park.

The place names along the border with Hanalei seem to commemorate a race in ancient times.