THE 1997 RESTORATION OF THE STONES
NA POHAKU OLA KAPAEMAHU A KAPUNI
In 1994, the Queen Emma Foundation funded a project to develop ways in which Hawaiianness could be revitalized in Waikīkī Dr. George Kanahele prepared a report for this project entitled Restoring Hawaiianness to Waikīkī that provided guidelines for implementing change in Waikiki based on the area’s cultural history.
A Need for Change
In his report, Dr. Kanahele recommended that the healers’ stones and the surrounding area be designated as a wahi pana (sacred or legendary place). The Queer Emma Foundation pursued this recommendation, as the four pohaku are symbols of healing in Hawai’i and comprise one of the most ancient cultural features of Waikiki.
Restoring the Wahi Pane
Though it is rare for a piece of public land to be improved through private funds, that is precisely what happened at Nā Pōhaku Ola. In 1995, the condition of the stones led The Queen Emma Foundation, several Hawaiian organizations, and both public and private agencies to join together as a “Core Group” committee to restore honor to Nā Pōhaku Ola. That work, which was completed in 1997, was fully described in the below report prepared for the Queen Emma Foundation and Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.