100% of the profit of this experience will go towards supporting Kipuka Olowalu’s mission to cultivate cultural and environmental connectivity to all by perpetuating traditional and customary practices.
Hawai’i has so much more to offer than beautiful beaches and amazing food. If you are looking to have an authentic travel experience, something that gives you a better understanding of the Hawaiian culture, please join us on our Half day Cultural immersion at Kipuka Olowalu.
The day starts of at the beach with a Hi’uwai ceremony. Ua utilizes traditional Hawaiian protocol of rebirth representing purification and cleansing. During the ceremony, you dedicate time to contemplating life’s journey and the people who came before you. We then make our way into the water, either getting just your toes wet, completely dunking your head in or somewhere in between. This symbolizes a re-entrance into the womb with the surrounding saltwater like the amniotic fluid. Back on shore we face east and chant “E ala E” until the sun comes up (https://youtu.be/TYwt5dOjR10). The sunrise represents the birth canal opening, and is nature’s way of offering forgiveness, a new day and a chance to reset life’s path.A truly unique experience .
Your journey continues to Kipuka Olowalu (The Olowalu Cultural Reserve). Kipuka Olowalu is an non-profit organization seeking to restore the biocultural landscape of Olowalu valley, located on the island of Maui. Olowalu Valley has historically been an area of refuge for those seeking sanctuary. People were deemed untouchable, once stepping into the Valley’s borders. This is an element of Pu‘uhonua (sanctuary), which is prevalent on each of the Hawaiian Islands. Olowalu has been a space of protection on Maui for hundreds of years. Olowalu Valley occurs at an intersection of two land formations: Līhau, standing at 4,192 feet on the Northside of Olowalu, and Līhau ‘Ula, at 3,786 feet forming the South wall. Kipuka itself means an area surrounded by lava, like the ridges that create the Olowalu Valley. This gives way to the name of Kipuka Olowalu. Upon early colonization, groups who populated the island coined the lush and windy side of the mountain to be the “male” side and the arid leeward side as the “female” side. Kipuka Olowalu is located in one of these arid leeward areas, which provides loose eroded soil.
The Kipuka Olowalu team is driven to foster in longevity an intuitive comprehension of cultural and environmental connectivity through the educational practice of activities that honor Hawai’i's heritage and that will strengthen the community for generations to come. Kipuka Olowalu believes in a holistic ahupua’a approach to managing the ecosystem that extends from the mountains to the sea, using traditional approaches that is considered to be “organic” in today’s world. Or simply put, no chemicals. (MOKU-AHUPUAʻA WITH SCOTT FISHER | Pacific Whale Foundation). Part of your immersive experience includes getting dirty and learning to malama (take care of properly) aina (land and food systems).
You have the opportunity to learn about native plants and la’au lapa’au (medicine). Ancient Hawaiians used native plants for many purposes and the Hawaiian culture depends on them today. Native plants played a vital role in all aspects of life in Hawaiian culture.
Potential cultural activities include Hula, lei making, dyes, and other options depending on availability of resources and moon phase. A fun and educative time!
An island style picnic lunch will be served along the Olowalu stream, to treat the palate with an array of tastes using locally sourced produces.