Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa
An initiative of the County of Kaua‘i designed with our local Kaua‘i people in mind. Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa can be interpreted in English as ‘the genealogy of Great Kaua‘i’ or ‘the entirety of Kaua‘i’. The phrase is found in certain Hawaiian mele, poems or chants, from centuries ago that speak about Kaua‘i’s unique heritage.

As a visitor to this website, you are invited to explore the contents and encouraged to use this website to share your manaʻo, and knowledge, about our collective past.

Disclaimer about Kauaʻi Nui Kuapapa:

This project is not survey grade and is not checked for legal validity regarding personal land ownership or various claims. This project hss been developed for historical and archaeological purposes. The sole intention of this project is to document the historical record of Kauaʻi's place names, which in some cases has not been recorded in any any existing publication or mapping survey.

The place name boundaries that make up Kauaʻi Nui Kuapapa correspond to several 18th and 19th century survey maps. The intent of this project is to represent three (3) periods in time with respect to moku and ahupua‘a borders—those time periods being the era of the reign of King Kaumuali‘i (circa 1778 to 1824), the Kingdom of Kamehameha (1810 to 1893), and the Territory of Hawai‘i (1893 onwards), as opposed to the data sets regarding the same land areas that derive from the State of Hawai‘i or USGS, which describe present-day land areas.

The orthography of place names was researched by this project's contributors from a variety of sources that can be found in the "Resources" section of this website. With regard to place names whose meanings are uncertain, the best educated guess was the basis for orthography.

Note that the following symbols were appended to ahupua‘a names in cases where correct spellings for place names are in question:

- pronunciation and meaning are uncertain

- not found in any existing database, archive, written or published in any record regarding place names of Hawaiʻi
A Message From the Mayor
July, 2014

Aloha and welcome to Kauaʻi’s newest educational mission: Kauaʻi Nui Kuapapa—Talking About Our Island, which is created for our local community and can also be utilized by visitors and by all those interested in the history and culture of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.

My Holo Holo 2020 vision, calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kauaʻi to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values our native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy, cares for all—keiki to kupuna—and has a responsible and user-friendly local government. Kauaʻi Nui Kuapapa fits perfectly into this plan as it provides an incredible resource of information of where we come from and how we operated and identified with our surroundings when we were in fact living a sustainable lifestyle on this island.

There is incredible knowledge locked up in the original place names that exist around Kauaʻi. There is also substantial benefit to knowing how Moku and Ahupuaʻa land divisions according to availability of its natural resources originally divided the island. This project is designed to help us unlock that information and share it with our community so that we can use it to help us make good decisions into the future.

Uniquely Kauaʻi, the historical Moku and Ahupuaʻa land management system was established by Kauaʻi’s King Manokalanipō in the 1400s. Today this project recognizes Moku and Ahupuaʻa of the era of King Kaumuali‘i’s reign and from it we continue to honor Kaua‘i's old and unique culture. We will use this information to support Kaua‘i’s modern-day identity, while always integrating our multi-ethnic and diverse population as one large ‘ohana.

It is my hope that this project will allow the people of Kaua‘i County to become more informed about their respective Moku and Ahupua‘a through Kaua‘i Nui Kuapapa and that this knowledge will continue to support our community to become more informed in participating in various aspects of society, including social issues, issues related to environment, agriculture, economy, culture, and development.

Mahalo to the Nā Hōkū Welo team from the bottom of my heart for all of their hard work, patience and perseverance in helping us get this project up and running.

Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr.
Mayor, County of Kaua‘i

Learn about Kauaʻi's Moku and Ahupuaʻa
Click on a Moku:


Definition from Pukui/Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary, Copyright 1986. land division, usually extending from the uplands to the sea, so called because the boundary was marked by a heap (ahu) of stones surmounted by an image of a pig (pua'a), or because a pig or other tribute was laid on the alter as tax to the chief.
Kauaʻi Surf & Weather