Kahoʻolawe, Honuaʻula, Māui
Kahoʻolawe is located in the ahupuaʻa of Honuaʻula, Māui. The island is separated from Māui by the ʻAlalākeiki channel, yet connected under the channel by ancient lava flows which once created the ancient mega island of Māui Nui. Māui Nui includes the islands of Māui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe.
"Kahoʻolawe ʻai kūpala"
Kahoʻolawe, eater of kūpala.
The kūpala is a wild plant whose tubers were eaten in a time of famine.
It grew on Kahoʻolawe.
-ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #1317 p. 144 (Pukui 1983)
Kahoʻolawe was known for its dry landscape. However, the kuaʻāina of the island always knew how to survive using the many natural springs and wells to sustain dry-land plants which grew well in this environment.
In 1965, the US Navy authorized a series of three surface explosions on the Southwest side of the island. These explosions consisted of 500 tons of TNT. The result was ʻSailor's Cap,' a Bomb Crater which cracked the fresh water lens contained in the island. (See picture by Wahineʻaipōhaku Tong at left.)
Salt water seeped in contaminating the island's fresh water resource. Most wells and springs around Kaho'olawe are now brackish, forcing workers and visitors to seek out alternative avenues for fresh water consumption while on island.
Nā ʻIli o Kahoʻolawe